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Postcards from Scotland

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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 18/10/2006 | 1 Comment

I try to write a blog at least once a week and so I was surprised to see that a fortnight has gone past since my last entry. I wrote it in the South of France when I was on holiday visiting my sister. Since I’ve got back I’ve hardly had a chance to think about a blog let alone write it hence the two week gap. However, when I reviewed in my head what I’d been doing in the last ten days, I thought that writing about what I’d been up to would actually be the subject of a good blog as it give such a great insight into the work of the Centre.

Monday: Whole day training course at Alfred McAlpine Business Services in Uddingston. They are a major sponsor of the Centre and great supporters of our work. The Centre is getting a chance to try out different ways to engage staff at work in Positive Psychology. The ideas and exercises went down very well and there was great feedback from staff.

Tuesday: Went first thing to Bathgate to talk to 6th year students at an all-day conference on the theme: "Do we have the right to be happy?". Bathgate Academy is a really progressive school and keen to progress the Positive Psychology agenda. Could see that my talk on happiness and the evidence behind Positive Psychology had quite an impact on these young people. Schools should be doing more of these kinds of discussions. Went back to the office to a team meeting. Lots happening at the Centre and so we had lots to discuss.

Wednesday: The Centre has a new secondee, Barbara Gemmell from the City of Glasgow Council. We reviewed how Monday’s session had gone and changes we wanted to make next time round. After that I went to the Radisson Hotel, Glasgow to do an interview with Angiolina Foster of Communities Scotland about my book and the work the Centre is doing. About thirty staff were there to listen and ask questions. Then I went back to the Centre to write emails and make calls before going off to Edinburgh to speak at a business dinner. The dinner was being organised by a business consultancy for about thirty folk mainly from the private sector. I had been asked to speak about ‘the Scottish cringe’. Lots of interesting discussion ensued. During the dinner we heard the news about Scotland losing to Ukraine and so it wasn’t difficult to convince people of the fact that we keep ‘cawing the feet’ from ourselves when we succeed in Scotland. Who hadn’t heard people saying after the ‘miraculous’ victory against France that we would have to pay for it by losing the next game? There was much agreement with what I said. So much so a journalist phoned the next day to say he would like me to write something about what needs to be done for his newspaper.

Thursday: Worked at home as I needed to collect my thoughts and then write a 1,000 word piece for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland about the thinking behind the big educational conference we have coming up on the 25th with Professor Seligman as the keynote speaker. Ended by stressing that parents have more influence on children's confidence than teachers.

Friday: Had a quiet morning and then in the afternoon went through to Edinburgh to meet up with a Director of Education who is keen for the Centre to be involved in the work they are doing.

Saturday: Spent fifteen minutes in the morning being interviewed by Talk Radio in Edinburgh about our Seligman event on education and why it is needed. The interviewer, Stephen Jardine, was very interested and positive about our agenda.

Monday: Spent the whole day in our office today and managed to undertake one hour interviews with two members of staff. I learned the importance of doing this when I was on the Leading the Positive Organisation Course in Michigan earlier in the year and both myself and the staff find it invaluable.

Tuesday: Had various meetings in the morning in the office. One was with a woman who is involved in architecture in Scotland and who would like our input into various research projects and events which she is involved in. Then I was involved with people from Schools of Ambition about the work we are undertaking to help them measure pupil confidence. Then off to Polmont for a discussion with the Director of Education, Julia Swann who is going to chair our education conference.

Wednesday: Another of the workshops at Alfred McAlpine’s. Tried out some different ways to involve participants which seemed to work really well. Got some great feedback and insights into how to make it even better next time.

Wrote a blog.

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