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Durham University

Organisation Development


GIVING is more than just sharing material things with others. It’s about cultivating a spirit of generosity and actively supporting others.

The acts of GIVING to others, receiving and being aware of acts of kindness, even indirectly, give us a sense of purpose and self-worth, builds connections with others and promotes empathy and teamwork.

“There is a difference between what we think is physically safe and what we think is psychologically safe. Psychological safety is at least as important as physical safety.”

Professor Jacqui Ramagge, Executive Dean of Science

Being aware of what, how and why to Self-isolate is probably the single most important thing you can do to GIVE at this time. Government guidance is being updated all the time but self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading.

Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

Give to your colleagues:

We all contribute to creating psychologically safe environment. In a Microsoft Stream HERE we explore, What is Psychological Safety and why is it so important?

The concept, of Psychological Safety, is considered further in a Podcast with Dr Timothy Clarke. HERE he considers the four stages of Psychological Safety and how we can shape our wellbeing at work.

Give to your students:

In the spirit of Giving, and direct correlation to our own wellbeing, it is only right that we should consider the wellbeing of our students. Covid-19 will have impacted us all in very personal ways and whilst it may be tempting to consider simply moving all face to face lectures to online live digital events, this type of learning needs to be combined with a variety of digital learning resources to ensure an optimum learning experience.

To this end, think about the quality of the learning activity, not just the quantity. Visit the DCAD pages for specific development for the Covid-19 response.

Give to yourself:

Also in Giving, remember to be kind to yourself.

When you first commenced teaching, it is unlikely you had all your teaching prepared at the beginning of the academic year. Work to a two week window for preparations, this will keep you ready and ensure you can manage the workload into manageable parts.

David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief. In this article 'That discomfort you're feeling is grief' Kessler shared his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it.

‘Thought Piece’ by Dr Beth Bromley, Associate Professor in Physics reflecting on the importance of remaining connected and considering the needs of others at this time.

"I'd like to highlight a specific potential mental health issue. As scientists, we are not always the best at understanding our own or other people's emotions. I thought it might be worth pointing out that as well as the more obvious emotions of frustration and anxiety, the current situation can also generate a lot of emotion related to grief.
This is not only the more obvious grief of losing loved ones (though we should all be aware that colleagues are and will be facing that both now and in the future), but the smaller, yet still important, losses including things like: lost opportunities to do research, or go to conferences; lost chances to see people we miss; lost holidays and experiences we had planned; lost job opportunities with interviews or offers cancelled; lost planned celebrations, from PhD vivas, through to weddings, to children’s birthdays; lost teaching and learning, and lost chances to show what we or our children can do in cancelled assessment and exams; lost freedom and lost agency, to live our lives the way we choose.
We are all suffering the loss of a significant proportion of our way of life, the loss of nothing turning out as we had it planned, and a collective loss of innocence to go along with it all. Grief is a very natural response to the situation.
Everyone is going to experience the fallout from the current crisis differently and it may well be that none of this resonates with you at all - which is 100% perfectly okay. If, however, it does resonate with you, then you might find it useful to read more about the process of grief so that you can more easily identify its effects on you and those around you."

Beth has also provided a useful questionaire that she has been using with her team to support online teaching workload Template Form: Online teaching workload.

Information and advice for colleagues can be found on our Covid-19 response page.