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Thread: RE: procedures and leaders

  1. #16
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I'm sorry but Merryweather's advice is all well and good if you believe that the system works. I don't think it does. I don't trust it and I have good reason not to trust it.
    your experiences have not been good.

    your experiences have been mixed up with 'scouting politics'.

    that should not be an excuse.

    i understand what you say and i don't disagree...

    however, i have to believe the system works. i dearly want the system to work. i don't think the system is the be all and end all. i think it's let people down in the past and it needs to work harder to ensure it doesn't let people down in the future.

    we need to handle disagreements between adults much better than we appear to do.

    but i will follow the system and i will continue to urge others to follow the system.

    i would urge billyg245 to follow what i said in my very first post in this thread.

    whistle-blowers must not be treated as pariahs.

    if people have a concern then they must blow that whistle loud and people must respond to it.

    i'm sorry my friend but we disagree in our approaches. we shouldn't have to. i am thankful i have not suffered your experiences in these matters.

    TM
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  3. #17
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyG245 View Post
    Thanks guys, really appreciate your thoughts and advise. Yeah, depression is where I'm at. I've just been told I've stress ulcers and my stomach is in the toilet (literally) ���� its just soooo damn annoying. You work like hell for the YP and your parents all support you, then some evil vindictive person can make you feel like jacking it all in and your depressed as you feel your abandoning the YP (who don't see behind the front you put on the be happy and approachable) so you deal with more and more because of the YP and it makes you ill. I honestly believe I've found why my district cannot attract new leaders etc.
    Once again, thanks, (one very unwell) BillyG��
    please make that call as soon as possible. you need the help of support services.

    take time away from scouting.

    your health comes first.

    TM
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  5. #18
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyG245 View Post
    Ps, according to my GSL I'm banned from going to the SIC without his express permission and I must notify him in advance.
    that's nonsense. (i prefer ian's description!)

    you do not need your GSL's permission to contact the SIC and you do not need to notify him of you doing so. if you speak on a confidential matter to anyone at HQ it will remain confidential.

    I'm not allowed any contact with anyone in scouting with out his consent as
    that too is nonsense. you can talk to whomever you like. in certain instances there are courtesies to be observed and you should refer (but not defer) matters that may affect the group to your GSL, unless you feel it is important to refer to someone else in scouting.

    if you are being bullied in scouting and you are not receiving support from your GSL, or your GSL is part of the problem, then you are at liberty to go over their head and take your issue to a senior commissioner. the SIC will advise you.

    you are not beholden to the diktats of a GSL.

    "people are talking about me going to the SIC and asking questions" etc.
    so-called chinese-whispers are pernicious and are not welcome in scouting. the necessary commissioner/manager should see that they cease immediately.

    is this also correct, or like I thought, when I'm with my group wearing their scarf he's my line manager, but outside that I can go direct to Gilwell etc to ask for information?
    again, absolute nonsense. you can contact the SIC for advice any time you like, with or without the permission of anyone and no one.

    whether you're wearing a group scarf or not is complete baloney!

    By the way, it is personal, but I'm not including anything in relation to whom I'm referring etc.
    and you do well to keep it impersonal and anonymous.

    Also, there is nothing contained that is incorrect or inaccurate. I know I'm only a name and avatar to you all, but those that know me can vouch for my honesty and integrity.
    that is not of concern to us here right now.

    provided to you stick to the forum's rules you will get the same courtesy as anyone else who visits here.

    please speak to the SIC and alleviate our concerns.

    cordially yours, TM
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  7. #19
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyG245 View Post
    By the way, it is personal, but I'm not including anything in relation to whom I'm referring etc. Also, there is nothing contained that is incorrect or inaccurate. I know I'm only a name and avatar to you all, but those that know me can vouch for my honesty and integrity.
    you can be identified in less than 10 seconds, be aware. I am petty sure lots of people involved will have seen and read these posts.

    leave it. it's a hobby.

    go have fun elsewhere.

  8. #20
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    you can be identified in less than 10 seconds, be aware. I am petty sure lots of people involved will have seen and read these posts.

    leave it. it's a hobby.

    go have fun elsewhere.
    if people live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

    if people live with hostility, they learn to fight.

    if people live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

    if people live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

    if people live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

    if people live with tolerance, they learn patience.

    if people live with praise, they learn appreciation.

    if people live with acceptance, they learn to love.

    if people live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

    if people live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

    if people live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them.

    if people live with friendliness, they learn that we live in a nice place.

    (adapted)

    bullying is unacceptable. bullying must not be tolerated. i cannot and do not want to go elsewhere.

    we must not 'leave it'.

    TM
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    As a GSL myself I am always disappointed to hear of situations where a leader is not being supported by a GSL or a GSL is not living up to expectations. A GSL is appointed by the District and remains part of the District team but with a mandate to promote Scouting in one Group. However as a District representative I will, and have, represented the interests of leaders from other groups in specific situations. If you are not comfortable taking this upwards (although I join the party suggesting that you do), try going sideways and seeking mentor support from another GSL.

    And I also agree, anyone can call SIC at any time.

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  12. #22
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post

    bullying is unacceptable. bullying must not be tolerated. i cannot and do not want to go elsewhere.

    we must not 'leave it'.

    TM

    there is that

    there is also the question about how far one fights to do a hobby, how much we try to fight stupid people who have the support of stupid people

    i've seen people fight the stupid people in scouting and be blackmarked locally or nationally (or even tot he possibel detriment of their careers).

    if scouting is the hobby you want, you have choices

    stay and fight the group - and probably lose because they are entrenched and supported
    leave and fight the group - and def lose because you have left and scouting ignores people who leave - you won't get back if experience is anything to go by.
    find another group and leave quietly - and have fun scouting with nice people

    scouting does not deal well with conflict or crises. I have been left high and dry by safeguarding... (how many times should one call and email before realising they just don't care about the <redacted.. but it was really bad> - conversations with other leaders suggest many have similar tales to tell... ignoring leaders who are deling with suspended children, <redacted> and <redacted> is not good enough... but it worked. i sorted it myself. I shuldn;t have had to.

    i have seen adults treated just as badly by other systems

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  14. #23
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    there is that
    i will not tolerate bullying in scouting. period. i will continue to say that. if i catch anyone on my watch bullying i will press for sanctions.

    there is also the question about how far one fights to do a hobby, how much we try to fight stupid people who have the support of stupid people
    i am going to try my best not to let stupid people damage good people.

    i've seen people fight the stupid people in scouting and be blackmarked locally or nationally (or even tot he possibel detriment of their careers).
    i will continue to fight the stupid people and support the good people. i believe there are vastly more good people than stupid people.

    if scouting is the hobby you want, you have choices
    of course.

    stay and fight the group - and probably lose because they are entrenched and supported
    i am not going to let the bullies win and i fail to see why people wish to support bullying.

    leave and fight the group - and def lose because you have left and scouting ignores people who leave - you won't get back if experience is anything to go by.
    why would i quit?

    find another group and leave quietly - and have fun scouting with nice people
    so we sweep it under the carpet and take the 'i'm all right jack attitude'?

    scouting does not deal well with conflict or crises. I have been left high and dry by safeguarding... (how many times should one call and email before realising they just don't care about the <redacted.. but it was really bad> - conversations with other leaders suggest many have similar tales to tell... ignoring leaders who are deling with suspended children, <redacted> and <redacted> is not good enough... but it worked. i sorted it myself. I shouldn't have had to.
    so we all have to keep working to make it better.

    i have seen adults treated just as badly by other systems
    so we all keep working to make them better.

    TM
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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    so we sweep it under the carpet and take the 'i'm all right jack attitude'?

    TM
    I don't think any bullying can just be "walked away from". I'm talking generally here, and not about a specific case. Not even specifically about Scouting for that matter.

    If a volunteer is being bullied, and they fight the bullies, and they win, the bullying problem has gone. At the very least the line management chain are aware of the bullying problem and they should act. (I realise this has not always worked as it should)

    If a volunteer is being bullied and they walk away to another group, then yes they will be happier. However, the bullies will find someone new to bully. Someone else who doesnt fit in with their ideas. Someone who isn't willing to do things their way.

    However, there is always a balance to weigh up - the health and wellbeing of the individual, vs the need to prevent bullying ever been seen as "acceptable" or "the norm". Sometimes it is necessary to walk away, even if temporarily, whilst the problem is being investigated and resolved.

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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  18. #25
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post






    whistle-blowers must not be treated as pariahs.

    if people have a concern then they must blow that whistle loud and people must respond to it.

    i'm sorry my friend but we disagree in our approaches. we shouldn't have to. i am thankful i have not suffered your experiences in these matters.

    TM
    But Tarquin, you know full well that the whistleblower is a pariah.

    It is all the more the case in Scouting because it is "not playing the game" to hold people to account. Scouting has an inherrent and endemic problem with the way it functions.

    I am too tired and disappointed in the system to argue about it, and I suspect that many of our friends on here are giving a sigh of relief, for if we were to go loggerheads on this one it would make our Explorer debate pale into insignificance. Furthermore, I could not engage in such a debate without naming names and making accusations - accusations, which I know I could not, with the cover of time, substantiate again - unlike one of my erstwhile colleagues I never retained the evidence, it wasn't worth the powder. Mind you, when he presented the evidence he discovered his accusation buried and no investigation carried out. He was also a pariah.

    It is virtually impossible to make a serious complaint against an entrenched Scouter who is part of the establishment without finding yourself isolated.

    It isn't cricket, old boy. Or, as I was once told, "Play the white man."

    I miss the idea of Scouts, but I don't miss the Scout Association. Without the hierarchy and bureacracy we can just get on with scouting. Our only problems arise when we come into contact with the hierarchy in Scouting, but hopefully that will resolve itself one way or the other shortly.

    By the way. I don't think anyone is supporting bullying, but bullying is widespread. It isn't just the guy who is the target who is bullied, it is all those around him who fear becoming the next target. So, just like at school, it is often difficult to get people to support the target of bullying, but very easy to see people side with the bully, or at best fail to condemn him.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 15-05-2015 at 07:07 PM.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member Matt Styles's Avatar
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    I would say at this point, that while I respect Bushfella's decision to leave TSA and run a Navigators group, that it is an incredible minority and different groups/associations have different regulations.

    I would wholeheartedly encourage you to report the issue up the management structure, to whoever is both relevant and open to listening.

    If you find that you're in the position Bushfella describes, then you can make a decision from there, but at least you'll know that you did the right thing by reporting it through the appropriate means, even if that does include going via the NSPCC.

    Such issues are beyond differences between associations and we should support each other in raising complaints or bullying or other yellow card matters as appropriate.

    I do hope you meet with relevant people in Scouting, raise your concerns, and reach a satisfactory outcome. All the best.
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    Threads like this sadden me

    I know that both Bushfella and merryweather have both been on the receiving end of bullies and so have I, and there have been many posts where the accusation has been made of bullying.

    Sometimes though I think the term can and may be over used and incorrectly used. I’ll give an example.

    I asked someone at work to carry out a task which was to file some papers this was in the morning. By late afternoon nothing had happened so I asked them if they could get the papers filed. The next day the papers were still left unfiled, I sought the individual out and asked them why it was that the papers I wanted them to file had not been filed. They told me they didn’t have time. I told them to go and do it right away. An hour or two later my boss called me in to tell me they had had a complaint that I was bullying a member of staff, I asked for details and found it was the individual who I had had to ask 3 times to do something, I explained to the boss what had happened and they suggested that either I do the filing or I get someone else to do it. I suggested that the boss may like to go and do the filing because I felt her behaviour was undermining my authority and that she was potentially intimidating me and that this amounted to bullying. From the colour of her face I think she might have had a stroke at this point!!! So I made the suggestion that we sit down and explain to this individual that asking them to do a task at work that is commensurate with their position and expecting it to not only be done but in a timely manner does not constitute bullying.

    So we have to think carefully about what is bullying and behaviour that is perceived to be bullying before we apply the labels. I had a new starter at Cubs (Smiffy) on his first night he had a verbal disagreement with another Cub (Jones) and was overheard swearing and making threats. I spoke with Smiffy (with Mrs Yorkielass present) and explained what their unacceptable behaviour was. I received a phone call from a very irate parent of Smiffy demanding to know what I was going to do about the bullying directed at her son. I explained what we had seen and heard but she was having none of it and then accused me of supporting bullying. I offered her 2 choices bring Smiffy the following week and stay and help or don’t bother coming back, bit more diplomatically put. She chose to come and realised what a git her Smiffy was, we didn’t see them again.

    I think though that perhaps we have become a bit soft as a society. When I was younger we only had one chopping board, everything got cut up on it, veg, fruit, raw meats I never got food poisoning, if I fell over mom put iodine on any cuts, I ate peanuts, I would swing on a rope and drop into a river, I talked to strangers, I would go to the shops by myself, I walked to school, text was in a book, a phone was attached to the wall at home or in a red box at the end of the road, and many other things. We were tougher physically and psychologically, now you’re considered a real man if you cry over some snot nosed kid attempting to sing on Britain’s got talent.

    We seem incapable of saying “Stand up for yourself”, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone against bullying but I also want people to stand up for themselves. The fight against bullies starts with those who are being bullied standing up and speaking out, then we can and must support them.
    Richard Fenton
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  24. #28
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    But Tarquin, you know full well that the whistleblower is a pariah.
    i said the whistle-blower must not be treated as a pariah.

    It is all the more the case in Scouting because it is "not playing the game" to hold people to account. Scouting has an inherent and endemic problem with the way it functions.
    i disagree. scouting must hold people to account.

    mistakes in the past must not be repeated.

    I am too tired and disappointed in the system to argue about it, and I suspect that many of our friends on here are giving a sigh of relief, for if we were to go loggerheads on this one it would make our Explorer debate pale into insignificance. Furthermore, I could not engage in such a debate without naming names and making accusations - accusations, which I know I could not, with the cover of time, substantiate again - unlike one of my erstwhile colleagues I never retained the evidence, it wasn't worth the powder. Mind you, when he presented the evidence he discovered his accusation buried and no investigation carried out. He was also a pariah.
    i am lucky in that i've never had your unacceptable experiences.

    i am not going to argue with you over this issue.

    however, i am not going to accept that i am in an organisation that doesn't care about these issues.

    we will have to agree to disagree.

    It is virtually impossible to make a serious complaint against an entrenched Scouter who is part of the establishment without finding yourself isolated.
    currently, this is perceived to be a challenge in places. this must not be the case.

    It isn't cricket, old boy. Or, as I was once told, "Play the white man."
    that view is unacceptable

    I miss the idea of Scouts, but I don't miss the Scout Association. Without the hierarchy and bureaucracy we can just get on with scouting. Our only problems arise when we come into contact with the hierarchy in Scouting, but hopefully that will resolve itself one way or the other shortly.
    i am lucky that i have avoided some of the people you didn't avoid.

    By the way. I don't think anyone is supporting bullying, but bullying is widespread. It isn't just the guy who is the target who is bullied, it is all those around him who fear becoming the next target. So, just like at school, it is often difficult to get people to support the target of bullying, but very easy to see people side with the bully, or at best fail to condemn him.
    we cannot stand aside on the subject of bullying. we must reject it totally and absolutely and see that it does not take root in scouting, be it between young people, from adults to young people and vice versa, and between adults.

    i have no idea of the spread of (adult) bullying in scouting. i would be naive to deny it happens. if i see it i will not step aside or look away.

    i struggled with being bullied for 2-3 years in the workplace. in the end it lost me my job. i touched some very deep lows i have no desire to talk about here. it has taken a lot of effort to rise from the depths of at times despair.

    i do not wish the same on anyone.

    regards,

    TM
    going...going...still here...just

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Tarquin, I agree that bullying cannot be condoned, but having been the victim in the past I eventually came to a realisation, as an adult, that where bullying takes place it impacts everyone in the group ( class, workplace etc..).

    Most on the sidelines wish to stay on the sidelines, so they say nothing, and do nothing, and if anything will back the bully rather than risk becoming a target, or a pariah themselves.

    I am not too sure how you can break that circle, especially when so many of the bullies are entrenched in the system in roles where they can be what they are and be sanctioned by the SA. In a system where a complaint into a DC would be investigated by the individual who appointed that DC and so on up the line.

    The answer has to be an independent arbitration service for volunteers ( there is one run by a legal practice that charges a fe for its services to those who use it). An alternative could be that an investigation into a Scouter at one Group should be carried out by a team from a different District. A n investigation into a DC should be carried out by a team from a different County, and not an adjoining County, and so on. Or, a separate Scouting Complaints Commission could be established that is as remote from active scouting as is possible. The accused/ accuser should be able to vet the investigators so that there is no bias in the investigation.

    Something has to be changed because what is in place now is clearly unfair and impracticable.
    Ewan Scott

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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Tarquin, I agree that bullying cannot be condoned, but having been the victim in the past I eventually came to a realisation, as an adult, that where bullying takes place it impacts everyone in the group ( class, workplace etc..).
    bullying must not be condoned.

    Most on the sidelines wish to stay on the sidelines, so they say nothing, and do nothing, and if anything will back the bully rather than risk becoming a target, or a pariah themselves.
    i would agree. i'm not sure many would actually go as far as backing the bully but many people do not want to get involved.

    you also have those who cannot see the bullying and the effects it causes. i can recall many years taking the attitude that some people needed to 'man-up' and that depression was simply an extreme case of 'feeling sorry for oneself'. however, i believe to really understand bullying and the depression that can result one really needs to experience it. my wife struggled with understanding my depression, she still does. it is not easy. the effect is different for different people. those who are bullied often hide it and do so very well. it is so easy to trivialise and yet we try hard not to. being bullied is a very lonely experience.

    I am not too sure how you can break that circle, especially when so many of the bullies are entrenched in the system in roles where they can be what they are and be sanctioned by the SA.
    they are not sanctioned to be bullies or adopt a bullying attitude by TSA. the TSA, or a workplace, or a school, doesn't create a bully. people create bullies. yes the systems, processes and places, can help them to be a bully.

    let's not go wild with our imaginations: TSA is not riddled with bullies!

    In a system where a complaint into a DC would be investigated by the individual who appointed that DC and so on up the line.
    i don't think in scouting we have a bullying problem or culture any worse than anywhere else, workplace or school. we do have issues with the complaint procedure and process.

    The answer has to be an independent arbitration service for volunteers ( there is one run by a legal practice that charges a fee for its services to those who use it). An alternative could be that an investigation into a Scouter at one Group should be carried out by a team from a different District. An investigation into a DC should be carried out by a team from a different County, and not an adjoining County, and so on. Or, a separate Scouting Complaints Commission could be established that is as remote from active scouting as is possible. The accused/ accuser should be able to vet the investigators so that there is no bias in the investigation.
    i'm not sure what the answer is. clearly there are many scouters who seemingly do not have faith in the complaints procedure. the problem is that we have such a rigidly hierarchical system we naturally structure all our processes and procedures in the same way and yet fail to see that sometimes this can be a problem.

    would i be confident that if i made a complaint against my DC or CC it would receive independent scrutiny and process? probably not.

    and i should say i haven't got such a complaint or that my thoughts should be read as questioning these people!! i just don't think that the process feels truly independent. i'm not sure that it can ever be made to be, but at the moment many people do seem to question whether going down it is going to bring resolution.

    what certainly is not right is for a complaint against a person who is in the line (management) to be heard by others in the same line. for example, a complaint by a SL against a GSL cannot be heard by the DC. it's not about ensuring there is no bias in the process, it's about ensuring there is no perception of bias, whether it exists or not. we also have to be careful that such doesn't turn into giving someone a chance to wage a non-stop war of dissent. we also have to be careful that we don't define someone who is maybe autocratic and rigid in their management style as being a bully, because that's not bullying.

    Something has to be changed because what is in place now is clearly unfair and impracticable.
    it clearly is perceived to be unfair.

    the very regimented hierarchical line management style needs changing now that many of us in the lower levels (basement) work much more in a flat team-based approach. there is very little opportunity to question the line.

    i have always made it a key culture in my group that to question the GSL is welcomed. the GSL does not rule. the GSL does not have things their own way. the GSL loses debates in the GEC and GSM. it does not weaken their role or their responsibilities. they are absolutely adamant that there is over-sight on all that they say and do.

    they do not fill the GEC with their mates and buddies, in fact apart from nominating the chairman all the other members are elected and have not been proposed by the GSL. there is no in-built majority on the GEC for the GSL.

    i welcome criticism.

    TM
    going...going...still here...just

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