Articles from Chris Thomson

How to complain properly and still raise morale

The English don’t know how to complain and it’s bad for business. Americans are much better at it.

How to retire happily from FE – and do everyone else a favour

So I’m crossing the road in Brighton yesterday and there’s Frank on the other side.

Don’t let plain English fool you: Making communication clear in the first place

If you really want to be understood, write so as to confuse. Sounds like nonsense, but believe me, there’s something in it.

Don’t just do something, think about it! The words we use make a real difference

Sometimes a single phrase is enough to tell you the quality of a college’s work is going to be very, very good. Examining the documentation provided to me on a recent visit I noticed repeated references to ‘learning, teaching and assessment’.

Be guided by what’s dependably, fundamentally certain: Einstein and the CEO

Am I alone? I confess any connection between Albert Einstein and the role of a CEO had totally escaped me. But then I heard the boss of a leading UK company say this in an interview on BBC News:

Working with your staff, not on them

Mrs Roberts had the measure of me from the start. 'Christopher is a bright button but somehow always towards the bottom of the tin.'

The Law of Diminishing Mission

Maybe you’ve heard the one about the three brickies on the building site? They’re all asked what they’re doing

How not to spoil your lunch

We English don’t have a lot of time or space for philosophy. We like to get on with things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life. When someone wants to persuade us physical things don’t exist we’re right there with Dr Johnson striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone until he rebounds from it, spitting out the words through clenched teeth, ‘I refute it thus!'

Even the boss can’t see the whole truth

Once upon a time long, long ago I was a callow college Vice Principal and so wet behind the ears there was watercress. And one day we spent an entire lunchtime discussing the problem of the queue in the canteen.

Keep it simple, Stupid!

As Muhammad Ali told the interviewer: “Whatever ‘truculent’ means, if that’s good, I’m that.”

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