The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Last week I was invited to present on the topic of business and corporate communication to a couple of Senior School classes. Anytime you are asked to present, it provides an opportunity for reflection and review. Following a series of coincidental discussions with senior staff, it reminded me of the need to discern which mode of communication is the best for a community such as Scotch College, and just how much communication is healthy on any given topic, before productivity and the intended message reaches a point of dismissing returns.

At Senior School assembly last Friday, on behalf of our Chaplain, I addressed our boys about one's perspective. In essence, we all carry with us our own perspectives and bias on a given topic. We assume that our way is the right way, or even worse, the only way. However, if we look more closely there is always going to be another way.

In looking to appoint the new king of Israel, Samuel is impressed by external factors such as good looks. However, the Lord rightly points out 'do not look at his appearance, because I have rejected him. For the Lord does not view things as mortals do – they look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'

Because communication is such an important topic, much has been written and spoken about successful and unsuccessful methods of communicating.  There is a plethora of verbal and non-verbal means to impart messages and add into the mix what we now have through social media mediums such as the quick 140-character grab called Twitter.

Communication between a school and its community is an essential part of being functional and ensuring that everyone is served and heard. Too often, conjecture based on partial information, drives emails which can be misinformed and at times aggressive in their tone.

The most essential thing to remember is that our humanness usually means where possible a call or in person catch up can solve so many things. While we have many ways available through which to communicate, let us not forget that we are social in nature and people like to deal with people. In trying to communicate to the greatest affect, let us remember that we must actively listen, we must seek clarification through factual information, not gossip or innuendo and finally we must take time to reflect on what we have heard and how best we can use communication to ensure everyone is valued and understood.

Speaking about being valued, thank you very much to the Scotch Parent Ball committee who committed so much of their time and energy to ensure we had a great Ball on Saturday night. Nights such as these provide a special opportunity to socially engage with many in our community.

As we enter Week 10, our boys across all three sub-schools will be busier than ever. With compulsory summer sport now over, it is important to ensure that our boys remain active as part of their wellbeing strategies.

In closing, let us remember what our Chaplain has reinforced just recently, that is, we all hold different perspectives on many matters. If we are unaware of our own perspectives, we may try and impose them onto others. The challenge for all of us at Scotch is to serve, support and be there for each other.

Have a great fortnight.