A-Z of Ethical Communication in Education: I is for Internal

Internal

Internal is a process that goes on inside. This could be meetings that are kept confidential, or the emotions, thoughts and judgements that occur for staff and students. It could be decisions that are made for promotion from within. It could be the conversations that take place between people. It could be the removal of someone from the mainstream. 

In a learning environment where communications are ethical:

  • People’s rights and information are kept private. 
  • People’s emotional landscapes are supported and enhanced in helpful ways by the institution and they grow as a result. 
  • Their fears are laid to rest and they feel safe.
  • Their judgements are encouraged but only as respectful opinions. They are also listened to and valued.
  • Internal promotions are based on fitness for purpose.
  • Ideas and frustrations are offloaded appropriately and hidden from others.
  • The safety of all is ensured by the removal of another. In most cases that would also include support of the one removed so they may re-join the establishment to take part with others.

In a learning environment where communications are not ethical:

  • People’s rights and details leak into the environment or are used to make decisions that support the best interests of the institution often at the expense of staff or pupils 
  • People’s negative emotional landscapes are triggered by the institution and they struggle as a result. 
  • Their fears are heightened, and they feel unsafe.
  • Negative judgements and use of limiting labels are encouraged and those with respectful opinions and are not listened to and found to be threatening.
  • Internal promotions are based on merit or further promise of ‘reward.’.
  • Ideas and frustrations are offloaded in a public way and others are encouraged to behave in malignant, bullying or aggressive ways.
  • The safety of the few is ensured by the removal of another who challenges the status quo. In some cases this would also include permanent removal or being placed into a form of isolation so that person may be ‘punished.’

How does your place of work fit in?

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