Answer the following question from a well known psychological experiment, known as "The Ultimate Game". A person has $10 and is going to offer you a share of it. Neither you nor the other person can negotiate the split. The other person just makes you an offer and you either accept or reject it. If both of you agree on the split you both keep your share. But, if one party rejects it, no one gets any money. Now, the question is would you take $1 if it was offered to you? (This, of course, means you get $1 and the other person gets to keep $9?) Yes or no? Stop and answer before reading on. The answer, from numerous studies, is that most people will actually refuse the offer, so no one gets anything (they will even refuse the offer at much higher proportions). This however makes no logical sense, as you are essentially turning down free money. Obviously though what's happening is we recognise the unfairness of the offer and it's this, emotional reaction to the perceived unfairness, that shows that emotion beats logic nearly every time. This is a crucial thing to understand in dealing with people and, therefore, crucial to your understanding of restorative practice. First though, a few recent examples that I think illustrate this further.
So how does this help Kerry in the replay? Easier said than done, I'll admit. The main thing I can offer here is to present the likely role that emotions, and in particular fear, played in those closing minutes. More often than not, awareness of a factor can be enough for an individual or team, to ensure such a scenario does not arise again. No one likes to make the same mistake twice, least we induce our old friend Shame. Interestingly (or least for sports nuts like me), I heard in the run up to the game that Dublin will not take a high-risk shot (i.e. outside say 25 meters) after they have had a miss, even if presented with a great goal opportunity. They will instead try to get the ball into a spot where they are almost certain to score a point. The reason? So as not to give momentum (or an emotional bounce) to the opposition. Kerry, take note for the 14th.
We can all benefit from increased emotional intelligence however. A teacher or parent presented with a cantankerous child knows that the secret to a successful intervention is to firstly reduce the emotional temperature, i.e. help the child calm by removing them or the audience, and presenting yourself in as calm and relaxed a manner as possible (our brain and central nervous system communicate directly with other people via a Bluetooth system known as mirror neurons, which means emotions are literally contagious). Once the anger or distress has been tempered, then you can have a conversation and try to engender some interest. Similarly, when interest or attention wanes in a class (or in the teenager you are trying to communicate with) good communicators know to "mix" things up, e.g. throw in a remark/game/expression/joke or whatever you can think of to "break" the mood. You are 31% smarter when you are in a positive mood, so snap them out of apathy and into interest, whatever way you can. And, finally, roll on the replay and here's to another classic (I really don't mind who wins either).
That's Restorative Practice
My name is Joe Power and I am the RP development officer for Limerick. I thought I would write about my experiences in developing my own understanding of RP, as well as in trying to spread it across Limerick. The reason for this is that I find that both my own and other people's experiences are remarkably similar and there could well be some opportunity for others to benefit from these thoughts (or ramblings!!). Anyway I hope you gain something from it.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.