September closed with a study of the Psychology of Covid. We concentrated on “being told what to do” and ethics in a Covid era.
Being told what to do:
We’re familiar with the speed of change in both our day-to-day activities and the leadership advice that has impacted our lives. In the following TedTalk Alannah Shaikh discusses the 2020 May Economic Forum’s response to Covid 19.
- The psychological and behavioural aspects of this crisis are not being taken seriously enough.
- Psychological distortions are shaping governments' responses around the world.
- But this crisis also presents an opportunity for states to take these factors into more beneficial consideration.
Alannah Shaikh - the recommendation about mask wearing is one example of the type of change that we have accommodated during Covid-19.
It surprised me to discover that during Covid 19 what we “really want is to be told what to do” and that we enjoy being bossed around. Researchers found:
- Shut international borders - 8/10 respondents agreed.
- Support for state governments – 8/10 respondents agreed
- 7/10 respondents agreed that "sometimes people's freedoms need to be restricted to keep Australians safe “,
- 8.5/10 respondents said “Yes” to vaccines (strongest amongst young and older),
What surprised me about this research was that, rather than enjoying being told what to do, I thought I had trust in effective leadership at a time of great uncertainty. I found some answers in these articles:
- Five things we learned about crisis leadership during covid-19
- Three reasons why Jacinda Ardern’s coronavirus response has been a masterclass in crisis leadership
The authors propose that “direction-giving”, “meaning-making” and “empathy” are outstanding characteristics of good crisis leadership. This made more sense than the thought of enjoying being told what to do.
Ethics in a Covid era:
There is nothing straight forward about ethics, so I’ll leave you to explore topics of interest in the session power point below. The session content included:
- There are many models to help us understand and apply ethics.
- Ethics can be divided into types
- Utilitarian – greatest good for the greatest number of people,
- Deontological – the idea that people should be treated with the greatest respect and dignity,
- Virtue – considering what virtues make the best public relations professional.
- Ethics and Covid Vaccines.* “NEWSFLASH” Since the U3A session on 17 Sept this document has been sent to me. The document pages are not numbered. Scroll three quarters through the document to the heading PART 2 –VACCINE REQUIREMENTS IN RELATION TO COVID. See document at : https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2021fwcfb6015.htm
- Ethical distribution of health resources and standards of care in Covid.
- Impact and expectations on businesses – “Rustik Café and Foodstore” a local example.
With such a lot to cover on this topic, I hope you cherry-pick something interesting and enjoy yourself.
- Tuesday 5 October – Zooming 10:00-12:00. Zoom link is -
Meeting ID: 786 6566 6828
Topic: Part 1 - The elephant in the room …. • Intelligence and • Memory
- Friday 13 October – Face to Face or Zoom** at 1:00 – 3:00pm – **Location to be confirmed - number limits in the Seniors Building are currently impacting on U3A’s Friday afternoon timetable.
0437 621 575