Give us a hand

25th May 2001 at 01:00
What does your writing say about you?

Elaine Quigley explains The leftwards slant and flexibility indicate that Mr Dickinson operates tohis own agenda. It is important for him to feel that he is in control, can work in his own way and can rise to the occasion. The open letters in the middle zone indicate that he can talk himself into and out of things, and the more he explains something, the clearer it becomes in his mind.

The continuity in the script, with letters joined throughout words, shows that he is single-minded and determined to prove his point or reach a conclusion. He hates being beaten or driven into a corner. He likes to call the shots.

There is sensitivity. He doesn't like people being critical, preferring to find things out and correct them. To get him to do something is to let him see it and avoid passing judgment so he can deal with it in his own way.

He is at his most effective when he builds up a momentum and has a good reason for doing something.

Beneath what may seem like a laid-back manner, there is anger and irritation at times. He prefers to avoid hassle and to be left in peace to concentrate on the task at hand. His philsophy is live and let live, but he needs structure, challenges and deadlines to give of his best.

David Dickinson is headteacher at Haywood high school in Stoke-on-Trent I've consulted with friends and colleagues and they think that it is accurate. I can recognise myself in what's written there, but sometimes others see things you are not always aware of unless you spend a large part of your life contemplating your navel.

Being in control is something most headteachers would hope to be. I am single-minded and I don't like being beaten. A few people at my old school will be laughing as I used to play for the school football team and I hated losing, so there were a few altercations on the pitch.

I like to analyse things rather than being told this is the way - I like to look at the whole picture.

Elaine Quigley and David Dickinson were talking to Harvey McGavin. Does someone you know have unusual handwriting? Send an example - including signature - on unlined paper with a photograph and contact details to Jill Craven, Friday magazine, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. You can email Elaine Quigley at

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