Relishing change -
building adaptability, resilience and enthusiasm for a changing world

The right way?

February 23, 2015 @ 9:23 am

Enraged by the radio after just a few minutes I switched off and listened to my thoughts. What had enraged me? Yet another politician talking about “the right way”, the “right thing to do”. Refusing to discuss the issues being raised and bull headedly keeping to their script. Is this the way to engage a disillusioned electorate? It reminds me of past leadership failures when a totalitarian viewpoint was promoted and those that differed were “wrong”. After so much focus on the first world war  and a recognition that we need to find ways to communicate internationally to prevent future wars why are we still stuck listening to politicians talking about the right way. There is no right way. There are many ways of choosing to live our lives. We need to find political leaders interested and able to discuss differing viewpoints. The solutions to the complexities of how we live require flexibility of approach, listening to unpopular and different views in order to come up with a shared longer term resolution. Politicians able to deal with FUD, fear uncertainty, doubt (Susan Cain, Quiet).

Each of us individually makes up our own mind, guided by those around us, about how we want to live our life. The more empowered we feel the greater amount of choice we feel able to exercise. Some of that empowerment rests in the physical world, money and privilege affect our life outcomes; however there is an element that rests in our internal world and how able we feel to make the most of the opportunities around us. Recognising the ways we stop ourselves taking advantage of the opportunities life presents us with can be an important first step to finding the right life for you.

If you are a woman and would like to find out more about choosing the life you want for yourself take a look here.

What I am known for!

February 2, 2015 @ 7:30 am

“You’re the trainer who insists we take a lunch break”. I was delighted to be greeted by this in the introduction to one of my recent courses. Yes I hope I am known as the trainer who insists on self care. My passion is quality of services available to those who need them and equally passionately I believe that having a workforce that values and cares about itself  is an essential ingredient for good quality services and compassionate care.

When I qualified 25 years ago that was enshrined in the practices of social work.  Sadly it’s no longer the case. There seem to be expectations that everyone works longer than their contracted hours unless you leave to continue looking after others; children and vulnerable adults. The boundaries around training and leave were kept. Other people managed your absence rather than contacting you and expecting you to respond when you were out of the office.

It seems as if the priority for action has become the system rather than those expecting a service whether that’s a child, vulnerable adult or family member. Casualties in the process also have been the children of the workforce who come very low down organisational priorities and the workforce in terms of their own personal and professional development. Recognising limits to capacity or asserting the needs of others that workers have responsibilities to are seen as weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

No wonder we’re a long way from being able to provide compassionate care to the most vulnerable in our society.

These patterns occur in many professions. Long hours and devotion to work are seen as essential criteria. Rather than living balanced and compassionate lives connected to families, friends and our communities. As we examine how the wealthy live perhaps these values are coming under scrutiny.

So I am pleased that I can unite with other Renew You trainers to buck this trend and offer women safe, nurturing spaces to develop their potential. It is a prerequisite of my Renew You course that lunch,  as well as the time to eat it in, is provided.

 

Recent Work

My new book Using Supervision in Schools is published. I am very pleased that this collaborative effort with Jo Rowe and colleagues in education settings is now in print and available. Training in supervision is also available through In-Trac Training and Consultancy . Please read on to find out more.

Read more

Delighted that this article, co-authored with a fellow In-Trac Associate, Bridget Rothwell, has just been published. We are keen as trainers to keep a dialogue going between practitioners and academics about how supervision continues to be useful in practice and what supports the conditions to be an effective supervisor. I continue to offer supervision training through In-Trac to supervisors working in children’s services, early years and school settings.

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