Tag Archives: social care

Podcast Episode 083: A Staff Strengths Framework

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we help to develop and nurture our primary resource, our individual staff? The research tells us we spend too much time trying to fix their weaknesses, and not nearly enough identifying and exploiting their unique gifts and talents.

A motivated workforce is a profitable workforce, so it makes sense from the personal and business development angles to spend more time developing strengths-based resources.

In this episode I examine some of the questions and steps from strengths literature that reinforce the use of the Strengths Assessment tool outlined in the previous episode. Mike Pegg draws together a useful list of reflections on why we achieved in the past, and how we can nurture success in the future. Marcus Buckingham offers a 6-step process for helping individual’s to develop their personal strengths statements, and to exploit strengths whilst managing weaknesses.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes & Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/083-staff-strengths-framework/id867043694?i=356270234&mt=2

“The idea of recognising your strengths and using them in as versatile a way as you can is cool to me.” [Frank Ocean]

Podcast Episode 082: Staff Strengths Assessments

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we develop the potential of our individual staff members? We are all individual’s with unique abilities, interests, drives and motivations; but do we really spend time identifying and nurturing these?

The Gallup organisation research suggests that the most successful leaders and businesses do, but the majority are still focused more on fixing flaws and weaknesses. A focus on developing and exploiting strengths makes good business sense, so the question is how to go about doing it.

In this episode I outline the structure and approach of the Practice Based Evidence Staff Strengths Assessment tool. Exploring values, collaborations, creativity, team working and knowledge base. This tool has been accepted as an invaluable addition (or even preferred replacement) for traditional organisational appraisal systems. If it’s staff development you genuinely want to achieve this tool will be a valuable addition to any toolkit.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes & Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/082-staff-strengths-assessments/id867043694?i=355718153&mt=2

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” [Marilyn dos Savant]

Podcast Episode 081: How to recover our staff

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2With all the expectations placed on providing excellent service to clients how can we truly expect staff to value others when they don’t feel valued themselves? So, the concept of a strengths assessment should apply equally to staff members as it does to their work with clients.

In this episode I explore some of the key messages from the wide-ranging Gallup organisation’s strengths research. The focus is on why we should pay more attention to developing individual potentials, and less to fixing weaknesses. I also explore those feelings we experience when we are engaged in activity that is most likely connected to our real strengths and talents.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes & Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/081-how-to-recover-our-staff/id867043694?i=355718154&mt=2

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” [Barbara Bush]. 

Podcast Episode 079: How can we ‘do’ recovery?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In recent episodes I have explored the meaning of recovery and concluded that I fully support the original intentions of its service user creators, but despair at the corporate take-over and misappropriation of a good idea. I have also explored how the ‘can do’ strengths approach lends practical reality to the conceptual language of recovery. But how does recovery happen in practice?

In this episode I explore some of the resistance that it, and most new concepts, confront alongside the challenges within a deep-rooted culture that need to change in order to provide the conditions for these good ideas to flourish. I also explore the tools that have been created to implement recovery, but argue in favour of choice if we are to inhabit the service user’s life with the trappings of bureaucracy. Finally, I identify recovery as yet another concept where family/carers express concerns at feeling like they are an afterthought in the discussion of what happens in the delivery of a service.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/079-how-can-we-do-recovery/id867043694?i=355718152&mt=2

“Recovery is something you have to work on every single day, and it’s something that doesn’t get a day off.” [Demi Lovato].

 

Podcast Episode 078: Making sense of recovery

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Having explored the concept of recovery in the previous episode I concluded that I fully support the original service users’ intentions but despair at the corporate take-over of manifestly good ideas in order to decorate their own complex and confused way of going about things.

As a realist I have to accept that recovery has become a leading mantra headlining the development of 21st century mental health services, but I struggle with the degree of confusion expressed by so many practitioners who would rather not be asked to describe what it actually means. What does the Strengths Approach lend to this set of circumstances?

In this episode I compare the language of the principles of recovery with the practical ‘doing it’ approach offered by the strengths movement. We can sit around and talk about conceptualisations as long as we like, but at some point someone has to do something, and that is where the strengths approach comes into its own.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes or Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/078-making-sense-of-recovery/id867043694?i=353576161&mt=2

“I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures.” [Gail Caldwell].

Podcast Episode 077: What is recovery?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2‘Recovery’ can simply be described as to regain, get back or restore something which has been lost, but in health and social care services we don’t tend to go for the simple and straight forward, particularly when confused and complicated are on offer.

I fully support the concept of recovery, as it was originally identified by service users, but I despair at how easily those in power feel able to misappropriate good ideas to dress up their otherwise complex demands. Now I tend to see recovery as something designed by service users, hijacked by commissioners, managers and politicians, and crashed by practitioners.

In this episode I explore how a uniquely personal and individual concept of great merit and purpose has become subsumed into the corporate world of strategic direction, and subsequently lost in translation. The original pioneers foretold in warnings of how the concept will lose its power when it becomes systematised, but the world of bureaucracy is not known for heeding warnings, particularly if they don’t appeal to the perpetual need to homogenise the individual experience.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/077-what-is-recovery/id867043694?i=353576160&mt=2

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.” [Anne Lamott].

Podcast Episode 071: Sarah’s Story

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Person centred planning is a concept well established in learning disability services, with a clear set of principles, broad questions, tools and methods for capturing plans. But, what does it really look like in practice?

In this episode I narrate a detailed case example from a service I had been involved in developing. This case study of Sarah (not her real name) highlights not just the challenges of diagnosed multiple conditions, but also the barriers that have to be overcome in getting your close sources of support to change in order to achieve your desired wishes. Some of Sarah’s presentation is undoubtedly challenging, but this episode explains how they have been accommodated and overcome with creative thinking, as well as illustrating the process happening in practice.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/071-sarahs-story/id867043694?i=350141737&mt=2

“I was diagnosed with a severe temporal spatial deficit, a learning disability that means I have zero spatial relations skills. It was official: I was a genius trapped in an idiot’s body.” [Sloane Crosley].

Podcast Episode 070: Person Centred Planning

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2The strengths approach is all about being person-centred, but the concept of person-centred planning is much more closely associated with learning disability services. It is about ensuring the individual’s needs, wants and personal choices are paramount; and that the role of workers is to listen and learn from the individual in order to shape service responses to meet the priorities expressed.

In this episode I outline the historical development of person-centred planning, its 4 principles, 2 broad questions, 4 specific tools, the ‘circle of care’, and the outcomes represented occasionally by the ‘Personal Book’ or ‘One-Page Profile’. I also review some of the examples of how it is best implemented, and what the critics have to say about whether it really works or not.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/070-person-centred-planning/id867043694?i=348334288&mt=2

“If a child is labeled as having a learning disability, it has very concrete consequences for the kinds of services and potentially accommodations that child will get.” [Robert Sternberg].

Podcast Episode 069: Strengths-Based Reviews

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Whether it is the occasional personal reflection or the more structured process in service delivery, we all review our progress from time to time. The purpose is to check in on the progress of our plans and actions towards the achievement of our priorities and goals, and just occasionally to check how we are managing lifes crises.

In UK mental health service the process has become known as the Care Programme Approach (CPA) since 1991. A simple set of indisputable principles were quickly transformed into practices that leave a lot to be desired. The power of a bureaucratic administrative stranglehold has never been more clearly illustrated than in the case of reviews by audited target setting. ‘Person-centred’ is a smoke and mirrors claim for something purposely designed to make services look good on a balance-sheet.

In this episode I outline how the genuine intention of person-centred review can be regained through a visionary, strengths-based and creative approach to individual reviews. It includes a series of questions we should all be constantly asking of ourselves in order to stay on the person-centred track. A Strengths Approach applies equally to people and the processes we come to wrap them up in.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/069-strengths-based-reviews/id867043694?i=348334287&mt=2

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” [Carl Rogers].

Podcast Episode 068: Working with Strengths Case Study

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Working with Strengths is a consistent process of identifying strengths through a strengths assessment, leading to the identification of personal priorities. These priorities become the separate strengths-based support plans, but the identified strengths also apply in managing crises and concerns.

In this episode this whole process is illustrated through the details of the case study of Aluna, an African lady arriving in London at a young age, but the victim of horrendous abuses. The case study illustrates how the initial information we receive sets up a very narrow and generally negative picture of a person. Time is the ultimate requirement in order to encourage someone to build trust and engage with services that can be of help and support. The process of engaging trust is most successfully achieved through a focus on a person’s capabilities, not by just keeping them focused on the problems and difficulties they experience.

Aluna was very clear what she wanted, and how she could work with certain services to achieve her aims, but both she and the services held concerns that a strengths approach can also be adapted to resolve.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/068-working-strengths-case/id867043694?i=348334286&mt=2

“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” [Abraham Maslow].