Gateways helps our supervisors to develop proactive, positive approaches with peers and direct support professionals, as well as with the individuals we serve. (See PBS Conference Presentation, Chicago, 3/27/08) Some of the ideas discussed thusfar have included:
22. We’re All In This Together...in life, at work, on 1:1 basis Have you noticed that when there is a crisis, people come together? > Remind yourself on a day-to-day basis that everyone has this positive potential inside Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, > Focus on strengths / Raise people up We do operate well as a team: All GTC employees have the common goal of improving the lives of our consumers > Sometimes we disagree; sometimes it is challenging... but we need always to maintain a respect for others-- at some level, they too have committed themselves to work here 21. There is No Tomorrow People often spend too much time thinking about the past and future - We worry about future events / pessimism about what is to come - We regret mistakes we have made / rehash negative events - We’ll be happy when... / reminisce about the “good old days” There needs to be more focus on the present Learning from the past and planning for the future is essential but... much of our thinking is wasteful, cluttering our minds Being in the “here and now” helps us to connect with people, and to be more efficient with our time. Working hard in the present allows us to make small, positive steps toward a future goal.
20. It Is What It Is Accept what you cannot change (e.g., the past, staff shortages) > put energies toward fixing problems rather than rehashing them > focus on what you can do better Accept what you need to change > What we resist, persists: within ourselves, we need to deal with issues rather than deny them Life is full of problems > if we perceive each as a crisis, we get worn down > if each obstacle is met as a challenge, we are uplifted by our abilities when we overcome
19. Repel Negativity • We often “absorb” others’ negative comments rather than “repel” them - we are even more apt to remember the negativity if it is about us > repeated exposure to negativity increases the likelihood we hold on to it, becoming negative ourselves • Sympathize (show compassion) rather than empathize (complain about our own experiences) • Events in the past do not have to impact what you do presently - do not let previous negative interactions affect potentially positive experiences • Awareness is the first step to change: - initially you may think back to a conversation you could have turned around - then you may recognize an opportunity immediately following a conversation - eventually you can work to be positive during a negative interaction ultimately you will proactively address others in a positive fashion and avoid negativity
18. Remember Your ABC’s We all can better analyze and affect others’ behavior by looking at:\ Antecedents: What proactive things can you do to make desirable behaviors more likely? - investing in new staff’s training and guidance will pay off in the future - look for warning signs that motivation may be falling off - create tools (checklists, schedules, reminders) that help with performance Behavior: Which specific actions are you targeting? - avoid generalizing across different people - break down individual behaviors and work on them separately Consequences: What reinforcement is most effective to encourage positive behavior? - do not wait to react to poor performance; focus on proactive measures • Continue to assess our own efficiency to help create more time to dedicate to training and establishing relationships with the team of people with whom we work.
17. Don’t Underestimate Your Power • As people, we have the opportunity to have positive influence on others (e.g., smiles, compliments, family interactions, humor, letting someone in line, etc.) • In supervisory roles, there is natural authority—people look to you for training, guidance approval, reinforcement - seemingly small positive interactions may mean a lot (e.g., a phone call to a O.N. staff who you don’t see much, a compliment on interaction style, etc. * Too often people and situations impede our good intentions REMEMBER: Ultimately, no one or no thing can control your thoughts, words, action if you make up your mind to stay focused on the positive - When faced with adversity, you can chose to be non-reactive / calm / professional...
16. One Step At A Time • Your job (relationship, diet, health, etc.) ultimately consists of the "step" you are taking at the moment - You must give this one step your full attention - What the future holds for you depends on the quality of each step - Your focus on the process will change both you and the outcome • Fight the urge to look too far ahead or get lost in adversity • Stay focused on the mission-- quality lives for the consumers we serve
15. Beware the Fundamental Attribution Error • Fundamental Attribution Error: people have an unjustified tendency to assume that a person's actions depend on what "kind" of person that person is, rather than on the social and environmental forces influencing the person. - For example, a driver who cut you off is a "jerk" in your eyes; whereas if we cut someone else off, we justify that it was just a mistake due to inattention, another car, a bad morning, etc. • We need to combat this natural tendency > If most people behave that way in the same situation, then the situation may be a cause > Ask yourself how you would behave in the same situation. > Look for unseen causes • Awareness is half the battle-- recognizing instances that you do this will help to keep your "jumping to conclusions" about others' personality in check
14. Reinforce, Reinforce / Give Feedback / Reinforce, Reinforce • Our primary goal is providing quality services for our consumers; Improving staff morale / motivation / satisfaction will directly impact this goal. • If we want to positively affect others' behavior, our best chance is to reward good behavior - For every bit of (negative) feedback we need to give, there should be 4 reinforcing statements • If you have difficulty finding behavior to reinforce: - Look to small, personalized compliments / conversation (e.g., clothes, personality, family, etc.) - Create tasks that you know others can successfully complete - Elicit ideas and give credit to others
13. Frustration is Just a Word • All people ultimately have control of their own thoughts, emotions and (of course) words - we determine the kind and amount of influence outside stressors have on us -knowing that we are in control can decrease negative behaviors, and lead to positive action • When we really analyze those situations which make us "frustrated", often it is our own shortcomings that increase emotion - For example, we may question if we have adequately trained a staff person, as we complain about their incompetence - It is difficult to be honest with ourselves, but if we are, there can be increased clarity in appropriately dealing with a problem 12. Positivism Overcomes Adversity • Especially in difficult times, it's important to focus on positive aspects to maintain good attitudes - if we likely need to ask more of ourselves and others, we all need to be even more motivated • Many times, a common focus can bring people together - if we reflect on tough times, in our lives, often beneficial lessons or relationships originated • Try to focus on proactive methods to minimize effects of budget cuts 11. Reinforcement Controls Behavior • Positive Reinforcement- an event that causes the behavior to increase in frequency (or likelihood) • Punishment- an event that causes the behavior to decrease in frequency (or likelihood of occurrence) • When you break down everyone's routine behaviors, most individual actions are heavily influenced by how much (or how little) they are reinforced. - As adults, we typically prefer to be uplifted (reinforced) rather than criticized (punished) > When we establish relationships (or supervise others), we cannot just assume that others should be "self- motivated" to act conscientiously / responsibly (or to perform job responsibilities) without some source of reinforcement. ... and it is not reinforcement if it is not effective.
10. We All Make Up Our Agency • We are all responsible for this agency / our programs / the staff we oversee / consumers - initiative, creativity, dependability, commitment will always be rewarded - improved job performance / satisfaction will likely improve overall happiness • Don't expect things to change if you continue to do the same things. - sometimes bringing a little something new to a situation helps • Use the New Year as a starting point to make positive changes. - almost 50% of resolutions do succeed! - create a plan immediately; write down the plan; think year round; remain flexible
9. Gratitude will bring more into our lives immediately • Take time to think about positive things that have happened with your program(s). • What have you done to influence these improvements? • Target specific actions you will take going forward to increase positive changes.
8. Be Happy with the Process Tools to help feel happier now (rather than expecting happiness in the future when / if...) : • Appreciation - take time to think about positive things you have • Make Choices - live proactively-- don't wait to see if things go wrong - "unlearn" learned helplessness • Build Personal Power - take responsibility and avoid blame
7. Opening Lines of Communication • Assess how effective you communicate with others - Would you consider yourself approachable? - Does your body language welcome others? - Do you exclude any members of the team? - Are you a good listener? • Try to use "small talk" and humor to start conversations. • Evaluate the methods you use to get your points across. - Does your message get across "loud and clear"? - Do you follow-up conversations with written reminders? - Are written communications reinforced by verbal feedback?
6. Fostering a Sense of Belonging • Feeling a sense of belonging can be a very powerful motivator for staff. - This will lead to others feeling better about themselves, and eventually more responsible for the quality of the program. • Seek out strengths from everyone in your team. - All staff can contribute something positive to the program. - Be willing to listen to ideas from everyone on your team. • Consistently brainstorm new ideas to build your team. - Look for common interests, qualities; research activities to help people to come together
5. Taking Time to Reset Yourself • Focus on what is most important - set priorities and adjust your schedule accordingly - keep a record of how you spend each day > try to improve your efficiency • Spend leisure time with clients / Enjoy accomplishments - don't lose sight that their happiness is our ultimate goal • Expect obstacles and "relapses", but get back to working to succeed - each failure is a learning experience-- you will be better prepared in the future
4. Modeling / Teaching / Reinforcing (Repeat) • Attend to desired behavior 4:1 ratio - Be conscious of the power of reinforcement, opposed to punishment • Use a prompt hierarchy-- try to aim for "errorless" learning - Expect that staff have different strengths, and each have unique learning styles • Target your focus on a specific skill or routine
3. Being Idealistic-- Setting High Expectations • Idealist: somebody who aspires to or lives in accordance with high standards or principles • Being too "practical" can lead to poor performance - If you aim high and goals aren't quite reached, performance will still be better • Don't let others' perspectives or experience deter you - Listen and learn, but make your own plans
2. Seeking Out Strengths • Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with relevant strengths for a particular situation take leadership. • Compete against the situation, not others. • When faced with failure, sometimes it's appropriate to work harder. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy. ...And sometimes it is appropriate to do both. • The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. The activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. (John Schaar)
1. Creating Constructive Conversations • Be Respectful - Be aware of others around you / confidentiality / who needs to know? - Use professional language • Avoid the Fundamental Attribution Error - Don't assume character issues based on isolated events - Give the "benefit of the doubt" sometimes • Search for Solutions - What can you do to help? - How can the agency improve?