Five posters straight from the heart of the Strengths Approach
In the hurley-burley of daily work with the ever-present ‘To Do’ list, it can be easy to lose track of the principles and values that guide good practice. Right in the midst of a supervision session, or when we are about to meet with a family or someone struggling with mental illness—that’s when we might most appreciate some strong and practical reminders.
Enter the tried and true, the humble yet mighty … POSTER!
Now available to order is a set of five striking posters that contain powerful reminders of good practice. Good things come in smaller packages, as the saying goes. At A4 size these posters are compact—they won’t take up too much room on busy notice boards or office walls, or in workplace kitchens, meeting rooms and reception areas.
Each poster focusses on a different subject including …
This poster challenges us to reflect on strengths-based ways of record keeping. It asks seven pivotal questions including: Are our records about people not cases? Are they co-constructed by clients and staff? Are they accessible to clients? Such questions set off a train of reflections and remind us that how we keep records has the capacity to fundamentally change power dynamics and therefore the service we offer (‘case’ notes no more!).
Do you give or receive supervision? Whichever role you find yourself in, here is a set of 12 great questions that can help guide strengths-based supervision. Grab one or two of the questions from the poster just as you are about to begin a session or right in the middle of it, if you need a quick burst of inspiration. Questions include: What are my best hopes for this session? What is the first question I would like to be asked? What would I like to know? What would clients like me to ask? Is there an elephant in the room we should acknowledge?
3/ PEOPLE NOT CASES – CONTRIBUTORS NOT CLIENTS
When we label people, we limit and even denigrate them. A label does not take account of the fullness of who a person is—their strengths, stories, struggles, capacities, skills and potential. This poster challenges labels we may take for granted. It asks how practice could be different if we changed the way we see people, and the words we use to describe them. It is crucial to remember that even though someone may be accessing a service, they are first and foremost a person, not a case. Even though they may be doing it tough at present, they are a contributor to their families, friends and communities in ways that may be invisible to us (or even themselves) right now.
Are you able to give feedback in ways that others are more likely to hear? Or do you avoid giving feedback? Are you able to extract learning from the feedback you receive? Or do you prickle and close down when someone gives you feedback? Does your organisation promote and celebrate a culture of feedback? Giving and receiving feedback well are certainly very useful skills, and ones that need regular honing. Here are a set of very good questions to keep in mind as you prepare to give or receive feedback.
5/ WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
As a human service worker, have you ever finished a conversation with a family, young person or individual and wondered why things went so differently to how you’d planned? Did the interaction seem to ‘come apart at the seams’? Did emotions and unexpected reactions—yours or other people’s—run high? Or have you ever come out of a team meeting, a workshop, a classroom, a supervision session or even a job interview and wondered, ‘What just happened?’ Here is a poster with 12 great questions to help us navigate challenging interactions with others and extract the learning that lies within these occasions.
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