What key underlying beliefs about people influence me?
I’ve learned that people are generally kind to themselves and others and expect the same in return from those they meet. The fact that Social Work addresses numerous human experiences that don’t bring out the best in others, due to; homelessness, mental health, addictions, social isolation, oppression, discrimination and a wide variety of micro and macro issues of different forms that somehow mask or cover over a person’s intrinsic kindness. After working with a host of different people I continue to believe people are kind.
As a role, I see my role as an influencer or of some inspiration to those who need it most. When I work with individual’s I remember that inside this person, no matter the circumstances I meet them in, is a basic human being able to care for themselves and others. I base this on a spiritual belief that I’ve experienced in life, that each of us has in internal quality that exists, whether we acknowledge or not.
Think about each of us having a little spark inside of us, a small flickering light and despite any differences between us, I try to have my flickering light, my spark talk to that other person’s flickering light, talking right past their human pain experienced in these moments. It’s by talking to this part of another person I can reach them and inspire them to believe they can change. It’s an interesting perspective to have, one I’ve had for many years now that I use regularly.
What key underlying beliefs about work teams influence me?
I’ve worked in a wide variety of work teams, both non-social work and social work related. I’ve observed and witnessed some horrific bullying and harassment in the workplace, including social work worksites. As a follower of other leaders, I’ve tried to excel at what I do, to carry a significant amount of the burden by following a few actions. I volunteer for jobs no one else wants. I see myself as being able to make a difference in some way – I don’t even have to know how I’m going to make a difference but if I apply myself, learn the role and its functions I know I can meet goals and follow timelines. Doing this, I’ve learned odd jobs no one else takes the time to learn but I have and it has been noticed by my leaders; both positively in that they can assign me work and I get it done to negatively, in that some leaders have been intimidated by my approach and seek to demean and minimize me as I am a threat to their sense of security. I’ve kept hard work, patience, tolerance of others and fairness or justice in my thoughts as I deal with various people in the workplace.
As a leader, I’ve tried to create teams similar to those I worked well in, where creative ideas are supported, critical thinking is encouraged so we can all learn what action is best. I’ve cultivated supervisees to grow personally in their self-awareness and professionally in viewing themselves as an integral part of case planning and execution of tasks to reach successes. It truly is an amazing experience to cultivate new professional identities to excel, challenge themselves, and even surpass me in their determination, insights, goals and skills.
I’m told repeatedly I am a good supervisor. Each time I am I give them my boss’s name and phone number and invite them to call her and tell her what they see in me. I’ve watched workers grow beyond the social work front-line to change careers, get graduate level degrees, take on higher responsibilities with confidence and self-awareness in their strengths and capabilities.
My current work as a supervisor is based on two features, one is a clear one-to-one dyadic supervisory relationship with each staff member that allows privacy, trust and engagement with each other, openness to challenge, to change. I combine this with team goals being established matching our agency’s strategic goals and how we work together as a group, supporting each other and asking for support when needed.