• Profile picture of Mary Beth Lepkowsky

    Mary Beth posted an update in the group Group logo of Implement and Lead Person Centered PracticesImplement and Lead Person Centered Practices 7 months ago

    Hi everyone, I’ve been working with a nonprofit to implement person-centered change. I’ve been collecting some change readiness data during our initiative and one of the interesting findings so far (surveyed 150 employees so far) is that employees are personally motivated to implement person-centered change, and they indicate that their supervisors, managers, and executive leadership support person-centered change. They also indicate that they believe the organization is committed to sustaining person-centered change over time. This is all great!! The one area they are scoring low on the change assessment is for the statement: ” My teammates support person-centered change.”

    I find it so interesting that while individual employees report being personally motivated to implement the change, there is a perception that their peers are not. Through the coaching support work, I’ll be working with supervisors and coaches to really look at the culture of teams in the organization and give supervisors support around starting to build in opportunities to talk about the emerging person-centered change during regular staff meetings and other opportunities. They’ll want to create a safe space for staff to discuss, practice, and learn from one another.

    I’m interested in hearing how others have supported teams to create that safe space, helping staff move from having a perception that their peers aren’t supportive, to a place of shared commitment. What would you try?

    • I’ve struggled with this myself and found that sharing stories are powerful. Stories, if shared appropriately (and with permission) can motivate, teach, and let others realize they are not alone. Stories of success can also give people the “win” they need to truly believe that change is possible.

      Currently, at our organization, when I hear or see stories of success, I encourage people to share it with the Board of Directors. This leads to our leaders maintaining their positive outlook and gives the people involved a chance to brag about what they were apart of.

      We’ve also shared these stories with the staff via email. It sends them a powerful message of “them not being alone”. I’ve learned to be careful though. Some people do not like their stories being shared. That is their right and it should be respected. This is why I ask people first, have them tell it in their own words, and support them every step of the way.

      It’s also important to share the failures of our efforts, because failures lead to success if we are persistent. I am very careful with this and share more successes than failures. When I do this, I only use my own failures/mistakes and use it as an example of how I didn’t let it stop me from going through with my ideas. Otherwise, people will shut down and stop sharing things with you. Too many times failures are seen as a negative and people don’t realize it’s actually progress to a solution.

      These are just my thoughts. It works for me, but your results may vary.

      • Great ideas, Wes!

      • Thanks Wesely, are you using a particular story template to help staff collect and tell their stories? If so can you share what you are using? I love your idea of sharing them with the Board of Directors, great job!

        • Hi Mary Beth!

          I tried using a template in the past, but it didn’t work well. The staff and service recipients didn’t realize that they had an awesome story to tell. Too often, it becomes a daily norm. So, the template wasn’t the best option. Instead, I “roam around” and continue building relationships with everyone. Then, through word of mouth I hear about a story and chase down the source. Next, I get the real story (because it’s rarely the same as when you hear it from others) and help them to realize how awesome it is (if they don’t already know) and emphasize the person centered idea/component/thoughts. At this point, I ask them if they want to share it with the Board of Directors. Since this is daunting for the staff and person receiving services, I promise to go with them and help.

          When they go to the Board of Directors Meeting, I have a One Page Profile of the service recipient pulled up, so the Board Members can find more ways to connect with them. The story is shared, and the Board remains energized. This also puts the staff and service recipient in the spotlight, where they deserve to be (if desired). I’ve had some people choose not to share their story personally. When that happens, I have them help me write it out accurately, and I share it with the Board of Directors myself.

          Of course, this helps me to personalize the 2 day training, by incorporating stories that are short, inspiring, and relatable.

          Please note that I am working within an institutional model, so my methods may look different than what others use. While I know the fact we are an “institution” is cringe worthy, we all have to start somewhere… 🙂