Have you ever tried to resist change? It’s hard work, takes a lot of effort, and is exhausting. Our lives change almost constantly, not always in big ways, but in small and subtle ways. People’s lives change, their needs, choices, wishes, and preferences change. In social care, we work with people all day, every day, so we always encounter changes. So, how about we learn to not just live with change but to embrace it too? With a shift in perspective, we can begin to identify the opportunities change presents. These opportunities could not only improve the lives of those individuals who we support, but our staff too.
Hindsight ~ Foresight
How often do we reflect on our lives and significant changes that we have experienced, only to realise that it all worked out ok? Perhaps something didn’t go so well, but we value the life experience that helped us to build more resilience going forwards. Very little that happens in our lives that has no value. Are we willing to be honest enough to reflect on experiences and appreciate what we learned from them? We say, ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’, so what if we could use that hindsight and turn it into ‘foresight’ instead? Is that possible? Very much so.
A ‘win-win’ attitude
If you think about it, life would be pretty strange if things didn’t change. It might even be boring, unfulfilling and purposeless. It is true to say that change isn’t always for the better, but the value of change isn’t necessarily always in improving things on the outside. A change in attitude or a different approach can be life-changing, and such changes often arise from adversity. How often have you heard someone talk about the challenges they have faced in their lives and how they have become stronger as a result? We could therefore approach change in an entirely positive frame, using hindsight as foresight with the realisation that if changes are positive, then great, but if not, we can learn something important. So in this scenario, the worst thing that can happen is that we learn something. We can develop a ‘win-win’ attitude to change and when we do, something interesting happens – we find that we are more relaxed because we are not hampered by the fear that there is something to lose. What is more, when we are liberated from the fear of things going wrong, we make fewer mistakes.
Social care organisations are by necessity, constantly working with ever-changing scenery – it is therefore important that we become adept at managing change efficiently and effectively, maximising the opportunities presented. On a personal level, it makes a huge difference to our lives when we learn to embrace change rather than fight it. Equally, where an organisation has developed a culture of meeting change positively, they are usually at least one step ahead of the game. The fact is if we are resistant to change we are likely to miss opportunities to take the next step, which may be to the detriment of those who access our services and our staff.
Leading Change, Improving Care
Skills for Care have recognised the importance of supporting social care organisations to positively embrace change and has developed their ‘Leading Change Improving Care’ (LCIC) course to offer new and experienced managers practical skills that include increasing personal effectiveness, improving time management and how to reach those staff that are resistant to change. ‘Leading Change Improving Care’ focuses on the skills needed to lead and manage change, to drive change with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of care and hence the quality of life for those who use services.
As a Skills for Care Centre of Excellence, Grey Matter Learning is an endorsed provider of the ‘Leading Change Improving Care’ programme. Our team of facilitators all have an extensive background working in the social care sector and it is our passion to offer high-quality and cost-effective learning and development with our primary focus on supporting ongoing improvements in the sector. The social care sector is facing some of the biggest challenges in its history and to meet those challenges, significant change is inevitable.
Let’s face it, we cannot improve the quality of care, support and service and with that the quality of life for those who use our services, without making changes and so let’s embrace change for the improvements it can bring. Change is here to stay ~ let’s do all we can to work with it and make the most of the opportunities it offers.