No Longer Taking Things Personally

In October 2014, InterBe launched a Transformational Leadership Programme for Somerset Care. The organisation was facing challenges with staff turnover and was looking for ways to extend the length of service of frontline care staff. It was keen to improve communication and encourage more empowering conversations between managers and frontline staff. It had been through a period of transition and wanted to improve cohesion in the management team and support the development of empowered leadership.

Ultimately, its aim was to create real and lasting organisational change and to engender a new culture built on qualities such as respect, compassion, trust, empathy and fairness.

InterBe created a transformational training programme backed by one-to-one Narrative Coaching. The impact across the organisation was huge.

This is Carol Mohide’s story…

This programme taught me how to deal with the problems I was facing and, crucially, it taught me not to take things personally. I realised that I wasn’t responsible for the situation I found myself in, and realising this helped me to cope with it much better. Since doing the programme, I have a better work/life balance and no longer routinely work in the evenings and at weekends as I was doing before. As a result I am much calmer and less snappy.

“By the second session, the transformational leadership programme had changed my life,” said Carol Mohide who is an Operations Manager overseeing six homes as well as Purchasing Manager for the whole of Somerset Care. “It is no exaggeration to say that it has changed the way I deal with just about everything.”

Calmer

“Six months ago I was completely stressed out by a situation at work. I had lost a stone in just two weeks, I wasn’t sleeping and everything was getting on top of me. This programme taught me how to deal with the problems I was facing and, crucially, it taught me not to take things personally. I realised that I wasn’t responsible for the situation I found myself in, and realising this helped me to cope with it much better. Since doing the programme, I have a better work/life balance and no longer routinely work in the evenings and at weekends as I was doing before. As a result I am much calmer and less snappy.”

The transformation in Carol is impacting those around her in a positive way. She is more supportive to the managers she works with and has been careful to reassure them that, like her, they are not responsible for problems outside their control.

 

Supportive

“They are facing the same stresses as me and I want them to feel supported,” explained Carol. “I’ve let them know that they can talk to me at any time and I make sure that I say thank you for the contribution they make. There is a commitment within the team to get to the heart of what the real problems are and address them. For example, the manager of one of my homes was struggling so I arranged for another manager to go into the home and support her. The difference it made was significant. We’ve also put an end to gossiping. It can be so vicious and can quickly escalate. Everyone feels a lot more positive since we’ve made the decision to stop it.”

Carol admits that the transformational leadership programme was challenging at times. She found it particularly hard to open up about herself in front of the group as it made her feel vulnerable. However, she recognises that there is real value in sharing in this way: “Some of these people I have worked with for years. You realise you don’t know them, not really, and by understanding more about them and yourself, the workplace starts to feel very different.”

Confident

She believes that Somerset Care has changed for the better since the programme. She explains that people are now more willing to talk more and there is greater level of openness and honesty. On a personal level, she now feels confident to challenge her senior managers and is empowered to say no when she is unable to do something, in a way that she could not have done before. “Previously I would rearrange my diary to accommodate my boss. Now, I feel that it’s OK to say no and to say what works for me and what doesn’t. It is very empowering and, in me being different I have allowed him to be different too.”

Carol still writes in her journal regularly about what has been happening and the situations she has approached differently.  This practice that was introduced on the programme. “I’ve found it very helpful,” said Carol. “It keeps me on course and shows me what I am doing well and when I could do things differently. I’ve also particularly liked having a buddy who I can talk to honestly about what is going on. Tom and I have probably not spoken as much as I’d have liked, but we do still speak regularly and I have got to know someone from a different part of the company who I would not, otherwise, have really spoken to.”

 

Another Perfect Day

It is more than 27 years since Carol joined Somerset Care and she is now feeling reinvigorated and re-engaged in the organisation. “Before this programme started, I must admit, I was looking at job ads. Now I am enjoying my job again. The programme was not at all what I expected but I have gained so much from it. It has changed my life, both at work and at home. My favourite saying that I repeat all the time now is “tomorrow is another perfect day.”

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