The Power to Change my Life

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 Ali’s story…

The programme challenged me and showed me that I can look at things from a completely different perspective. It gave me freedom. Freedom to think differently and be different.

The Power to Change My Life

“When the Transformational Leadership Programme started, I was expecting yet another “Death by PowerPoint” experience, said Ali Lyons. “I can remember thinking “oh lovely, another training course.” I thought it would be all about strategies for improving my leadership skills. But it wasn’t. The programme was enlightening, scary, great… and nothing like I was expecting.”

Ali is an Operations Manager at Somerset Care. She explained why she found the programme so unlike anything she had expected before:

“I have worked in social care for the whole of my adult life. I have studied, read and experienced a lot, but I had never experienced anything quite like this. The programme challenged me and showed me that I can look at things from a completely different perspective. It gave me freedom. Freedom to think differently and be different.”

 

Being Different

“At work there is often a focus on problem-solving. The effect of this can be anxiety and tension.  InterBe taught me that it is possible to be a different way. In every situation, you can step back and ask yourself “Is this really true? How could I think differently about this?” Your way of thinking, talking and being can enable you to experience things in a completely different way. This approach opens up all kinds of possibilities that were not there before. ”

 

Working Together in a Positive Way

In the workplace, Ali has used what she learned on the programme to handle a challenging relationship with a colleague:

“I was finding this particular person very difficult. The programme gave me the opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings that I didn’t even know I had. We were told to “be curious” in every situation. That really stuck with me. I decided to be curious about what was really going on for this person. This allowed me to connect with them in a way that I hadn’t been able to do before. I expected to feel angry or out of control but I didn’t experience any of that. We resolved the problem in a way that I didn’t think was possible and we are now working together in a really positive way.”

An Hallelujah Moment

Ali admits that participating in the programme was emotional at times. She describes the experience of crying on the first day of the programme as “an hallelujah moment”:

“The first day of the programme was something I will never forget. I experienced such a release of emotion that I burst into tears, but I was amazed that it felt completely OK. The course gave me the space to think differently, talk differently, get upset and be in a scary place. We were asked to keep a journal of our experiences and the first thing I wrote in my journal was “thoughtfulness”.

Ali began practicing what she had learned within days of the programme:

“One of the things we learned was about being in the moment. I practiced that in the first week when I went to a meeting that I was not really prepared for. I decided to be completely present and by being that way I really connected with the other person. We had a fantastic conversation and I left the meeting thinking “wow, this stuff really works.”

More Meaningful Conversations

Ali believes the programme has taught her to be more open and curious with people. Being this way allows her to see different things in people and to ask different questions. “I am practicing this even with the people I know really well. By looking beyond the façade you have different and more meaningful conversations. At work I am having more genuine interactions with people. There is a lot of intense listening going on. I believe that many of us are hearing things we wouldn’t have heard before. We understand more about where other people are coming from. This is really helpful, particularly in tricky situations.”

Off-the-Wall

She concludes: “I’ve always found Somerset Care to be a person-centred company and it is quite something that they have invested in a programme like this for us. It is off-the-wall and exciting. It takes you way out of your comfort zone.

“This programme has transformed me. I no longer over-think things or over-analyse. I go into situations with an open mind and don’t try and control things. The relationships I have with others are changing for the better as I now have a better understanding of where people are coming from. Above all, it has taught me that I have the power to change my life.”

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