A New Management Style

Somerset Care Success Stories

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 Verity’s story…

Verity’s Story – A New Management Style

Verity Underhill is an Operations Manager responsible for six nursing homes. During a long career in the care sector, she has received extensive training in psychology, counselling and other therapeutic approaches. But, she admits that the Transformational Leadership Programme has brought something new and unexpected to her life.

The programme has made me look at the way I manage people and re-evaluate my whole management style. I’ve always been open and honest, but I have also tended to be rather autocratic. If one of the home managers was facing a problem, I would jump in and try to solve it.

Now though, instead of going down my familiar, practiced route, my new approach is to say: “so, how are you going to deal with that?” I use the reframing techniques we’ve learned to look through and beyond what people are saying and to support them to make choices for themselves. In one home in particular, this has led to a great improvement in the relationship I have with the manager. We have more constructive discussions, I am no longer trying to problem-solve for her and I don’t take things personally. In response, I’m finding her far more approachable.”
Manager-Verity--Underhill

Verity believes that the programme is also having an impact across the organisation as a whole. “I am really happy working here but it felt to me like the senior managers had lost direction over the last year. Since we’ve been doing the programme, it feels as though we’re getting back on track. We are no longer fragmenting but coming together and all pulling in the same direction again. For me, the way the group has changed as a whole is the best thing about the programme.”

 

The changing group dynamic is reflected in Verity’s relationship with her line manager. “Before the programme started, I was finding her management style really challenging and was actually planning to leave the company. But, over the last few weeks she has changed beyond recognition. I feel that she listens to us now, she supports us and she values us. Far from leaving, I am now planning to stay on beyond my proposed retirement date. This has been a massive shift.”

One of the most powerful things about the Transformational Leadership Programme, according to Verity, is its focus on seeing the real person beneath the workplace facade: “I’ve been in this job for a long time and you think you know the people you work with. This has shown me that I don’t and the face people put on at work isn’t the “real” them. I’ve been really surprised at the level of sharing and disclosure that has taken place within the group. It has completely changed our relationships. Work is now a very different place to be. On a personal level, I am also benefitting hugely. It is helping me to make some really important decisions in my life.”

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