The SCCR have just successfully completed our 3 day Untangling The Knots skills course for practitioners in Kilmarnock. For all those who attended thanks for a great course. At the plenary the participants were asked what they have taken from the course and there was one that certainly made me reflect that little bit more about the human side of engaging with services and agencies.
What I got from the feedback was the way that participants were first introduced - not with their designation or work remit but with saying something about them, their lifestyle, family or likes - made the whole course that much more friendly and relaxed: they were able to relate to one another on a personal level, rather than professional.
This highlighted that some of the barriers to engagement and communication are the labels and titles we are given or we give ourselves, and in particular when there is stress, mistrust, fear and apprehension in the room. What was so impactful for this participant was that upon introduction, the perception of authority, professionalism and status was not there to be feared. Consequently when they did start talking to people they were speaking to a Susan or a Paul or a Viv, and not a social worker or a teacher or support worker. This for that person allowed them to interact and communicate more easily person to person, rather than to a representative of a service or profession. My question is, how many services and agencies apply this practice when engaging with their service users, whether in a formal or informal setting? If you do, how effective is it? If you don’t, why not? Give it try. Let me know your thoughts.