11 care home managers from our North West London Homecare Cohort have completed the My Home Life England (MHLE) Leadership Support Programme, enhancing their professional development within the care sector.
We are so proud of this fantastic group of individuals, who all showed huge passion and commitment to supporting their staff and improving quality of life for their residents, through adopting My Home Life techniques to create a positive relationship-centred culture in their care service. The programme was commissioned by The North West London health and care partnership and the group’s lead facilitator was Jude.
The managers started their programme back in April 2019 with three days of leadership support and development. Here the group were firstly able to slow down and reflect on their own practices, as well as having the opportunity to get to know other home care managers in North West London, which they found hugely useful.
To start the training, the facilitators introduced the managers to different My Home Life leadership resources and activities, including picture cards. The group explored the My Home Life themes and guiding principles, as well as the Appreciative Inquiry approach, and how best to use these resources to inspire changes in practice in their local care setting.
It was inspiring to see the positive impact of these My Home Life resources – individuals reported how the cards helped them with personal reflection and expressing emotion, and the MHL themes enabled the group to understand how they could demonstrate the best practice already occurring in their homes, including to show inspectors. The group also liked the Appreciative Inquiry approach, looking for what’s already working well and what might be possible, as opposed to starting from a negative approach. Supporting these managers to articulate the positives also enables them to expand their capacity to see and encourage the strengths in others that they work with. This in turn leads to wider improvements throughout the home.
When asked how the programme could best support the group over the coming months, the overarching emerging theme was to support the group’s own wellbeing and mental health. Through creation of a Whatsapp group, the group quickly developed a strong network of support, necessary because the first three days on the programme had highlighted how challenging, isolating and demanding working in the Homecare sector could be for them. This new opportunity for networking, personal development and support motivated and energised the group.
The managers also participated in Action Learning sets throughout the programme, which likewise had a powerful impact. Action Learning theory recognises that individuals learn best with and from each other, by working and reflecting on real issues and their own experiences with a view to achieving improvement and transformation in the workplace. Participating in action learning sets helped to validate the managers’ personal experiences as well as helping them to notice the changes that were collectively occurring.
During the September Action Learning sets, managers were invited to reflect on the comment “I used to…”, which further demonstrated positive difference:
- “I used to… jump in and solve issues without letting my staff do it in case they d[id] it wrong, I now coach them [and] mentor them to do it themselves”
- “I used to… talk a lot but now I listen & reflect and stay positive”
- “I used to… get frustrated, I now take a time out and take 10 breaths before responding”
- “I used to… not listen as much as I should … now I listen to staff more”
Further feedback of the My Home Life programme was very encouraging overall, with managers openly sharing their thoughts and observations – including a positive view of the My Home Life exercises and the facilitator’s style, as well as the opportunity to meet other managers.
“The facilitators were patient and supportive, I feel very relaxed and happy. I have learnt a lot of new techniques as to how to manage my team and to relate with others. I’ve learnt how to work in a professional way and how to separate work from family time.”
The lead facilitator, Jude, said:
“It has been an honour, pleasure and a privilege to work with the Homecare managers in this set. Their individual and group qualities of courage, determination, commitment and compassion has been palpable throughout the whole programme. They have shown great passion, honesty and a willingness to be vulnerable and to explore difficult and challenging territories. Yet they have still remained curious, open and positive to embrace new ideas and possibilities.
“It has been inspiring to watch them grow together, to open up and to trust each other, to become more empowered and to be able to ask for change and help. I know each one will leave this programme with a better understanding of themselves (and others) and a deeper self-belief in what they can and have achieved. “
Congratulations to the group!