You will need to be sensitive and a good awareness of your working environment when working with clients or employees. The needs of the people who use your services will need to be considered. These can include low esteem, fear, diagnosed condition or current circumstances. For example it might not be a good idea to be tackling work related issues when someone is suffering from a crisis. Other needs such as personal problems and financial worries will also need to be considered. Remember that System Theory tell us that people do not go through life as single entities. They are affected by their relations and environment around them.
The most important set of skills we need to have as practitioners is empathy, impartiality, good communication, patience, understanding, knowledge, respect boundaries, professionalism, integrity and a greater appreciation of confidentiality. People who use our services will not respond to you positively if you lack empathy or concern regarding their situation. You will not be effective in your role if people whom you support believe it is just a tick box exercise.
Patience is another important skill you need to have. You should remember that each person responses at different paces. They might require a bit more time to trust you before opening up. It is therefore important that you remain patient. Please do not be patient just in name only as the people you support can read your body language. They can see this on your face.
Good understanding goes hand in hand with being patient. It is important you do not appear to be patronising. It is never a good idea to be telling people about their life. You need to be working with them to solve their own problems or take charge of their situation. Remember your main role is to provide active support rather than do things for the people who use your services as this might create a dependency culture. Your target is to listen and be very understanding.
To be effective you need to ensure you have sufficient knowledge to be in a position to instigate change. Not only should you know the best approach to take. You also need to know the services around you to be in a position to signpost or provide guidance. It is therefore important for you to actively engage in personal development activities to enhance your knowledge. This might involve shadowing more experienced practitioners, reading or attending training.
You need to work with others to ensure different needs can be met. This is the time you also have to be reflective and learn from your experiences. You should also bear in mind the importance of maintaining boundaries with other professionals and the people you support. It is never a good idea to be too much ahead of the services or practice of others. Never a good idea to be over familiar and share your personal details on social media.
Professionalism is a good skill to have. This is also linked with the terms of your employment. You will be expected to work inline within your organisation, professional, local, national and international requirements. This includes being respectful, fair, supportive, inclusive and inspiring. You should not underestimate the tenacity of the people you support. Remember your ultimate aim is to promote resilience and also promote the integrity of your organisation and profession. Do not engage in actions that undermine your role such as airing your own personal views that go against the ethos of your organisation or profession.
The people who use your services will need to be reassured that the information they share with you in private remains confidential. This is particularly important as a means of building trust. You will need to work in line with the procedures of your organisation regarding how information is recorded and shared. Do remember the duty placed on you by GDPR 2016 regulations. Also remember that confidentiality can be broken in cases, which could lead to harm to anyone.
Remember to be helpful, accessible, take time, listen, focus on the positive and assist the people who use your services to instigate changes. Where the support required is beyond your expertise please refer to the appropriate service or professional.
A good worker will aim to have good communication, person centered, good assessment skills to identify needs, supply information or materials, good recording and keeping of information. Ensure your information and materials are up to date. Be holistic and provide a range of options to meet needs. Promote involvement and inclusion. Refer to others especially when needs are beyond your expertise.