How to Maintain Your Mojo!

Does your staff face day to day challenges to their sense of enjoyment of the service you provide to the clients?

Throughout the year, do you notice ups and downs in staff members coping with these challenges?

Are you seeking ways to enhance your whole staff’s learning about options for maintaining mojo?

Maintaining Your Mojo emerged from the convergence of two streams of work with teams facing challenging human service work.

At Positive Creative Solutions Nick Burnett & Drew Allison have been working with a range of services, mainly through the Team-Teach behaviour support approach, to help these services better support staff to better support clients. As former Principals who have worked in a wide range of school environments. They both have many years’ experience in training and facilitation.

pAul Montgomery & David Lees of Unique Outcomes are social workers with many years’ experience working with staff in emergency services, mental health and child protection services to strengthen their skills for becoming resilient in responding to the challenges of their work. They share a commitment to developing collaborative ways of approaching human service work.

During 2016 these streams converged in a pilot project with Nambour Special School. The intention was to create prototype “tools” to be used by colleagues in various roles to share reflections on practice in challenging situations as a way to enhance their sense of “felt professional support”.

Following shadowing, consultation and training lead Mojo trainers with staff in various roles (teacher aides, teachers and leaders) these tools have been road-tested by staff of Nambour Special School where there have been positive effects on staff well-being as can be seen with the feedback below.

To ascertain the impacts of Mojo Maintenance Training on staff members sense of ability to control or influence their own mojo levels, they were invited to indicate levels pre and post the use of the MM tools according to the following scale:

1 “I don’t reckon I have much control or influence over my ‘mojo’, it’s almost all about what happens from moment to moment”,

5- “I have some control or influence over my mojo; I’m actively paying attention to this and have figured out some ways of getting my mojo back when times are tough”,

10 — “I usually know how to get my mojo back when things are tough and I am consciously sticking to my mojo-development plans”

Results indicate an average of 6.3 pre the MM tools and an average of 8.5 after introduction of the MM tools, suggesting a significant improvement in the average level of staff members sense of control or influence over their level of mojo.

To ascertain the impacts of MMT on staff members sense of felt professional support, they were invited to indicate levels pre and post the use of the MM tools according to the following scale:

1 — “I’m on my own in this tricky role; no one else seems at all interested in how I’m going or the level of my “mojo” for this challenging work”, through

5 — “I’m getting support from people who are interested in how I’m going and this makes a difference on average about half the time”, to

10 –“I’ve usually got a strong sense there are people around who’re interested in how I’m going and who know how to support me in meaningful ways that make a difference.”

Results indicate an average of 6.7 pre the MM tools and an average of 8.8 after introduction of the MM tools, suggesting a significant improvement in the average level of felt professional support.

These results are supported by comments collected from staff members, e.g.


‘Confident I’m fully supported and now know how to support all my colleagues regardless of personal relationship’

‘Increased self-awareness of fluctuations within a day and how to improve my mojo’

Teacher Aides

‘Has made me more mindful of my own wellbeing at the end of a day’

‘Helps me not to dwell on things as much’

‘Definitely makes a difference using the tools. When used it helps bring positive vibes to staff and students’.

Team Leader

“Since implementing the MOJO program, I feel like I’ve seen a lift in staff wellness — especially at communal places / times of day e.g., the Bus Stop in the afternoon, and at Staff Meetings. It seems like people are generally ‘lighter’ and more positive. I think there is an increase in positive talking among colleagues and less negative talk. Staff have told me they feel like they are more valued by administration, as compared to before we implemented the MOJO program.

Outcomes from the training

Mojo Maintenance Training is designed to enable participants to train colleagues back in their setting in the use of “peer reflective practice” tools to help staff support each other in:

- taking stock of the impacts of the challenging situations they face daily, and

- sharing ongoing learning about their own resilience and self-regulation.

By undertaking MMT with staff back in their school, participants will support colleagues to:

- create mutually supportive learning alliances that prioritise collaborative practice-focused discussion and experimentation,

- have a sense of ownership of an agreed structure for sharing reflections following challenging situations,

- feel a stronger sense of shared responsibility for working out how to address recurring challenges associated with students’ behaviours

- experience a stronger sense of “felt professional support”

- be clearer about the ingredients of their most successful ways of responding to challenging behaviour

The success of this pilot has made us confident to extend an invitation to other schools interested in embarking on Mojo Maintenance Training process. We are also keen to follow a similar process with other organisations to develop Mojo Maintenance Training and Tools relevant to their work settings.

If your interested then please get in touch with either:

Nick Burnett: Mobile: 0405 411 871


pAul Montgomery: Mobile 0433 056 607

First published here:

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