I’ve recently been involved work around supervision and reflection. It was the focus of the Research in Practice Partnership Conference and I also worked on a webinar on reflective practice that’s been released for World Social Work Day.
Ermintrude tweeted a while back that blogging helped with her reflection. I am massively on board with this. The simple act of considering my actions before committing them to the world wide web helps me to consider my motivations and the subsequent outcomes. I can also see how working in the open helps to illustrate grounded professional judgement, which is something I’ve previously blogged about. In fact, a colleague of mine recently asked whether they could share that post on the Research in Practice blog. The only amendments that they would need to make would be to remove the bit where I gave the public sector a kicking.
This stung a bit, but in a helpful way. To be clear, I love the public sector. Having spent my whole working life working either with or for them, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Every day I get to work with incredible people who make people’s lives better.
(Whilst I’m here, Billy’s right. Never buy the Sun, and never believe a word it tells you about the public sector)
People work for not-for-profit organisations because they want to make the world a better place. Any criticism of mine has been of the systemic nature of the work. As Neil Tamplin recently noted in a great post on customer journey mapping:
“Bad systems, not bad people”
It’s left me wondering about the tone of my posts and whether they’re helpful. In our webinar, Gerry Nosowska talked about how the best supervision is positive and supportive, and this is something that I want for my work. I want what I post to empower others, just as learning from others empowers me.
Gerry quoted the research of Earle et al around how reflective practice helps to develop relationships and resilience. This linked nicely with some other great posts that I’ve recently been reading, like these weeknotes from Neil Tamplin where he looked at mental health and asked how much we should disclose online. It was a great post because it looked to build relationships and examined how to be vulnerable. He quoted Brene Brown, who I seem to be seeing everywhere at the moment. Kelly Doonan has introduced me to her BRAVING principles, which are:
Vault (You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share)
Brown describes generosity as “extending the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others.” It strikes me that I’m not doing this, and that this is something to aim for. This wasn’t on my original aims for the year, but it is now! I’ve gone through unpublished drafts to look at my language and interpretations, and I shall be far more generous from here on in. I’ve long talked about building on strengths, so from now on I shall be focusing on what’s strong, not what’s wrong.