Coaching for our Employment Specialists

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Supporting clients with a range of mental health issues to face their fears and look for and gain work can be very challenging for our Employment Specialists, they can be prone to burn out if they fail to adequately decompress from their busy working days. As part of our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of our team Twining Enterprise Employment Specialist  coaching training over a three month period.

The coaches used a coaching mechanism to help our staff use their own skills and creativity to solve problems, this approach means that the coaching doesn't have a set format or method but that the coach works with specific groups to guide them to recognise and use the skills they already have. 

At the beginning it felt that we were breaking down the barriers of the coaches in understanding our work and really working together to develop the co-creative coaching solution that would be most useful for our team.

Delivered as two days of coaching in three batches over three months, Sarah said

The days were really useful, in particular in the last session the exercises were really useful helping you to see what other people see in you so that you can learn and evolve from that perspective. It was hard but it was refreshing. 

It was quite intense and there was a lot to cover. After the first session the trainers realised there was a barrier in the process caused by the misunderstanding of the nature of the Employment Specialist role, we worked together with them to help them understand what we do better. If you do not know what your weaknesses are then it is quite hard to manage this type of approach. The coaches worked with staff and it was up to them to give themselves to the process, and be self-aware enough to find the elements of the sessions that resonated and could be taken back into their working practice. 

Colleagues were encouraged to be co-creative and see the changes as in their court especially as the trainers let us lead it and the next sessions really focused on supporting areas Employment Specialists said they wanted support around.

In the second set of training days this ground work understanding the Employment Specialist roles enabled sessions to open up and in particular focus on getting into the feelings of the clients when they come to see their Employment Specialist. We put ourselves in the shoes of our clients and it really helped us think about what they would have faced and how challenged they might have been just to get to an appointment. So that if they are late or cancel and we are under pressure we still don’t forget just how hard it might have been for them to get to that point. Sometimes with targets, paperwork and pressures the client is late and actually we do have to remember what did it take for them to get there?

The sessions explored how we manage the pitfalls with working with the types of clients we have. Employment Specialists were encouraged to reflect on and imagine that although we have pressures, we should think about how much we are challenging the client more.

We were encouraged to think about our qualities and values and what people see in you the things that people do not say are what you probably should work on. It was good to get the view on you. Sarah, Employment Specialist

I found the six days an experience a real mixture of insightful illuminating ways of working into building stronger relationships with clients to confusion and not understanding! I found the most useful was the "designed alliance" this is another way or name for building better stronger relationships. The Powerful Questions were useful and I can actually use them directly in my work with clients. The best pieces of work was created just by being together in a large group and this created deeper self awareness of our own inner self and of each other. I would like to believe this opens up the discussions and direction in planning future training. Steven, Employment Specialist


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