We all know that it takes more than simply going on a training
course or using e-learning to
help your team feel confident in using person-centred thinking
tools. A question for managers is 'How can you make using
person-centred thinking tools a habit within your team?' The
additional challenge is that this has to be done without additional
resources as well. At our recent team meeting we spent time
looking at what we were learning from managers, and our ideas ,
about how to do this. As there are no more resources or time,
we focused on how you can use meeting and supervision sessions to
help make person-centred thinking a habit. In this blog we share 8
ways that you can use a 20 - 30 minute slot in a team meeting to
build your teams skills and confidence.
In these 8 ways we refer to the person-centred thinking e-learning modules , but you can
go back to your minibook or
participants books, or review information on our website instead.
If we want to make changes at scale across teams and organisations
we need to change both how we use team meeting time and how we
think about e-learning.
This means using e-learning as a resource, and not an event. The
traditional way to use is e-learning is to do a 30
minute package, with a test at the end. You then print out your
certificate, hand it to your manager, who ticks a box on a form
about compliance. That might work for some areas of knowledge
and skill, but it cannot work in areas where you want your team to
think differently and become competent using new skills, like
So in these 8 ways, we have used the e-learning as a way to
support staff to go back to what they have learned, and team
meetings to explore how to really put person-centred thinking into
practice. For each, we have thought of a particular tool, and
imagined how the team leader might introduce it to the team.
1) Practicing together
Lets start with the obvious, using team meetings to focus on one
particular tool and practice using it, getting feedback and
encouragement on their progress. One approach is to decide which
person-centred thinking tool is the priority for your team to be
competent and confident in. Some team managers look at one tool per
"This month we want to get better at using the doughnut,
how did you get on in doing this in the e-learning? We are going to
practice it together at our next team meeting. I will bring some
good examples and some poor examples for us to work on together. If
you need to refresh your memory about the Doughnut, go back to your
e-learning and look at that module again before the team
2) Reflecting on progress
There are several person-centred thinking tools that are perfect
for taking stock and reflecting on progress. You can use these in
team meetings as a way to model and practice how to use of them.
Working and not working from different perspectives and 4 plus 1
questions are good places to start.
plus one questions
"In our last inspection CQC raised handover as an issue. Lets
use the 4 plus 1 to review our progress. I don't think everyone has
done 4 plus 1 yet, so please spend 30 minutes before the next
meeting going through this on your e-learning.. Please think about
one contribution that you could make to each of the 4 question and
we will all share these in the meeting."
3) Solving problems
You can use team meetings to demonstrate how you can use
person-centred thinking tools to solve problems together. A common
challenge is around paperwork, making it relevant and useful, as
well as compliant. Learning Logs are a fresh way to record what is
being tried and what people are learning. You could also use
working and not working from different perspectives.
Example: Learning Logs
"I have been reviewing our daily records and notice that
we may be missing some opportunities to learn from them. I'd like
you to look at learning logs on the e-learning and have a go at
using them for a week, in an area that you think they could be
useful. Please bring three examples with you to the next team
meeting and we will think about how we can make our progress notes
work better for everyone."
4) Reviewing and improving quality
Team meetings can be ways to review and improve quality. Each of
the person-centred thinking tools have recognised standards for
best practice. You can use team meetings to see how close you are
getting to these, and think about how to improve.
"We are going to be using our one-page profiles to match
to both people we support and some tasks we have to do in the next
6 months. Our one-page profiles need to be detailed enough to do
this. Before the next team meeting can you make sure yours reflects
best practice, and you can use the e-learning to double check and
the best practice poster on the office wall as well."
5) Focusing on compliance
Person-centred thinking tools can help improve quality and
ensure that you are meeting existing standards and are compliant
with regulations and policy-
agreements and communication charts
"As you know case law has
changed in terms of Deprivation of Liberty. I want us to look at
what this means for us at the next team meeting, so please refresh
your knowledge about the person-centred thinking tools that could
be useful - in particular decision-making agreements and
6) Learning from experience and sharing success
Team meetings are a great opportunity to learn through sharing
stories, both ones that worked well, and those that were less
successful. Michael Smull calls these 'successful failures' ie what
you tried, that did not work, but you learned a lot from it.
I recently shared with my team three things that I had tried that
week, that had not worked, and what I had learned from it. The
process of Appreciative Inquiry encourages us to learn from our
success and Max Neil developed a great tool based on this, called
My Achievement - Using Person
Centred Thinking You can use this with your team to ask them to
reflect on a person-centred thinking tools that they have used
well, and discuss together what would need to happen to experience
more of this within the team.
Example: Share how you have used a person-centred thinking
tools well to make positive change
"Next month we are going to focus on what we have done
well. I would like you to think of a person-centred thinking tool
that you have used to make positive change. Please spend 10 minutes
describing what you did on this form, and bring it with you to talk
about at the team meeting."
7) Sharing goals and progress
A few years ago we developed what we call a 'habits pack' of resources to help
managers support their team to make person-centred practices a
habit. In this pack is a way to check your personal competence in
the different person-centred thinking tools, and set goals to
improve. You can use team meetings simply to do a round on sharing
progress on your goals.
Example: Sharing goals and progress
"I know from our supervision sessions that each of you is
developing your skills and practicing one particular person-centred
thinking skill, and I would like us to share these with each other.
At the next team meeting I would like each of you to share what you
are working on, and where you are up to. Not a powerpoint
presentation, but just 5 minutes each on:
- Which person-centred thinking tool I am focusing on and
- How I have been practicing and improving
- Where I am now
- What I am going to do next"
8) Demonstrating how to do it
As a manager, you need to feel confident yourself in using the
person-centred thinking tools. You cannot take your team to where
you have not been yourself. They can only become as good as you are
at using each person-centred thinking tool, so you need to be more
familiar with the tools and the e-learning than anyone else! This
means that you can use team meetings to demonstrate how to use a
particular tool, and support and give feedback to your team as they
follow your lead.
Example: Relationship circles
and community maps
"We want to think about how we can support the person to
be part of their community. I will get us started with a
relationship circle and community map.. At the next meeting I will
share the relationship circle and how I did this, and we will do
some work getting started on community mapping. Then I want you to
look at these on the e-learning and get started doing this with the
other three people, and we will plan how to do this
These are our ideas, but I am sure that there are more. I would
love to hear other ideas and examples. If you have read this and
are thinking, 'We could never do this in our team meetings, there
is already too much on the agenda" then your first challenge is can
you get it as a standing agenda item, and then what would it take
to make it a 10 - 15 minute slot. What you have on your team
meeting agenda is what you are communicating to your team is
important, so I hope this blog shares why we think that using
person-centred practices could be on there.