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Managing Up: A key Worker Survival Skill? Carolyn Cousins, MSW, MEd(Adult), Dip Mgt 0426251191.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Up: A key Worker Survival Skill? Carolyn Cousins, MSW, MEd(Adult), Dip Mgt 0426251191."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Up: A key Worker Survival Skill? Carolyn Cousins, MSW, MEd(Adult), Dip Mgt

2 CONTEXT History of working in Child Protection, Health and Out of Home Care (Australia and UK) Always had an interest in the role of supervision. Expanded while working at the Tavistock & Portman – psychodynamic processes and a particular model of group work Private Practice and Management Consultancy over the past 4 years

3 CONTEXT Role of the Company: supporting, equipping and educating workers to be reflective and increase the quality of provision. Aim is to positively influence work with children and families Current supervision, both group and individual in the areas of Mental Health, Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Family Support and Early Childhood. In government, non government (small and large) Also working with some large organisations around People Management Skills / Management Consultancy

4 Struggling to Comprehend Basic Communication skills / people skills Relationships – not a linear progression Parallel Process

5 Not the Clinical Work So often, it is not, as the Vicarious Trauma literature suggests, the difficult client stories that lead to worker frustration and burnout, but rather issues with bureaucracy and management. Some very interesting and thought provoking clinical supervision – where the organisation pays. However, workers who seek out private supervision often do so because of challenges with their direct line manager.

6 Managing Up Concept from Management Literature – different purpose, but relevance of concepts Links with supervisory games and dynamics Required in order to be, and stay, safe in the workplace. Can happen at any level of an organization.

7 Games Bosses Play Supervision when its also performance management relationship Games of Abdication: They wont let me (victim); I wonder why you said that really (projector); one good question deserves another; I am so busy and stressed; I haven't sold out, really I haven't. Games of Power: Remember who the boss is (iron fist); Its for your own good; no confidentiality; lets be friends.

8 Understanding the Dynamic Learn your managers style and interests. Where are they coming from? Empathy – skill we use with clients, why not them? What is important to them Understanding does not mean agreeing What do they do well? What can you learn from them? Ask for feedback Learn to read their moods and reactions – this is power relationship Issues with ‘crawling’. We are all different – understand each boss (1 in 3) Only one half of the relationship – know yourself

9 Know yourself Desire to be liked, praised – exploring relationships with authority Considering expectations and past supervisory relationships Keeping it professional Consider the ethics and appropriateness of your reactions, alongside strategies for addressing concerns.

10 Remaining Ethical Handling your reactions Examining your strategies and motivations How do I observe others to manage – assessing options Triggers and reminders Parallel process / Family Dynamics (Boland, 2009)

11 Getting Beyond Impact on the work / clients Impact on the career of the worker Gaining support elsewhere: value, validation, feedback and growth

12 Tools to assist Learning Styles / Communication: Communicate in the way they best receive information – written, verbal – tend to use our own ‘language’ Theory of Situational Awareness: Level 1 – perception of current situation Level 2 – Comprehension of situation (interpreting) Level 3 – ability to predict and anticipate (future preparation) Unpacking our own short cuts in reasoning.

13 “For an organisation to be innovative and open, it is neither possible or ideal that everyone gets along. The qualities we like in people are not necessarily the ones that make a group effective.” You learn more about management from being managed badly. Ultimately, we have choices

14 If you are a manager How are you being ‘managed up’? Shift in Management approaches

15 Shifts in Management Style Traditional Top Down Management Accountability comes from oversight, scrutiny and monitoring of individuals Individuals are not to be trusted MANAGEMENT STYLE SOURCEBELIEF Empowered Management Accountability comes from empowering individuals and having clear expectations Individuals will rise to the task when empowered and encouraged

16 Reflection What are the dynamics I am currently engaged in? In what ways are they familiar? What is the cost of the time and energy I spend managing up? Is this acceptable? How and where do I honestly explore these issues? Am I interested in doing this?

17 Managing Up: A key Worker Survival Skill? Carolyn Cousins, MSW, MEd(Adult), Dip Mgt


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