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Mais Oui, Non Est Un Bon Mot: Comment Dire Non 34th Annual I&R Training and Education Conference New Orleans, Louisiana Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:30AM -

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Presentation on theme: "Mais Oui, Non Est Un Bon Mot: Comment Dire Non 34th Annual I&R Training and Education Conference New Orleans, Louisiana Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:30AM -"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mais Oui, Non Est Un Bon Mot: Comment Dire Non 34th Annual I&R Training and Education Conference New Orleans, Louisiana Tuesday, May 22, :30AM - Noon John Plonski – Facilitator Director of Online Supervisors IMAlive National Hopeline Network Paper-free Workshop YES Workshop Under Construction You may want to go to another workshop> Or enjoy the process and stay!

2 So just what is todays goal? The goal of the workshop is to look at those times when we should (must) use the word No and why we find it difficult to say so or resist saying it. We will look at Which situations in which No is an option What it is that makes No a difficult word to use How to say No without guilt, fear, and loathing so that to say No….

3 In the words of the Enterprises Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott, saying No will become… No Tribble at all. "The Trouble With Tribbles" is a second-season episode of the Original Star Trek Series, first broadcast on December 29, 1967 and repeated June 21, 1968

4 And most importantly we will come to understand the true nature of the Problem Our reactions to having to say No.

5 First, some basic ABCs The Information and Referral Specialist must accept: The boundaries of I&R - what they can reasonably expect themselves to accomplish and what is beyond their control Feelings of helplessness and frustration can and do result from certain types of interactions That there is not an ideal solution for every problem, and some problems may have no solution We have no control over whether an inquirer follows through or will eventually receive the help they need The need to be aware of their personal triggers The need to debrief with colleagues and/or supervisors I&R cannot turn peoples lives around.


7 YES Networking time – Left What are the times to say no Right how do I avoid saying No How do I say No What do I do when the Person says No is not an option

8 Say Yes! To NO!

9 Having to say No gives me a headache! What more can I do? Well the basics are…. Trust your instincts Trust your skills Think before you talk Know and respect your Buttons Use supervisory and peer support Recognize your own value

10 Also there are skills... Remain in the present Assertive confrontation Address behaviors not situations Maintain a professional distance Fact checking Focus on focusing

11 There are some Dos and Donts. Lets start with the Dos... Use a calm but firm voice tone to communicate both caring and certainty to the client Acknowledge feelings but do not allow them to be the focus of the conversation Recognize that change can be difficult, scary, and tiring If you have spoken to the individual previously let them know you are familiar with them and their situation

12 Some more Dos Keep your expectations of what can be accomplished in the interaction realistic and share them with the client Keep your interactions focused, pragmatic, concrete, and oriented toward problem solving or appropriately ending the interaction Reserve the right not to answer questions

13 There are also a few Donts... Dont invalidate the Caller Dont allow the Caller to dictate how the interaction should be carried on Dont give, or allow yourself to be manipulated into giving advice or information about a topic you are not familiar with

14 A few more donts... Dont ask the Caller how they thought you could help them Dont strive to uncover feelings that lie beneath the surface Dont enter the world of the delusional or hallucinatory Caller Dont reinvent the wheel

15 We tell them to We listen The "Warm and Fuzzies Inconsistent Reinforcement We like them They like us We have to talk to everyone that calls So why do Constant Callers call us?

16 We can define Constant Callers as those Callers who: Call frequently over an extended period of time Are consistent from call to call Have the same presentation call to call Are unwilling or unable to effect change Are aware of the mechanics of the I&R process Initiate contact out of habit Have a story that seems rehearsed So who is a Constant Caller? How do we determine who they are?

17 Yes, they are frustrating because: They make you feel trapped They make you feel like a failure Constant Callers are crazy They are resourceful Why dont they do something…anything? They are different They make us frustrated and angry I can change this Constant Caller! But they are so frustrating! They make me angry!

18 How about reasons for not letting Constant Callers call? They are potentially frustrating to and demanding of the staff They use up valuable resources Their contacts may be preventing them from getting the help they need Their contacts may be splitting their therapy Modeling of inappropriate behavior The record of their contacts can provide an inaccurate view of services provided

19 Its not quite that easy because: We invite them to call us They can call us Sometimes even Constant Callers need help It makes it easier to work with them So why do we let them call?! Why should we let them call?! I say just refuse to take their calls and its a done deal!!!

20 However, there is an exception to the rule. In the case of a Constant Caller who is threatening or abusive it would be reasonable to adopt a no contact/no engagement policy. But keep in mind this does not mean they will not contact you again.

21 First of all we need a method to positively identify them that mitigates the possibility of misidentification. An effective system would include: Basic Information about the Caller A more in depth Identification Profile The Background and History of the Callers contacts So how do we go about working with Constant Callers?

22 Set limits! Do not be afraid to develop and enforce policy Accept that while Constant Callers ask for help, they are either unwilling or unable to use that help Consider the likely outcome of your decision to talk with this consumer Consistent interaction Work together within the agency Maintain professionalism and respect Some rules for working with Constant Callers

23 Once we are able to accurately identify individual Constant Callers we can then decide which Contact Model we would like to implement. The 5 Contact models are: Constant Callers Do Not Exist Dont Do Anything No Engagement Agency Dictated Contact Policy No Therapy - No Contact Note From the Therapist Lets Talk About Your Calls and Make a Plan We have rules and information. What do we do with them?

24 Constant Callers Do Not Exist Based on the principle that helping agencies exist to help any and all inquirers it denies Constant Callers do exist. We may feel we are serving them appropriately by allowing unlimited access we may, in fact, be doing them a disservice Leads to game playing by Callers and staff

25 Dont Do Anything Admits there are such Callers but doesnt address the issue Has the potential for the workers to interact with the Callers in any manner the see fit Leads to inconsistent re-enforcement This inconsistency leads to game playing and worker frustration

26 No Engagement Model Means that once a Constant Caller is identified as such we don't engage them anymore. This is the simplest Model to put in action Risk that a non-Constant Caller may be identified as a Constant. Can lead to game playing and acting out No investment in plan by Caller means little or no compliance

27 Agency Dictated Contact Policy Means the agency establishes guidelines for interacting with the Caller. It is decision by the agency administration with input from the staff (usually) and no input from the Caller. The Caller may see this action as something being done to them. Making contact policy without the Callers involvement might make them angry and they may act that anger out against the line.

28 Means no agency contact with the Caller until they engage a more appropriate outlet for dealing with their issue. Repeated contacts can interfere with their reaching out to a more appropriate resource to resolve their situation. While not being able to contact the hotline may induce some Constant Callers to get the longer-term assistance they need others will refuse. No Therapy – No Contact Refusal sends us back to square 1.

29 A variation of the No Therapy – No Contact Model addresses the Caller who is already getting help. Caller arranges for their provider to contact you to discuss the Callers calls and develop a contact plan Often the therapist will request the agency not allow the Caller call Therapist is apprised of issues they may not be aware of Confidentiality issues How about the Note From the Therapist?

30 Can we talk about Lets Talk About Your Calls This Model makes the Caller a participant in the establishment of policy. Many Constant Callers will partake in the process and, in fact, comply. Recognizes, delineates, and balances the Callers and the agencys needs Recognizes the Caller may need help at some time The Caller feels they are part of the policy making process Models the behaviors of honesty and candor Re-enforces the concept contact is a privilege.

31 There is an extra special added bonus of the Interactive Lets Talk About Your Calls Model? Any ideas as to what it may be? It is possible the Plan will center on a agreement that the agency will contact the Caller. Agency can schedule the contacts for when they are best staffed. Training tool for new workers Affords new workers an opportunity to develop the skills without stress and anxiety

32 In order to facilitate the Lets Talk Model we need to add some more information to our Constant Caller Profile Additions to the system include: Current Life Issues with which the Caller is coping The Callers Support System and Strengths The actual Plan as well as Limit, Focus and Rationale of the Plan

33 Once a policy is instituted it is important that... Staff, as well as the Caller, to adhere to it The policy process is explained to the staff We recognize Constant Callers do develop crises which we will define as "Immediate Need". A Constant Caller in Immediate Need will be treated as a regular Caller Once the Immediate Need is resolved the Caller would return to their contact policy Should the Immediate Need situation become long- term (Constant) it would become part of a new policy

34 What is Limit? "Limit" addresses the number and duration of the Constant Callers calls. The Limit is not an arbitrary choice It is not intended to be punitive. The Limit can be in terms of calls per day or week as well as a time limit Where the Callers contacts follow no discernible pattern or the contacts are intermittent no Contact Limit would be assigned Can you think of why we wold not assign a limit in this case?

35 What is focus? Focus addresses what we will discuss with the Constant Caller during their contacts. Focus... Says we will not engage them in rehashing Old News. Encourages discussion of what is happening in the present and what they are doing to cope with it. Does not mean we will just listen Does mean we will interact with the Constant Caller in a manner defined by the boundaries of their Limit and Focus.

36 What is Rationale? Rationale delineates how the Plan was created It gives the workers something to refer to should a particular Caller question a Plan that is being used It can be used to remind the Caller that the Plan was something they helped establish It allows workers who may feel attached to a certain Constant Caller to understand that the Plan was not something arrived at arbitrarily It helps ensure the Plan will be implemented uniformly

37 How do I interact with Constant callers when establishing policy? Remember: You will not be the first seeking to establish policy with the Caller. Use your active listening skills. To keep the discussion focused on the Caller and their needs. Being empathic does not mean lack of focus.

38 How else do I interact with Constant callers when establishing policy? Remember: To plan how you would like the interaction to go. To anticipate possible areas of resistance Allow the Caller to tell you what they think would be fair. Address the issue of therapy Keep in mind that No is an appropriate answer

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