Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour

Ep. #66 Compassionate Leadership for Team's Success with Helen Sanderson

August 17, 2023 Jean Balfour Season 2 Episode 66
Ep. #66 Compassionate Leadership for Team's Success with Helen Sanderson
Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
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Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
Ep. #66 Compassionate Leadership for Team's Success with Helen Sanderson
Aug 17, 2023 Season 2 Episode 66
Jean Balfour

I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have about the show. Send me a message! Jean

What contributes to workplace happiness? How does compassionate leadership enhance team communication and clarity? How can team members proactively give feedback and uphold accountability for our growth and commitments?

Tune in to our episode of "Making Sense of Work" featuring Helen Sanderson, a renowned consultant and coach in well-being and self-management as she discusses various approaches leaders can engage to cultivate both high performance and compassionate teams. 


Meet Helen Sanderson
Helen is a sought after consultant and coach. She is an AltMBA alumni and coached on the programme in 2016 and 2017 with Seth Godin. Helen is also a Certified Brene Brown Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.  


Helen explores self-management in health and car through her practice 'Helen Sanderson Associates' and 'Wellbeing Teams' in the UK. 'Wellbeing Teams' were small, neighbourhood, self-managed teams inspired by Buurtzorg and were the first self-managed teams in social care to be recognised by the Care Quality Commission in the UK and were rated Outstanding in their first inspection in 2019. 

They were a provider for four years and now support others to learn the practices that they were using in 'Wellbeing Teams.'  


Connect with Helen on LinkedIn 

Connect with Jean Balfour on LinkedIn

Connect with Jean Balfour on Instagram @jeanbalfour 


Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Show Notes Transcript

I'd love to hear any questions or comments you have about the show. Send me a message! Jean

What contributes to workplace happiness? How does compassionate leadership enhance team communication and clarity? How can team members proactively give feedback and uphold accountability for our growth and commitments?

Tune in to our episode of "Making Sense of Work" featuring Helen Sanderson, a renowned consultant and coach in well-being and self-management as she discusses various approaches leaders can engage to cultivate both high performance and compassionate teams. 


Meet Helen Sanderson
Helen is a sought after consultant and coach. She is an AltMBA alumni and coached on the programme in 2016 and 2017 with Seth Godin. Helen is also a Certified Brene Brown Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.  


Helen explores self-management in health and car through her practice 'Helen Sanderson Associates' and 'Wellbeing Teams' in the UK. 'Wellbeing Teams' were small, neighbourhood, self-managed teams inspired by Buurtzorg and were the first self-managed teams in social care to be recognised by the Care Quality Commission in the UK and were rated Outstanding in their first inspection in 2019. 

They were a provider for four years and now support others to learn the practices that they were using in 'Wellbeing Teams.'  


Connect with Helen on LinkedIn 

Connect with Jean Balfour on LinkedIn

Connect with Jean Balfour on Instagram @jeanbalfour 


Experience an Introduction to our Coach Training Programmes with our Free Taster Course: https://courses.baileybalfour.com/course/coach-training-introduction

Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming programmes: https://baileybalfour.com/subscribe/

Jean:

Hi everyone, and welcome to Making Sense of Work. Today's conversation is one that I feel has been a bit too long in coming because I'm joined today by my dear friend Helen Sanderson. Welcome to the podcast, Helen.

Helen:

Thank you Jean. It's wonderful to be here.

Jean:

If I'm introducing Helen, I don't really know where to start in a way, so I thought, well, I'll start by saying she's Helen Sanderson, m b e. We met, I worked out over 22 years ago, Helen. Yeah. We were training together with Nancy Klein in the thinking environment, and these were. 10 days spread over a few months I think, and really intense days where we were thinking together, listening a lot and um, we've really continued to be thinking partners in many ways and great friends ever since. And before I say a bit more about Helen, I do want to say that Helen is the reason that we work in Zoom as a company because she introduced me to Zoom, I think in 2016. And I am very grateful to you for that introduction'cause it's been a bedrock of our business strategy since. So thank you. In her work, Helen is exploring self-management in health and care. She's doing this in practice through Helen Sanderson associates and wellbeing teams, mainly in the uk, but also she's consulting globally. Wellbeing teams were small neighborhood, self-managed teams inspired by tzo and were the first self-managed teams in social care to be recognized by the Care Quality Commission in the uk. And they were rated outstanding in their first inspection. They were a provider for four years and now support others to learn the practice. That we used in wellbeing teams. Helen is a sought after consultant and coach, including traveling to Singapore this coming week to advise the Singapore government. She's also an ALT MBA alumni and those who know, know, and coached on the program with Seth Godin's team in 2016 and 17, and she's a certified. Dare to lead facilitator with the Brene Brown team. So Helen, so lovely to have you here.

Helen:

Thank you.

Jean:

Okay, so let me start by asking you what does a good day look like for you at work?

Helen:

A good day. So I'm somebody whose alarm goes off ridiculously early, between sort of five 30 and six. And it starts with a cup of Earl Gray tea in a very particular mug. And morning pages. And morning pages is a kind of journaling, but rather than a journal that you'd keep and, and look back, you kind decant what's going on in your head. Um, pages there. Last, I guess for me it's part gratitude diary. Um, so what am I grateful for for the last, over the last day? Um, but the last question that I ask myself before I get out of bed is one from Brenny Brown, which is, what would courage look like today? And I think Brene's motto of courage over comfort is one that feels very important to me. The idea of living intentionally. Living bravely and Jean today. It was being all in, in this podcast and, um, being as honest and as open as I could be. So it starts there. I, I'm lucky enough to live by the sea, so I'll sometimes run on the beach or do some yoga and meditation, and then I'll get started on Zoom usually, or at the computer. So it starts that way. But my very favorite way of spending the day would be, um, Doing something involving learning. So at the moment, I'm going back to Seth Godin's book, his latest book, the Song of Significance I've been listening to on audio. That's brilliant. Um, I would be working, um, on a project, so doing some deep work for a couple of hours and really focusing on something that I want to create or be part of. And, um, collaboration with others. I'm, um, a. Big introvert, but spending time learning with others is huge for me. And I work with the most amazing team. So I work with Michelle, Emily, and Ben. And what might make me pretty unusual is a great day for me is a team meeting because our team meetings are productive and positive and joyful, and a real opportunity for connection.

Jean:

Oh, I know, I know you've done masses of work around team and team meetings actually, so we didn't plan to, but I might come back to you and ask you a few tips on that in the conversation. Yeah. I'm also know there's a few other things that sometimes involve your day that I know that you, you live in the north of Wales and you swim in the North Sea. Sea or the Irish sea, it probably is there, which always seems to me, you know, something shocking. I don't get in the swimming pool here in Singapore if it's a bit chilly, but you are in that sea.

Helen:

absolutely. I, so I moved to Wells during the pandemic and there's a group of swimmers called the Pandemic Paddlers. And while we're all in lockdown, the only thing we could do is meet socially distanced by the sea and swim. So it, it kind of made a massive difference to my wellbeing, over the pandemic. Um, and I'm very grateful to them.

Jean:

Oh, fantastic. So it would be lovely if you could just share a little bit about your work journey, your career. How did, how did you come to be doing the work that you are doing?

Helen:

Well, I started off in health. I trained as an occupational therapist. But I left after about a couple of years, I was becoming more interested in the ideas of planning. I wanted to work across social care as well as health. Um, and I'm a perpetual learner, so I persuaded the Joseph Rountree Foundation to let me work with them on a piece of research called. People plans and possibilities. And I was lucky enough to be learning about something called person-centered planning just as it was emerging and becoming popular. And as I finished the research and wrote, I think what was then the first book on person-centered planning in the uk, the government was looking at, um, a piece of. Policy called putting people first or valuing people and then putting people first. And I was lucky enough to become part of the team that wrote the guidance for implementing it. So that kind of put person-centered planning on the map and meant that the research I've been doing for the past three years was seen as valuable to people and people wanted to become trained in it. I became the government's, um, expert advisor for 10 years on person-centered practices. And I guess my consultancy career really started there.

Jean:

Can you say a bit for those who don't know what you mean by person centered practices?

Helen:

So, uh, naturally people will associate it with Carl Rogers, given the work that you do and your, um, the people who listen to this, but actually in. Health and social care, it's moving away from seeing people in relation to their diagnosis. So instead of what's the matter with you, it's what matters to you. So who are you? What matters to you? What does good support look like, um, to you, which sounds really obvious now, but you know, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, we saw people with learning disabilities as their diagnosis in the same way. That probably is still happening a lot. In health today. So how can we move away from just seeing people in terms of their labels and treating everybody the same? Um, to what specific support makes sense for you, uh, in your life, um, in your health, um, in the way you want to be at work?

Jean:

It's a bit shocking in a way that we are not still there fully on this because of course everybody's an individual and everybody has different needs, but I know that it's hard for services to get their head around how did they provide individualized care? That's personalized, isn't it? And and yet it seems so obvious, so

Helen:

And we're still talking about things like the golden rule. So the golden rule. Treat people in the way that you'd want to be treated, not so in a person centered organization because, um, my colleague Michelle, is a huge extrovert. And if you want to, make contact with Michelle, learn with and from Michelle, the first thing you'll do is phone her. I'm on the. Opposite end of that spectrum. I am an absolute introvert, and if you want to have a conversation with me, please text me and let's arrange a time or let's, talk on email first. So, if you took the approach of, if you were Michelle as an extrovert, treating everybody the way that Michelle would want to be treated, it absolutely wouldn't work for me. So we have to learn what good support means to each of us and treat each other as individuals. And yes, we've still got things like the Golden that says Treat everybody the way you like to be treated. please don't do that with me

Jean:

no, with me neither, but in all aspects of our lives. So for those of us who are leaders and coaches, it's so true that, that this is a part of the story. Yeah. We are going to talk a bit more and a bit more in depth about the work that you've been doing most recently on, um, self-managed teams. And, um, I really would love to hear you talk about this, but I want to start from this place that I. I've believed in, loved the idea and the concepts of self-managed teams. I've been around some, occasionally at very small doses. So I think the ideal is brilliant. And I think in practice it's, I've often thought that it was almost impossible, so I know that you've done it, but I perhaps, perhaps we can start from what do we mean by a self-managed team and can we do it?

Helen:

Right. Great question. I. Came to this by reading a book by Frederick Lalu called Reinventing Organizations. And there are probably loads of books called Reinventing Organizations. And it was recommended to me by my colleague Susan Bassfield. And I remember buying the book just before Christmas and it sat by my bed as many books do for a couple of months, and then I picked it up. But it, for me, it was one of those. Jaw dropping books where somebody could articulate things that I've sensed but not being able to express. And, he kind of says that the organizations of the future will have three things in common. And one of the jargon used around this is, is called tea organizations, but people will be encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. Um, that there'll be a focus on evolutionary purpose that organizations will grow and develop and, um, Find their purpose and that will keep evolving and it'll be based on self-management. And I kind of thought, yeah, well our team's great. How hard can that be? We talk a lot about bringing your whole selves to work. We invented one page profiles, we've done loads of work around that. Um, that's gonna be fine. We, have read and watched, Simon Sinek on, why and purpose we've got that how hard can self-management be. Um, and I was blown away and got it massively wrong at the beginning because I thought it was like adding an app to your iPhone and it was just a tweak to the way that you work. But actually it was changing the whole operating system. And the other thing that I learned, it was a. A different journey of, of personal development. So it made me rethink how I think about power in organizations, how I feel about my status, um, where I get myself confidence from. So essentially I moved from being the CEO in our training consultancy team that we were 12 then to become, um, A team member and we had different roles so that felt okay, but what I did was I stepped back too far. So I think the whole issues about leadership and self-management are confusing or misunderstood because there are still leadership in self-managed teams, but the leadership. Doesn't come from a position of authority. It comes from sharing roles and expertise. So I guess the cliche is there's no bosses and the roles that are required for a team to function well are shared amongst team members, but I think it's actually quite a bit more competent than that.

Jean:

Thank you for sharing that. So I think that's been one of the sticking points for me is the piece around leadership. And, I guess I'm curious just to explore this a bit more, this idea of, uh, how do people get that sense, that felt sense of leadership? So there's, there's two things I've seen. One is that some people seem to rise or shift naturally into a leadership. Role in a self-managed team, and also some people want a bit more perhaps structure or leadership than others. And I, you know, how does that play out?

Helen:

One of the misconceptions about self-managing teams from my perspective is there's no structure, but when we were setting up wellbeing teams, there was. More structure there than I had working in the N H S or working in adult social care. Um, and so two examples would be sharing roles and getting really, really clear about what we can expect from each other in relation to our work roles. And the other example would be, Being clear about how we want to show up and work together and how, what we expect from each other and way we behave. Um, so the leadership is how we lead ourselves and how we contribute to the leadership of the team. And that's both in the roles that we take and holding each other to account. Taking personal responsibility for how we are together. So in the team that I'm working with now, at HSA, one of my roles is around, storytelling. So with my colleagues, there is the, what the role is called, what they can expect from me, what they'll see when that role is happening. Well, and that includes metrics. And then every two weeks or months, um, we'll come together and we'll. Do a process called confirmation practices, which means that I look at my roles that I score myself between one and five as to how well I think I'm doing within my role. And then with coaching from one of my colleagues, I set myself an improvement goal. And in wellbeing teams, we were doing that every two weeks within team meetings, but it means them rather than. Supervision with a boss where the boss tells me what I'm doing well or where I can improve. The onus is on me leading myself, reflecting on my work, getting support from, um, a colleague on reflecting on that, which would include some challenge. As well and then deciding how I want to improve. So that's a simple example really of how you would move from a top-down supervisional one-to-one scenario, to how we move to a more reflective practice that's incredibly rigorous. So my colleagues know that if I'm doing my role as storyteller, well they'll know what to be looking out for me on. On LinkedIn, they'll know how many posts to expect of me, um, and can challenge me and ask me how well that's, that's going. And confirmation practices come from the work of somebody called Andy Brogan. And I, I think they're one of the things that made the really big difference in how we worked in wellbeing teams. And I was. Terrifying.'cause for those of you who don't know C Q C, the Care Quality Commission come and inspect health and social care organizations and when you set up at first, they'll come in the first year. Um, so they came and you fill in this massive form. So six weeks before they come and they ask you how many supervisions you've done, and I had to put a big fat zero because we weren't using supervision. We were doing confirmation practices. So I think it was a big change for CQC is could they accept something like confirmation practices to be as rigorous as traditional top-down supervision? And fortunately for me, they did.

Jean:

Hmm. There's such a beautiful parallel here about self-management because what you're describing is not just self-managed teams, but self-management.

Helen:

Absolutely. I used to work as, my first job was an occupational therapist. Very ambitious. I wanted to be a head OT by the time I was 30. Um, and that's two or three rungs at the ladder. But the perverse place that that takes you to is a really strong, or it took me to, and I, I accept that might not be everybody's experience, but impressing my. Boss became a big, big focus of my work. So I would look at our one-to-ones and supervisions and figure out what it was that I needed to do or say that would be impressive to her. So the massive shift for me is going from trying to impress people to, um, focusing on. How I'm doing in my role and how I can keep improving and how I can be accountable to my colleagues rather than the boss is the person who's most important in how well I am seen as doing in an organization.

Jean:

This is so powerful because. We have varying quality relationships with our bosses. only variable that we have control over is ourselves actually.

Helen:

Yes, and you know, well, um, that the research says that we join organizations, but we leave our bosses or first line managers because that relationship is arguably the one that will determine a massive part of the quality of your life. If you look at toxic relationships in organizations, they are not just team toxic relationships, but they're their boss and employee relationship. And if we can move away from that, Uh, in the transition from that, it may be that people who've taken a boss take role, take a coaching role where they are not the expert, they're not the person that gives you feedback on how well you're doing. And feedback is critical, but I think we need to have a different relationship with feedback as well. So in my team, the expectation on me is to ask for the feedback that I need and want to grow and develop as a person and to enable me to improve. In what I'm doing, and that doesn't mean that I never get feedback that I might find difficult, but I can only hear feedback that I'm motivated to actually use. And that mean PE means that people giving me random feedback on what I've done or not done is probably less useful for me and will create. Shame possibly to be told that I've not done something well. So, so rethinking a whole relationship with feedback, what we ask for, where it comes from. Um, but that doesn't mean that I have a soft work experience at all because using metrics for me to evaluate how I'm doing and to co look at those with colleagues means that, I'm not at the mercy of somebody deciding whether they're going to be kind to me or whether they're going to be harsh with me in relation to feedback.

Jean:

Hmm. Helen, how do you help people get ready to do this? Because this is a really tough skill that many people find a bit uncomfortable is offering, um, observations and, you know, having those very honest conversations with people.

Helen:

Oh, it's massively difficult. It's like folding your arms the wrong way and the discomfort that that creates. So we have been conditioned, I believe, from school, that there's the parent and adult, relationship that gets, you know, magnified at school. You are. Scared or encouraged by your teacher, depending on your relationship, at school. So we, we've learned this throughout our whole of our lives and to start thinking that there's a different way of doing it, just in itself is strange. Um, I was listening to Seth's book, the Song of Significance when I was driving yesterday, and what I hadn't realized that management was only invented, you know, uh, in the 19 hundreds. Um, and it was invented by Frederick Taylor in 1911. And it's a really new concept, whereas it's easy to believe this is always the way that we've worked. And obviously we are in a very, very different place. And. I think this course for a different way of us being and working together and that work for so many people is miserable and lonely and you spend more time at work for many of us than our family and our partners. And that can't be good to spend that miserable and lonely. So I think, um, the work that's, well, the research by Professor Jeffrey Effer, and I have to say that slowly and key. Carefully says that actually, um, wellbeing at work and happiness at work, and he doesn't necessarily use the term happiness, is not nap pods, and it's not snacks in a fridge, and it's not yoga classes at lunchtime. Um, as long as your work environment is safe, it's down to two things, autonomy and social support and autonomy is having as much control as you possibly can around the work that you do and, and the, way that you work. So I. The, the stuff that I've learned from, um, something called Holacracy, which is one of the technologies around self-management is get really, really clear about roles and what you can expect from each other. And to be transparent about that. And I dunno about Eugene, but in most organizations, I asked people, when was the last time you looked at your job description? And for most people, Decades, years, months would be, it would only be months if you somehow ended up in a dispute where you were checking out with hr, whether what was in your job description. But of course, most of'em have at the end of it, and anything we ask you to do. So job descriptions. Do not usually for most people, give an accurate description of what you do on a day-to-day basis. And the other thing is, if you're in a team, you've probably never seen the job descriptions of your colleagues. So the first thing is transparency. Do we know what we can expect from each other? Because if we do know that we can have braver conversations that says, I understood that this was something that was in your role, that you commit to on a weekly basis, and I noticed that hasn't happened in the last two weeks. Can we have a conversation about it? Because that's getting in the way of me being able to meet the work that I'm doing. So rather than so, but once you've got that transparency, it becomes a little bit easier to have that conversation. That's still really, really hard. So the skills, that we practice together are something that's taken from, Marshall's work, Marshall Rosenberg's work called Non-Violent Communication, which we call compassionate communication. I. Which is a way of having conversations without blame. And um, Jean, we are old enough to know, do you remember when, um, assertiveness training was the thing, particularly for women? Um, and, and it's, some of, it's a bit like this where you make an observation without blame, um, and then you talk about feelings and you talk about needs and you make a request, um, so one example is, Often get difficult in offices where people who are back at offices are the people who don't wash their mugs when they've used them. so these are the things that typically have people muttering behind each other's backs around it and can cause, um, conflict. And I know it's a small example, but these are the things can, that can really build. And in, in wellbeing teams we would've had two responses to that. So one is if I was moaning to you about a new colleague who wasn't washing their mug, um, we would have an expectation of what you would say to me. So rather than you colluding with my moaning or going along, with it, you would say, If we look at our team agreements, Helen, we've got a couple of ways of responding to this. So can I support you to use compassionate communication to have a conversation with our colleague about it? Do you want me to come with you and do that with you? Do you want me to rehearse it with you or do you want to bring it up at the team meeting? So you would be held as responsible to me as me around. Having that conversation. Well, and the conversation would go something like, Julie, in our team agreements, we agree that we share responsibility for keeping the kitchen tidy, and that includes washing their mugs. And I noticed the last couple of weeks your mugs have still been in that, the sink. I feel, worried about that or I feel concerned about that because, um, I hate it when I cut. Into the kitchen and it feels like a mess and I need it to be tidy and for to know that we're keeping our team agreements. Would you agree to pay more attention to that over the next couple of weeks? So it is trying to have that brave conversation in a way that doesn't have blame attached to it. That conversation is much easier if we do the other thing, which is having team agreements. So rather than it's my values about what kitchens should look like, it's a team agreement that says this is how we choose to work together. So, so I think two of the foundations of moving in direction, and I don't think. I, well, what we've seen in the UK is there's been excitement in some quarters about self-management and what some teams have done is set up self-management pilots to do self-management, the whole hog. I think that's, I. been shown to be very successful. I think it's too hard and I believe two things really. One is that every single team in an organization can move closer to greater trust and autonomy. Going back to FIFA's research. And I think that the place you start is with the senior leaders. You don't set up projects out there that other people do usually in operations. I think the CEO as I did has to experience what it's like to feel differently about power, to set up things like team agreements, to look at their roles, and to work differently as a team and have courageous conversations based on compassionate communication.

Jean:

wow. So much in what you've just shared. I'm gonna just pick up on a few things. Um, the, the first is I think about the team and the role descriptions. So I think this is fantastic and I. I don't believe that anyone's job description serves as a role description. So I think the first thing is that piece about getting really clear about the role and not what's written in the job description and that kind of expected outputs. And the same with the team agreements. This is not a set of, this is our job, but this is how we will be. This is what we expect.

Helen:

Mm-hmm.

Jean:

all of that effort to put that in there, um, and to make, to take the time to have those conversations, to share them in, in a lot of, you know, I've done a lot of team facilitation over the years, and I would say that one of the biggest causes of conflict in a team is role. Lack of role clarity or role creep or you know, all of those things. So those conversations can only be beneficial even if we don't go full in getting much clearer about that on its own would make a big difference.

Helen:

I, I completely agree. I think if, if you only wanted to look at four things, it would be role clarity, it would be team agreements. It would be teaching people how to have compassionate conversations without blame and being able to talk about feelings. And there's a style of management At, not management at style of meetings called tactical meetings where you talk about what's getting in the way of you doing your best work. Um, so I think those four things and confirmation practices to review how well you're doing as opposed to supervision would be practices that I say any team, any team can do, but you're, you're completely right. Lack of clarity about roles and also the research says that. One of the greatest forms of stress is not knowing what's expected of you. So I, I think changing roles is a way to do it. But there are two ways in one's a bit harder than the other. Um, so one way in with a, a team like yours, Jean, might be to say, let's look at my diary over the last month, um, what roles I did. and we have a table that says, what's the name of the role, what's. The purpose of the role because linking roles back to purpose. Why? Why does this role matter? How does it help deliver the purpose of the team? What values does this role express? And then what are the accountabilities? So what can my colleagues expect from me if I'm delivering this role? Well, and then the next one would be, it's almost like a checklist, really. What would you be seeing me doing on a weekly, daily, or even monthly basis if I'm fulfilling this role? So that's the role bit. And then when you add confirmation practice onto that, it says If I give myself a score between one of five about how well or how confidently I think I'm delivering that role. What would I say? What, why would I be giving myself that score? And then what do I want to do to improve? But what that does is it ties back goals for improvement, right? Back to why is this role here in the first place and what's expected of me? Whereas many supervisions could be much broader, broader than that. And what we also do is confirmation practices around team agreements. So for me, my confirmation practices are, Five of the roles that are the most significant ones that I do, plus my growing edge. So what is it that I'm trying to learn and grow and develop in, and how well am I doing that? And then in our team agreements, the team agreement that we have not done collectively so well over the last few months is, asking for feedback to help us grow and develop. So I then have a team at uh, Confirmation practice statement about that. And you know that I'm a Seth Godin and a Brenny Brown nerd and a Tara Mower nerd. But again, when I was looking at, the Song of Significance, he has a list of of commitments where he says he has rules for teams, really commitments for teams. We're acting with intention. Dignity is worth investing in. Show your work, make it better. Celebrate real, real skills. And I think there's a lot of merit in. Having those kinds of agreements. But what I really believe is that every team needs to choose their own. Um, and you can either do that from well in, in wellbeing teams. If you joined us in wellbeing teams, the very first thing you do on your induction is you do a work timeline together. So when you started, whether that was voluntary work, whether that was paid work till when you joined us. And we'd ask people what's worked and not work for you, um, over your different roles. And then we'd say, what do we need to agree together as a team to make it more likely that the things that have gone well for you in your previous jobs could be present here? And what would we need to change together as a team to make it less likely that the things that haven't worked for you. Previous roles would be present here. So that would give us our first draft, and then we'd probably look at Brenny Brown's research. He's got research around braving that says, what does it take for trust to be present in a team? So we double check whether there are any team agreements that we wanted to add based, um, on the research, or sometimes if it's an a. Established team, we would say, what's working and not working for us as a team? Or we'd use Air indignance. Um, he's a fabulous set of tension cards, which come from the tensions that you'd seen in many organizations. Like We Drown in email or we have meetings to plan for meetings or meetings or. Theater or nobody really knows how to make decisions here or decisions get stuck in bottlenecks. So, so choosing the things that get in the way of us doing our best work and then saying what team agreement would we need to agree to make that less likely. But, but Jean, you and I have done training courses in the past where the first thing you do is um, some form, form of ground rules, but I dunno about you, but. When I've been a participant in courses, you spend 20 minutes doing that at the beginning of the day and nobody ever mentions them again. And team agreements can't be like that, which is why using confirmation practices around team agreements, um, checking how well we're doing collectively around team agreements, having them as living things, is absolutely critical.

Jean:

Yeah, actually I'm, I'm seeing a beautiful connection to our coaching program here because we do have ground rules in the coaching programme And we share them at many points through the program so they're visible and people know what they are. But we never think about how we as a cohort doing against the ground rules. And we could be doing that. That's really, that's really sweet. We could be saying, how are we doing on presence? How are we managing to be present with each other during the workshops? We could do that easily in Zoom on a poll. And how great would that be to see, so

Helen:

that's Absolutely beautiful. And, and I think there's, there's, there's two approaches to that. So we, so we take team agreements. So if one of yours is, is presence, so turning them into I statements, how am I doing, being present with my colleagues and showing up. And if I was rating myself on a scale of one to five, what score would I give myself worth? Five. Five is consistently the best way I possibly can. One is this is an area that I really want to grow in, and then I think there's another way of doing it that's looking at, at how are we doing and what's working about how we are doing it as a collective and how we can improve. So having both collective goals. But also back to, as you mentioned before, my personal responsibility, my personal leadership, how am I doing? So I think the combination of individual reflection and group reflection could be very, very powerful.

Jean:

Yeah, that's really, that's really great. I'd love to just ask you a little bit about the role values play, because I know you do a lot of work around values and I've seen you talk a lot about values-based recruitment and I don't really know much about it, so it'd be great if you could say a bit about that.

Helen:

one of my embarrassing moments three or four years ago was I was lucky enough to be one of. Brenny Brown's cohorts when she was training before the pandemic, um, she was training a range of us to be her certified facilitators and that involved going and sitting in the room. Big fan girl sitting in the room in Texas with Brene Brown for a week. And one of the things that she's very focused on is how do we move from professing our values to living them on a day-to-day basis? And we've just done, um, our values work with. Wellbeing teams. We've done a lot of work on it with an amazing woman called her Jackie Lafe, so I could describe our values, et cetera. And then she said, but only 10% of organizations that she's worked with turn them into behavioral statements. And I sat there moving from feeling smug to feeling embarrassed because we were one of the 90% of organizations that hadn't turned them into behavioral statements. So when I came back, that was one of the things that we did. So one of our values is compassion. So we then as a team said, if you are seeing us living our value of compassion, what would you see? Both compassion for ourselves and compassion for others, and. Behaviors are outside of compassion and we'd listed the behaviors. So we talk about people, not to them if we're not living our value, of compassion. So we had a list. So we have six values and we did exactly the same. And that then meant that when we did value-based recruitment, so traditionally in home care where we were working and. Broadly in health and social care, you recruit for skills. Um, but with value-based recruitment, we did two things. One is we believed that we could teach people the skills that you would need to provide excellent person-centered care to people in the community because that was what. Um, our work was, but you can't teach values in the same way. So if we recruit for values, we could then train them. So that meant that something like between 1890 of our pe, percent of our people came outside of health and social care. So we'd have, um, oh, we, we had, Pub managers. We had a gp even. We had childcare and nurses. We had PAs, um, who wanted to make career changes. The other thing is we didn't use interviews. So there's, a feeling here that, oh, the way you do value-based recruitment is you ask an interview question that says, what are your values? But actually values live in the limbic system. So they're not something that you can easily be in touch with in the, the same kind of way. So we would have scenario cards. So, so one scenario card would say, um, when was the last time you made a mistake? What happened? And what did you do about it? So it's a different kind of cause, but actually we'd be touching on the behaviors that we'd be looking at, um, from our. Explanation, our behavioral statements that relate to our values. But I'm really curious about this now because it's one thing to do it to bring people into the workforce really explicitly about values. And I'm working with a CEO, of a charity at the moment who, who's a fabulous woman and bravely working with me around doing this work. So we've been looking at her values, the values of the organization we've been getting started with. What behaviors would you see? And then we've put them into confirmation practices. So one of their values may be around wellbeing. Um, and we said, well, what are the behaviors that you'd see if we're focused on wellbeing? And of course this is a very, an appropriate hot talk topic at the moment. So one of them would be, people would see me. Taking care of my wellbeing, which means when I'm emailing people, when I'm turning up for work, whether I'm overworking or not, they would hear me talking about my feelings, et cetera. So we have a list of those. Um, and then, um, and these all relate to her values. So then I was coaching her doing this last week, and I asked her to rate, which. Of the seven values that they have, did she feel she was doing least well in that she wanted to pay attention to? And she said, well, one of these values I've given myself a two for and it's this. And she explained why. And then she made a decision about how she wanted to do differently and. To talk to women leaders about how they want to show up and overtly be talking to their colleagues about how they are taking care of their wellbeing. I think is incredible because we have overwork as a badge of honor. I think women experience that even more significantly because it's easy for us to think we have to work harder and be better at men to have an equal place in the workforce. So I think that is both courage over comfort. And it's living our values. So she's starting with herself. Then she's going to start working with the senior team around that, and then starting to have a conversation of what does it mean for the whole organization to be demonstrating living our values?

Jean:

Yeah. Wow. Thank you. Um, I, I'm with you all the way, including on the kind of gender challenges I think around living values and organizations and, um, particularly around time. I've been listening to a lot of podcasts recently about time and where. Where do stereotypes and norms come around? How we spend our time and how hard we work. But anyway, that's a whole nother podcast that you and I could talk about for hours. Um, I'm aware that we are coming up to time and I could, uh, talk with you about this for many hours, and I'm very happy that as your friend I get to have that chance and opportunity to. Um, but I, I wondered if there's anything that you'd like to finish with, to say, you know, if you were. If you were talking to somebody who's in a quite traditional, quite hierarchical organization and they wanted to make one small change in the direction that you've been talking about, where, where would you encourage them to start?

Helen:

Well, I think the great thing about this is you can do this in any team without having to ask permission from anybody else. So that you can do this, um, if you're a team leader with the authority on autonomy that you already have, and I, I think there's, there's two places to start. So one is starting with team agreements, which is asking the question, how do we. Ourselves to work. How do we want to show up and behave together? What statements can we collectively agree that we want to do? And then how can we keep, um, reviewing them? And as I said, there are a couple of ways of doing that. So that's brave. Um, Reviewing them is critical to that. Not just doing them like ground rules, but because most people have got experience of ground rules, perhaps this wouldn't feel like a huge stretch. So it's, I think that's a great place to start. And then could we go back to our job descriptions and could we. Take just a couple of those and describe them as roles and instead of doing a traditional supervision, could we move to, how do I think I'm doing in my roles? So I think starting, they would be one of two places to get started, but I think the thing that I've not, um, spoken about is, is bringing your whole self to work. So that, can you, um, there's different ways of describing this. Erin d talks about a Emma to me, but how much do you know about each other? Do you know? What matters to each other, really, really what matters to each other? And can you describe what good support means for you? And write that down and share that with each other. So how do I show up at work? How do my colleagues know what matters to me? Because that's the connection where we. Begin to feel lonely perhaps with each other in the same way, can we decide how we want to behave together as humans? And then can we get clear about it? What expect other when we.

Jean:

Oh, thank you Helen. And, um, I'm aware that I'm got so many things I want to take from this conversation into, into the Bailey Belfor team. So team, watch out. They're coming. Um, Well, thank you Helen. I actually want to finish by telling you that you are such a huge inspiration to me. You always have been ever since I first met you. You are somebody who lives your values. You work hard at living your values. I know you do that. I see that. I witness that. I witness you seeking improvement and learning and growth, and you have constantly inspired me. To keep learning and growing, and I'm deeply grateful for the influence you've had on my life, so thank you.

Helen:

A beautiful thing to say. I'm so grateful. Thank you Jean.

Jean:

My pleasure.