Value based organisations can be rewarding places to work, especially when positive change occurs and people’s lives improve. While values remain, the character and culture of an organisation often changes with time, staff turnover and changes in projects. The work is often fast-paced, and in daily activity, staff at all levels of an organisation can lose sight of the overall values and reason for its existence.
We use a ‘story-telling’ approach to facilitation to help staff reconnect with an original intention, or sometimes to articulate a whole new vision. Every member of staff sees a valuable part of the whole. We use creative tools to encourage established employees, new employees and volunteers, board members and management to contribute to an overall view of how the core beliefs of an organisation are expressed in its organisational culture.
Our workshops create focussed conversation and promote understanding and cohesiveness in an organisation.
Working in education, or the voluntary and community sector can be rewarding, but the nature of working with people in need can be exhausting. Employees need to think carefully about their work practices in order to sustain what they do in the long term.
In October 2017, the UK government published ‘Thriving at work: The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers’ which responded to the government’s request for advice on how employers could support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
The Farmer/Stevenson report made several recommendations for employers, including developing mental health awareness among employees, encouraging open conversations about mental health, providing employees with good working conditions and ensuring they have a healthy work life balance with opportunities for development.
A conversation about mental health, is more than a conversation about mental ill-health. Our workshop facilitates staff to share what energises, what drains and what restores, both personally and collectively. We have found these conversations help staff better understand their and others’ approach to work, leading to a more positive, appreciative environment. These are important conversations, but they rarely happen unless time is set aside and the right conditions for participation are created.
The workshop isn’t simply about conversation, we provide input and resources on a variety of approaches and practices to help staff consider the choices they make about how they work. Workshops can be planned from 2 hours (though we usually recommend a minimum of 3 hours) up to a full day; course booklets with helpful resources are provided.
Work places are often fast-paced environments, where information is exchanged rapidly and concisely. In this atmosphere, friction can develop between colleagues, sometimes resulting in conflict in the workplace. Similarly, misunderstanding can easily develop between partners from other organisations or with clients.
To promote good practice in perspective sharing and to reduce the time spent in ‘difficult conversations’, we provide training in the use of communication tools that enable people to communicate more positively.
We address common work place scenarios such as when:
- the conversation seems uneasy or unproductive-
- someone feels ‘got at’ or threatened, or the other party seems angry
- the conversation becomes a debate or an argument
- the conversation has become negative, and seems stuck
We use accessible, memorable communication theory in our workshops, delivered in an easily applicable manner to enable staff teams to reduce conflict in interpersonal communication, and create positive outcomes. Workshops draw from a range of components, according to the needs of an organisation. Workshops can be planned from 2 hours up to a full day; course booklets with helpful resources are provided.
With extensive experience of DMU in the school curriculum, we provide consultancy and training for schools seeking to develop their approach to inclusion. We have worked with a number of integrated schools and Shared Education projects assisting with defining intentions, progression of activities through the curriculum, and use/provision of resources.
The workshops we provide are:-
- Tricky Conversations: Talking about contentious issues in the classroom.
- Walk In My Shoes: Arranging a walk for a school staff team to experience the school’s locality through visits to local community partners.
- The Value Of Storytelling: A cross-curricular approach to exploring perspectives.
- Facilitated Board of Governors meeting, to share personal perspectives, pupils’ needs in the local context and the governors’ role in meeting these.