Hey Fellow Social Workers! If Yemen was 100 people, 80 would need aid to survive.
Let’s respond as a profession to this crisis
“The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty”
Whether you are a social worker or not, we can all do one thing to help Yemen through the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Can you skip a lunch? Skip a coffee? Let’s all skip that item we indulge in to address the starvation and devastation yet.
I chose Islamic Relief USA as they are highly rated for using funds well on Charity Navigator.
To quote my favorite poet, Wendell Berry: “The smallest unit of health is community.” We need each other to be whole. Do what you can.
Fundraiser: Social Workers and Allies for Basic Human Needs in Yemen
When I became a supervisor in the social work field, I was the youngest one on my team. Being in this position, I reached out for resources wherever possible, including reading a lot of materials on social work supervision.
I think part of being a young supervisor is that I adopted a more collaborative versus authoritarian supervisory style, that took into account the perspective of all members on my team, who often had many more years experience than myself.
I wanted to share a few pieces from one of the books that I found helpful as I navigated the new experience of providing supervision in the hopes that it will be useful to others who find themselves with similar feelings to what I described.
The first place to start is to evaluate and be self-aware of your leadership style. Do you know what style you tend towards? If not, read on!
Authoritarian Leadership Style: magnifies the bigger picture and links individual’s work to this bigger picture.
Strengths: ” provides clear direction,” “mobilizes people towards a vision,” “provides clear feedback on what is and is not working.”
Challenges : ” can become overbearing” ” can be dismissed” when the leader is not able to get staff on board with the larger vision or if staff feel that the leader does not “have the knowledge or experience” to support the vision.
Affiliative Leadership Style: “people centered, empathic, creates harmony”
Strengths: Growth in worker’s trust resulting in sharing ideas and innovation, “generates a sense of commitment and of belonging”
Challenges : ” can leave people directionless, tends to lack “enough feedback on poor performance.”
Democratic Leadership Style: “operates from principles of participation and collaboration”
Strengths: Can gain increased collaboration and create strong staff buy-in
Challenges : Can lead to “a sense of lack of direction and leadership” and more practically can lead to the “frustration of endless meetings.”
Coaching Leadership Style: “focuses on individual strengths and traits of workers and invests and grows these for the future”
Strengths: “able to have a high level of delegation” to workers through use of the support of frequent dialogue.
Challenges : The major drawback of this style is the time involved in making this style work.
Most of us feel most comfortable within one of these leadership styles. However, we are stronger and more versatile leaders when we can harness the strengths of each style within various situations and with various staff that may have different leadership needs.
Utilizing emotional intelligence will guide us towards which style is most appropriate for the tasks and persons we encounter as supervisors. For example, a supervisor who is able to blend authoritarian and affiliative leadership style are able to provide their staff with “clear vision and standards” while also showing a “caring and nurturing approach” that builds team committment.
How have you found a leadership style that has created a healthy, supported, and productive team? What experiences as a supervisor helped shape your leadership style? What supervisors have made an impact on you- what did they do to support your work? Write me your thoughts and I would love to share them in a future blog post! Write me below!
Sharing below a new article of mine published in the New Social Worker Magazine today. Enjoy and check out the rest of the magazine for some great content! Be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts!
Beyond “Fixing” It: Finding Strength in Your Limits as a Social Worker
March is National Social Work Month. Being a social worker is a great life and a career choice I do not regret. And while I do not want to play into the idea that being a social worker means a miserable work/life balance and days full of stress, often without support, there are times when I think we can all relate to the meme below.
So throughout the month of March, let the social workers that inspire you know that someone else is getting that warm feeling too. Send me a message through the Contact page with the first name and email of a social worker you admire. They will receive the following message and attached certificate in celebration of Social work month.
Happy 2018 Social Work Month!
You are receiving this email because someone submitted your name as a social worker that inspires them. In the hurry of your day, take a moment to realize that you work is essential to the community and you are appreciated.
Attached is your certificate of appreciation (because we can’t give you a bonus) to help remind you that your work is valuable and makes an impact.
The Social Worker’s Companion Blog
If you want to submit your own name, I won’t tell ; )