Meditation for the Perfectionist

Social Workers often have a lot riding on them doing their jobs well. I think we all, to some extent, feel the weight of our jobs as part of society’s social safety net. If you are a Social Worker or helping professional that also contends with anxiety, your ability to cope can be diminished by a sense that perfection is required.

So, for anyone that may find themselves falling into the perfectionist trap; I dedicate this meditation to you. I created it for myself to use during particularly stressful times. If it is helpful to you, please use it. If you would like the file emailed to you, just let me know.

Anyone else struggle with anxiety from rigid self-expectations? Let me know how you deal.

Mandy

Anxiety and Relaxation Meditation

 

 

World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis…

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”

Hey all! 

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.

Mandy

Fundraiser: Social Workers and Allies for Basic Human Needs in Yemen

Social Workers as Hope Providers

There is something about the holidays and the start of the new year that many of us find hopeful. For some Social Workers, we can feel the sharp juxtaposition between this occurance and our experiences day to day with those that have lost hope. That loss of hope becomes even more apparent  amidst the hopefulness that surrounds it in this season.

So today I wanted to highlight a fantastic article written by Elizabeth Clark covering 10 important notes about hope for Social Workers.

Read the full article from The New Social Worker Magazine here and make hope a priority for yourself and those you serve.

10 Essentials Social Workers Must Know About Hope

I hope for hope.

Best to you all,

Mandy

AmeriCorps and Social Work

Check out my new article published today in the fall issue of the New Social Worker Magazine! Thinking about AmeriCorps as a way to social work and want to talk first hand with some one who has done it? Contact me -would love to connect!

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Read full article below:

AmeriCorps as a Path to Social Work

Best Practices Brainstorm

Calling all Case Managers, Program Managers, former program participants, or any other persons who have been involved with a Permanent Supportive Housing Program!

I am seeking feedback on the challenges faced and best practice strategies that have been faced and utilized by persons who have been involved with operating long-term supportive housing programs for chronically homeless persons. I currently manage such a program and could always use new ideas. It is a tough program to run, but success is possible! Maybe you are also working in such a program and feel you need support or ideas-let me know your challenges!

Write me a comment or let me know your thoughts through my contact page!

Thanks all!

Mandy

 

 

Transformative Supervision: Book Review

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.

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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!