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Performance Factors of Self-care: Work Relationships and Organizational Culture Part 2

Posted on August 4, 2017

Performance Factors of Self-care: Work Relationships and Organizational Culture Part 2

A healthy and trauma informed culture is emotionally regulated. This regulation allows us to focus on our work with clients and not the politics of the organization. To reach and maintain excellence, we must have a disciplined focus on actions that promote the best outcomes for our clients. Two ways to accomplish this in teams and organizations are through the establishment of shared values and shared visions. If you are interested in practical tools that can help your teams establish these important concepts visit Jim Collin’s website.

Values offer a powerful tool to keep a team focused on creating and maintaining healthy work environments in which world class services can be delivered.  Values are guiding principles that are timeless and require no external justification and promote moral safety. The brain organizes concepts in a hierarchy of emotionally toned thoughts.  It puts what is liked at the top and what is loathed at the bottom.  Values get their power because the brain has internalized them as powerful concepts that define who we are as a person.

A shared vision is the destination people are working toward.  Having a destination brings focused attention to the work.  What if there was no end zone in football? No basket in basketball or goal in soccer?  There might be some talented people doing some spectacular moves, but the team would be unorganized and chaotic since there is no collective objective. While it might seem silly to play basketball without a basket, organizations and individuals without a vision are basically doing just that, moving without purpose and focus. While it takes a little more work to define a destination, it’s important so that everyone knows where to put their focus and thus their energy and information.

The final areas of focus in the creation and maintenance of health and trauma informed culture are accountability and recognition. These two concepts build momentum and speed up the journey towards excellence.  The first accelerator is accountability.  Accountability starts with us taking ownership for our own behaviors and actions.  It’s easy to slip back into old habits that might be toxic, promote burnout or simply not help move the team and our work toward excellence. We need to be honest and self-reflective first and listen to feedback from peers and supervisors when it’s given.

Trauma informed cultures have high levels of accountability.  Building on honesty, people both give and take feedback.  This practice keeps individuals and teams aligned with shared values and on course to realize their shared vision.  When we approach accountability from a place of caring and empathy, it shows we value our team and the services delivered to clients.

The final aspect of a trauma informed culture is recognition.  Accountability addresses energy and information that deviates from the vision, and recognition reinforces energy and information that accelerates movement toward the vision.  Nothing is more powerful as a motivator toward excellence than hearing from peers and supervisors that our actions are helping to change lives and are appreciated by our teammates.  We all should be on the lookout for positive actions we witness our co-workers taking and bring it to the attention of the person, our teammates, and supervisors.

We hit the end of our journey, my friends. Over the last six months, I have attempted to motivate, scare, and provide strategies to help you take care of yourselves. I hope at the end of this journey you have come to the same conclusion I have come to after hundreds of hours of researching, presenting, and writing on self-care, to do this work effectively we must take care of ourselves first!

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