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A life-changing programme: Skills For Change

Skills for Change

But what is it all about and why does it have such an impact?

Places on the Skills for Change programme are offered to members of the Resilience and Wellbeing Network each year.

It is a great introduction to people and communication skills, and gives you a grounding in the Oasis Seven Stage Model for Effective Human Relations.

On the programme people learn key skills to improve performance and management. It helps you build confidence and develop approaches to difficult conversations, such as giving feedback. It enables you to practise skills such as reflection, negotiation and decision making.

The framework helps you to work out where you are in a working relationship and what is needed – whether that is clarifying, contracting or challenging.

Jane Hussey, director of Brook Babes Nurseries, has been on Skills for Change not once, but twice. Managers from the nurseries have been on the programme in two cohorts, partly through their network membership.

Now that a number of people have been on Skills for Change, what has been the impact on the organisation?

Jane said: “People are talking about contracting, they are challenging each other differently. They are reflecting more on their behaviour and its impact on other people.

“The difference has been amazing. We all have a tool which is part of our everyday language, which has made a big difference.”

Meetings have been transformed with staff and managers getting used to contracting, clarifying and reflecting during meetings.

Brook Babes provide childcare through nurseries and after school clubs in Wetherby, Boston Spa and Bramham.

Jane said: “The job has got a lot more complex over the last 20 years. Our managers are very aware that they are dealing with challenge and they are thinking about how they address issues and how that impacts on others.

“If I keep doing the same thing I will keep getting the same result. We need to do things differently to adapt to change.”

Childcare is a challenging sector – particularly with issues around the constant change in standards of Education, Safeguarding and SEN which makes it difficult finding time to have vital conversations.

By using what they have practised on Skills for Change, Brook Babes managers are able to be proactive in promoting ‘effective working relationships’ which leads to high performance within their teams.