I am in the fortunate position of being able to visit services in my area on a regular basis. I get to see all the good bits – people getting ready to go to their Lifelong Learning Centre, getting ready to go to the pub for lunch, a visit to family, village parties, birthday parties, trips to the cinema and seaside!!
I am always amazed and delighted to see the way staff encourage and support people in these activities. The use of Great Interactions – getting down to eye level to make eye contact when people are using a wheelchair, a gentle touch to the shoulder as someone nervously looks on at a session at the learning centre. Encouragement to wave the flag for MacIntyre at Wheathampstead village day!! – All subtle but important things.
When speaking to staff on my travels they do all this naturally – the atmosphere in the houses is like a family, good laughter, good banter and picking each other up when something goes wrong.
Staff tell me that they like the way MacIntyre promotes Great Interactions, they see this as a positive reflection on the organisation and are proud to be part of it.
Staff say that they are pleased when they get good feedback on how they interact. This feedback can be from a colleague, a manager, visitor or family member. What we are not so good at is recognising and recording this as a compliment!!
Suzy and Emma enjoying some time together at The Sparkle Club
When I am visiting services I see staff sitting on the floor with people playing games, lying across a bean bag to make eye contact, sharing a laugh and a smile together. When I have attended reviews or team meetings I see staff using reflection to discuss what has worked or not worked for somebody. I think that Great Interactions has given staff the tools to hold better discussions; it gives staff ‘food for thought’, it is simple yet effective and allows staff to really think about how they interact with people and how to make it meaningful.
Scott concentrating on a card game
Trevor helping Martin to open some Birthday sweets!