Setting up environments that increase the chances of friendships forming

Friendships can’t be forced.  But there are things we can do to increase the chances of friendships forming. Janet Klees proposes 5 Ps Janet Klees is a Canadian expert in building relationships between people with and without disability.  She proposes these 5 Ps: Person – know in depth the interests, skills, and conditions for success around this interest. Place – find the places in the community where this interest can be shared Presence – show Read more…

Don’t count your friends by the number of parties you go to

Building friendships for our family members with disability isn’t easy. How we define what a friend is will be really important for how we go about supporting friendships. If we don’t know what a friend is, then how can we know if we have them or not and our strategies for making them are working? Avoid Narrow Definitions of Friendships We can often fall into the trap of defining a friend very narrowly leaving us Read more…

Stepping Back

It’s a scary thing leaving your vulnerable loved one in the hands of others.   We have all seen those stories in the news.  It sure leaves a terrible fear in my stomach when I think about it. But being there every day, day after day to make sure things are done right isn’t sustainable is it.  So what can you do? My son now lives independently from me.  In order to do that I needed Read more…

What’s your leadership style?

Participative v Authoritarian Do you believe your staff love their work and take pride in doing the best possible job? Or do you think that they see it as a burden, and just do it for the money? These assumptions can influence how you deal with people. Douglas McGregor in this 1960 management classic The Human Side of Enterprise described two types of managers – Authoritarian  and Participative which still holds today in management theory. Read more…

Help your team understand their purpose

As a leader part of your role is to help your team to be very clear on their purpose and where they are heading. Writing a manifesto can help you clarify what you believe and what type of contribution you want your team to make to your family member’s life and the wider community. A manifesto is …. A written statement to publicly declare your intentions, motives, or beliefs. From the Latin manifestus — to Read more…

Trusting your team

Trust is Key When your family member’s support workers feel you trust them, they will be more willing to voice concerns and offer suggestions to improve on the way things are done.  If there is trust among team members they can focus on delivering the best outcomes without the worry of making a mistake in front of their colleagues.  They will be more willing to give things a go and work together. Working with a Read more…

Not got time? Here’s how to find it

Good life building takes work doesn’t it.  It’s more stuff on our plate.  Our to do lists get long and overwhelming and we can get so overwhelmed we stop cause we don’t know where to start. Often when we are not getting anything done, we can start blaming factors that are out of our control.  Things like I’ve got too much to do and I have no time. Because they seem out of our control, Read more…

Keep the momentum going

If the only interaction you have with circle members is at the meetings themselves, you run the risk of the circle members not forming strong relationships with each other or your family member and losing the momentum of being part of something great. So here are some tips for keeping the momentum going…. Tip # 1:  Meet up with individual circle members for social activities in between meetings. Now this doesn’t have to end up Read more…

Inviting people to join your circle

Asking people to join a circle of support is often the thing that people find the hardest.  What if they say no?  Here are some tips for asking in a way that is likely to get a yes and what to do if they say no. Tip #1 The first step doesn’t have to be asking people to a meeting Your first step can be focusing on getting to know  people over a shared interest.  Read more…

Top tips for helping your family member get involved in their circle of support

The purpose of a circle of support is to help your family member with a disability to build the good life they want.  It’s going to be important that your family member is supported to get involved.  This isn’t easy if your family member experiences anxiety at meetings, doesn’t read or speak.  In the beginning my son Isaac would hide in his room as he was anxious about having lots of people talking about him.  Read more…