Beyond the Mask has an open invitation to anyone who would like to become a guest blogger and share with the world their experiences of ‘change’ and how it impacted on them… and most importantly… how they impacted on ‘change’– Nigel
In this first guest blog, you will get to hear about the experiences of change from someone who has a great sense of humour and a level of determination and energy that is infectious… I first met him at the beginning of Beyond the Masks Team Development programmes ‘Finding the i in Team’
Who am I?
First and foremost, I am me; I am a young lad who grew up in Dublin, Ireland and one of eight kids. Being youngest boy in the family I always had a second-hand clothes and when I say second-hand clothes they really were, I wore the clothes that my brother had grown out of and quite often he got when another brothers had grown out of them.
I can recall in my younger days sharing a bed with four of my brothers and had coats on the bed to keep us warm rather than bedding.
We had no central heating at one stage; I can recall scraping the ice of the inside of the bedroom window. I can recall the day my dad came home from work he was so excited, one of his colleagues at work had got this brilliant invention called central heating. It was many years before we got central heating. I recall the windows had wooden frames. Some neighbours had double glazed windows, not us; don’t get me wrong we eventually got central heating and double glazed windows. Christmas time we did get gifts however it was not like now; when it came to Christmas time you got what you got. ‘Not what you wanted’ for Christmas, you got what you were given, and we were very grateful.
We never had a family summer holiday, if we were lucky we went for a 30-minute trip to the seaside if our dad was not working at the weekend.
I’m not saying this out of pity, I’m saying this as fact this is me who I am.
I have been involved and worked in the caring industry for over 35 years and experienced some amazing things. I have done every job from a pot washer, a volunteer in the order of Malta Ambulance Corps in Ireland where one weekend I was the Ambulance crew for HRH Crown Prince Abdullah. I have worked in care homes, hospitals, within communities as well as a remand foster career. No matter where I worked or the role I had, there was always a shadow following me. Dyslexia.
I never let Dyslexia pull me back, it is and always will be, in my shadow.
I have worked within many teams within big organisations as well as big companies and experienced the typical team day with the in-house training and social events you would expect to have. It was at the beginning of 2020 when I realised we were going to have some in-house training with a guy called Nigel.
What is this guy going to teach someone like me with all my experience with all my professionalism, ‘who the hell does this guy think he is’ was my initial though! I had only just returned to work in the Care Home which I left as a support worker four months previous. Accepting the role as Assistant Manager and getting back into management was something I told myself I would never get back into after being the registered manager of a care home previously.
The reason I returned to this Home was because I believed I was ready. I could support my organisation, my manager and first of foremost the 6 young people that were living at the care home. I knew I could make the difference.
You know what it’s like when you get told all sorts of things about some organisation coming in trying to tell us how to do a job and this guy was even saying there was an ‘i’ in team. I thought he’s having a laugh I may be dyslexic however I definitely know how to spell Team and there was definitely no ‘I’ in Team, so ‘I thought’
I went for my first meeting and I was introduced to Nigel Booth; First impressions this guy can dress and has a poker face, but I have better looking shoes.
What a shock, what a guy and what a programme. He was not here to brainwash me or to get me to dress or to change me as a person. He was talking to me about me, as a professional. Who I was and what I ‘have’ to give that would the difference to the young people that I care for? Nigel supported me to remember and bring out skills that I have gained for well over 30 years and somehow, I had almost forgotten what I know and probably most important, how good I could be.
What an impact ‘Finding the i in Team’ has on me. It brought ‘me’ out of me, it has brought me to believe in me. It has empowered me to pass on my passion, experience and genuine love for what I do to my team and in turn, to the young people we care for.
Having this programme has been invaluable for the whole team. From a personal position, the one-to-one sessions are so good, they really are worth their weight in gold. However, having had the opportunity to be the best I can be everyday has its challenges too
In my professional environment, each day is a challenge. We will always have times and days when you take one step forward and as the day rolls out, we get pushed back three, or four, or even more at times, it’s only what we expect when supporting young people going through the process. When you get reminded why you do what you do and the impact you can have on someone it gives you even more confidence and reason to keep pushing forward. I won’t accept being pushed back and will always use all the resources and energy of both myself and my team to push forward to give 100% to the young people that depend on us.
Accepting the position of assistant manager of a team that I was previously a member off and for a number of understandable circumstances, they were not working together as team was perfect timing to do this amazing programme.
I have been empowered with a whole different approach.
I have been wanting to create a blog for some time and when Nigel asked if I would be interested in becoming a guest blog on the new website, I jumped at it straight away.
I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and how things turn out. I will be sharing some of the questions I have asked Nigel and how some of the answers we explored and the reality of been the best you can be, every day.
Until next time