Our caring value may appear to be one which needs little explaining given the work we do. It should go without saying that to work in Social Care (the clue is in the title!) caring is fundamental.
I don’t doubt that every one of us recognises the caring value around us all the time. It’s there in the way we speak to people, the way we make them feel and the support we provide. But even within our organisation there will be those who live the caring value to a greater extent than others. So what is it that the caring champions do?
It’s about the attention to detail. Knowing what matters to an individual, whether that’s a customer or colleague. Remembering the little things that make them smile and taking the time to check in on how they are feeling. Kindness is a key component of being caring and where this is strongest, it comes from a genuine interest in others and an appreciation that everyone is different. Empathy and understanding; walking 'in that other person’s shoes’ is also a great ability of our caring champions.
Caring is in many people’s natures but our ability to show this can be affected by the situation we face. For example, if we are working a particularly busy shift or have a deadline to meet this can affect our ability to be caring as our perspective shifts to being focussed on ourselves and the challenges we are facing rather than focussing on people around us. This is perfectly natural and something we all face. If we are aware of it, we can adapt to ensure our caring value doesn’t get forgotten.
Caring also extends wider than the immediate verbal interaction you might have with someone. Caring is also about being respectful around someone’s choices or opinions, ensuring people are involved in decisions that affect them and seeking their views. It’s about how we treat that person in the widest sense – being respectful about how we treat information about someone is just as important as speaking to them kindly.
Caring is more about how we do things than what we do. The same support can be provided by two different people and be perceived completely differently based on whether the caring value is being lived.
As with any of our values, caring will come more naturally to some than others and can fluctuate day to day depending on our own health and wellbeing. Set yourself the challenge to develop your caring value even further this month.
Here are some prompts: