Resilience is an ability to be successful both personally and professionally, in a high-pressured, fast-paced and continuously changing environment. It’s fair to say that this is a reasonable reflection on the landscape within case management where the environment does indeed change continuously.
Although undoubtedly sometimes stressful, the majority of case managers find their work deeply satisfying, despite inevitable emotional burdens of working with clients closely on emotive and difficult subjects. As a team at Social Return Case Management we endeavour to support each other in our working relationships and celebrate the achievements of each other and our clients.
Building Resilience as a Resource
Case management requires the staff team to individually and collectively be able to draw on all areas of experience to maintain a healthy balanced perspective and sustained energy and stamina in meeting challenging goals. This underpins the success of our clients in achieving their goals along the rehabilitation pathway.
Personal Resilience relies upon an ability to demonstrate confidence, adaptability and flexibility. As a company therefore we select staff who have these skills and are also keen to develop themselves further to benefit the team.
Part of having personal resilience relies upon also having organisational resilience. This is why Social Return puts a focus upon demonstrating support, trust and mutual respect of business and personal priorities as well as experimenting with new ways of working to better meet business goals and personal needs.
A key element of the model of our business which exemplifies this, is working in teams, utilising the skills of assistant case managers, other case managers via peer supervision and the client liaison team. This allows for additional flexibility, sharing the burden and also adding additional skills in to the mix – an example of practical ways the organisation can build integral support to enhance resilience on a personal level.
We recognise that the attributes of a good support network within the company are:
Emotional resilience is closely related to emotional intelligence and emotional literacy - the ability to recognise understand and appropriately express our emotions.
Emotional intelligence helps our team to manage their own emotional reactions and those of others more effectively, and to recognise the potential impact of their personal emotional states on their problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
Goleman (1996) identified the five 'domains' of EQ as:
Emotional intelligence is a skill absolutley necessary for case managers because of the diversity of their work, the multiple stakeholders they have to deal with on daily basis, and the increased potential need for conflict management. Emotionally intelligent managers understand their own behaviour, their strengths and weaknesses. They are calm, in control and are highly attuned to the emotions and feelings of others. They seek to enhance unobtrusively. Subsequently, they make strong connections with people and know how to react in different situations, knowing what to say and do to make others feel better and what it takes to influence or inspire them.
Top 5 tips to build resilience: