Mark Topps is a social care leader and campaigner. He is the Regional Business Manager at Essex Cares Limited, as well as Co-Founder of social care chat shows The Caring View and The Health and Social Care Club.
In this short piece Mark discusses ‘relational leadership’ and what he learnt through his My Home Life England programme…
“Many people who find themselves in manager positions are those that have worked for a company, or within the sector, for a longer period of time and have climbed the career ladder.
However for many of us, the upskilling and training in leadership and management isn’t offered and this can lead to burnout and job failure.
‘Relational leadership’ is the process of bringing people together to accomplish change or make a difference. In this piece, I explore the three biggest barriers to this and some steps I learnt from my My Home Life England programme to overcome these.
Difficulty handling change
Change management can be challenging, but it is an essential skill for any manager or leader. I learnt from My Home Life that you need to be aware of the discomfort that many people have with change. Ensure you communicate effectively with the team about what is happening, what they can expect and any potential impact to them and the organisation. It is important to effectively listen, provide support and lead by example.
Through my programme I learnt how to celebrate small wins, praise staff when they are doing a good job and to be patient when managing resistance.
Inability to work well in a team
My Home Life teaches you great things about how to increase your ability to work well within a team, whether that is with your direct reports or with stakeholders and senior managers.
It taught me and the rest of my cohort about how to self-reflect and identify issues within yourself, how to constructively seek feedback, methods to improve communication and how to adapt your management styles when needed.
Poor interpersonal relations
Many of us are not extroverts, so overcoming the fear of having to be bold and standing out above the crowd does not always come easy! However as a manager it is one thing that we need to develop.
The My Home Life England facilitator from my programme taught me and the cohort I was in so much about stepping outside your comfort zone, as well as the importance of setting yourself goals, how to practice small talk and even how body language can come across.
The My Home Life programme is an amazing resource for managers – both newly appointed and those who have been in the role for a longer period of time – as it provides you with some real practical and tangible tips and tricks to engage with your team and to make a huge impact with the people you are supporting.
It doesn’t just stop at the end of the programme as, with the catch up sessions and the friendships/relationships you make with your cohort, you have a support team around you for the future.”