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Effective processes and policies are crucial to the smooth running of a care home. Procedures like infection control, housekeeping, incontinence, and the like are fundamental to every care organisation. Standardised practices that can be repeated over and over in the same way, by anyone. So far, so good.

The next logical step of course, calls for people working in your organisation to follow those processes in the same way, and that could be straightforward… if they all behaved the same way. The reality is that within your care home, large or small, you are surrounded by unpredictability in the human form – from the person who enthusiastically agrees with everything you say then continues to do something completely different, to the person who follows everything to the letter then freezes up with the slightest mention of change to a process, and carries on regardless in the old familiar way.

Communication is hugely underestimated in all businesses as a way of improving operational performance and enjoying an overall better environment. A healthy culture, where people know how to communicate well up and down and across the business with their colleagues and management, is proven to be much more productive and efficient. We know ourselves in any relationship that has mutual respect, where we are heard and feel valued, feels good. It is no different in a working relationship.

Thinking firstly about your own style and personality, you are absolutely not seen in the same way by all your employees. Your passion and assertiveness could be mistaken for aggression; your reserved demeanour with difficulty in showing your feelings, may be viewed as you being a cold fish and withdrawn, by more outgoing individuals. We are complex characters.

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity of being aware of, expressing and controlling your own emotions, and having the ability to handle relationships empathetically and with care, this is the key to both personal and professional success.

In its simplest form, we are all two-dimensional as the graphs here show.

You can spot those fast-paced, more forceful characters by the way they speak loudly and quickly, and likely chop their hands and become animated to get their point across, versus the more moderately paced thinkers who have a much calmer, softer approach to life.

On the other dimension, some people are friendly and agreeable whilst others challenge just about everything, and can be quite cynical when it comes to new ideas or suggestions. This is down to having a preference to never being caught out and would refer to facts and figures to justify a suggestion rather than just a gut feeling that it’s right.

We all have preferred styles of behaviour. It’s not to say that if you choose the quiet life and don’t like hurting someone’s feelings that you won’t confront them if necessary, it just takes more energy to do it and feels very uncomfortable to deal with. Likewise, if you are assertive and talkative, once you know that about yourself, you can work on your listening skills. We are energised by certain people and less by others. Knowing why unlocks communication, connection and collaboration.

Understanding and celebrating each other’s human differences is the key to achieving emotional maturity amongst employees in your care home. Discovering ways to be heard so others listen, and dealing effectively with colleagues differing personalities will help you to form a healthy culture which is focused on shared values and a common goal, rather than fragmented behaviours and lazy thinking that ends up with everything coming back to your door.

If you would like more information on Emotional Intelligence and how it could work for you, please ask us.