Anticipating and responding to challenges

Although all areas of the Australian Aged Care Leadership Capability Framework may be relevant to your work as a middle manager and clinical leader, I-CHARP implementation will be most likely to involve you demonstrating capabilities related to the domains of Others, Change and Self.  This necessitates you feel prepared and supported to lead and manage people and processes in aspects of:

  • Change  
  • Performance
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Ensuring engagement with relatives/ regular visitors
  • Self-care and support in your role.

CHANGE

There is a multitude of information about people’s responses to change and the need for effective change management. The consequences of poorly managed change are often obvious and can have major impact on individuals and organisations.

There are many models about how to implement change. This video presents a summary of a few of the most commonly used approaches to change.
1. Which model resonates most with you and your role in I-CHARP?

The models of change all have common features. Managing change effectively inevitably requires:

RESPONSES TO CHANGE

Response to change varies depending on the change, its nature and pace and the individual. Some people readily embrace it, others may actively or passively resist it.

Resistance to change can be a defense mechanism caused by frustration and anxiety. Individuals may not be resisting the change as much as they are resisting a potential loss. In many cases, there is not a disagreement with the benefits of the new process, but rather a fear of the unknown future and about their ability to adapt to it.

Resistance to change occurs for many reasons including:

  • Insecurity
  • Sense of loss and confusion
  • Mistrust in the process
  • Fear of letting go
  • Uncertainty, instability and emotional stress
  • Increase in conflict associated with the change
  • Change overload and fatigue.

Resistance can be overcome through:

SOFT SKILLS FOR CHANGE

As a clinical leader, your role in I-CHARP is that of change agent:

You are likely to be informing, persuading and supporting others during change and sustaining momentum. The soft skills are not easy skills. They are essential skills needed to overcome resistance to change.


Other key knowledge and skills for managing change are awareness of the roles of individuals and groups impacted by the change, communication, emotional intelligence and self-awareness and self -management.


Roles commonly found in residential aged care include:

•Manager (facility/Service)
•Leisure, lifestyle, activities officers, diversional therapists
•Aged Care/Personal care workers
•Team leaders
•Endorsed/ Enrolled Nurses
•Clinical Care Coordinators/CNCs/ Nurse Practitioners
•RNs/CNS
•Educators

When implementing change, an understanding of current roles and the impact of change has on them assists you to develop strategies to avoid:

Role conflict– an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations
Role ambiguity– a person is unclear about their role
Role overload– too much is expected of someone
Role underload– too little is expected and the person feels they are not contributing or valued.

Which of these staff in the care home will you need to engage with in order to
support the implementation of I-CHARP?
What do you anticipate you may need to do as a change agent with each of these?

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, SELF-AWARENESS & SELF-MANAGEMENT

The ability to recognise and manage emotions in yourself as well as others is an essential attribute of effective leaders.

A common self-protection mechanism is using defensive rather than productive reasoning.

This powerpoint presents a summary of some of the work on emotional intelligence and defensive reasoning.

SELF-CARE

A popular saying is that in order to care for others, you need to care for yourself. The same applies to leadership. Leading can be laborious as well as joyous work. Managers and leaders are at risk of overload and burnout, just as much, if not more than others. Self -care is essential but often overlooked as an important ability. We often recommend it to others but do not follow through on it for ourselves. It is important to set boundaries, be kind to ourselves and ‘switch off’ through activity such as exercise, relaxation or socialising.

Resilience Resource has been developed for people working in aged care.The resource recognises that working in aged care can be challening. Review the information in the resource for your self-care as well as its usefulness to share with others.