An example of why this Chief Executive advocates the use of one-page profiles throughout his entire staff team and the people they support. Brian Hutchinson has had personal successes with his profile too, believing that sharing it aids better understanding, first impressions and relationships.
Written By Brian Hutchinson, Chief Executive of Real Life Options
I’ve worked in community based learning disability services for 20 years; primarily with people who have a diagnosis of autism, or with people who have a formal or informal forensic history and I’ve been working for Real Life Options for 11 years now.
From my perspective as Chief Executive the purpose of introducing one-page profiles into the organisation was twofold. Firstly it was a way for the people we support to communicate what they are about and what is important to them. This works well between the person and support workers but also in the wider community. Secondly, and from an internal perspective, when used with staff it helps embed our person-centered ethos into the culture from the get go. It’s one of the first things that new members of staff do when they come to work for Real Life Options.
I was among the first to produce my one-page profile and it is displayed on the wall at each of our office buildings. I send it out prior to meetings with new people. We take part in a lot of cooperative work with similar organisations to share best practice, it really helps to break the ice in a situation where lots of new faces gather together to discuss issues that can be challenging. I thought it was important to be very honest when producing my own one-page profile as personally I feel it’s worthless if it doesn’t reflect who you are as a person and how you work.
I believe that using one-page profiles throughout Real Life Options has helped people we support and members of staff to really understand the core of person-centered values. When you begin by examining yourself and your own traits, needs and values it’s then much easier to transfer this way of thinking into the work that you do. On a personal note it has helped me to avoid misunderstandings that might cause tension. For example, my profile tells people that my leg shakes during meetings when I’m interested, it has in the past been misconstrued as irritation or unease. It’s good to get these things out there and avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings.
Having a one-page profile has definitely made a difference to my initial encounters with new people. It’s a great way to begin a new relationship and reflects the honest, open and genuine way in which we operate at Real Life Options.