‘Meeting’ someone before you meet them

How a one-page profile can help families feel at ease when meeting Support Providers and talking about their support needs. Marina’s one-page profile gives both personal and professional information. Families get a sense of who she is which helps them to feel comfortable and relaxed when first meeting her.

Marina's one-page profile

Marina’s one-page profile

Written by learning disability and autism support provider, Dimensions

Marina works as a Support Advisor for support provider, Dimensions. She talks to potential new customers and their families about what kind of support is important to them and what is available; this helps them work out what they want and how much it will cost.

Marina’s one-page profile is used to help introduce her to customers and their families. When meeting for the first time the challenge is often to break the ice, get to know one another, and feel at ease. It was hoped that sharing information beforehand about who Marina is and how she approaches her life and work would help.

Marina developed her one-page profile with her work colleagues, family and friends. All Dimensions’ Support Advisors hold an up-to-date profile and they have found that they support and aid internal working relationships and productivity. It was thought that extending them to potential customers and families could have similar results.

The profiles used by Marina and her team have made a big difference in helping working relationships to quickly settle. Families, in particular, have really taken to them and have commented on their benefits. They have said that it is nice to put a face to someone’s name when looking at the photo, which makes them feel like they have ‘met’ Marina before she arrives at their doorstep.  There has been an emotional difference too. People and families take comfort in getting to know Marina through reading about what is important to her and have found this very ‘warming and settling’.

Marina sends out her one-page profile to people and their families before meeting them face-to-face as a way of introducing her and her approach to work.  She updates it from feedback received from people and their families, as well as from discussions with her team members and manager.

In her one-page profile Marina talks about being passionate about her job as well as being committed and not giving up. She also provides some lighter and more personal information that lets people know she cares about her own family and has room for fun in her life too. This information presents a reassuring balance for people and Marina has noticed that it has made her more approachable.

Of her profile, Marina said: “It has helped iron-out the uncertainties and unease that sometimes comes with meeting people for the first time, particularly (and understandably) when people are seeking out any hints or clues that will help them build trust and confidence in the relationship. It helps clarify the best way forward and ensures I can get on with my job with confidence.”