What´s good work? It´s hard to nail down exactly what best practice is. Here´s a short quiz that brings together different aspects of what can guide good work :
Are we in touch with our peers beyond our organisation?
Do we share ideas with others, and take ideas from others? Do we take time out to get inspired and inspiration?
Do we take time out of our focus to take a bird´s eye view of our context of work?
Do we think strategically about our work?
Do we care for ourselves?
8 questions to reflect on where things are at for you:
- Have you been to a conference in the past two years?
- Have you attended a workshop where you were the participant in the last 6 months?
- Do you subscribe to any newsletters or digests from outside of your organisation?
- Do you connect with or have contact with others from your sector, but outside of your organisation, on a regular basis?
- Do you have a code of ethics that you refer to?
- How much leave have you used in the past 12 months?
- How often in 12 months do you plan and strategise about your work?
- How often do you have a 1-1 meeting with your manager?
How to look at your answers
- It is important to connect with new ideas and other people in the sector and beyond. There´s nothing that says you have to go to conferences. But they are useful to keep up with research and new ideas that could help you in your work.
- Same as above. Workshops are useful not only to learn about new ideas, but also to upskill and learn new ways to do things.
- Ideas and inspiration are crucial to innovate in our work. Videos, blogs, podcasts, research reports – it all keeps our wheels of discovery turning, helping us to see new links in what we do, so that we can do it better.
- Similar to above – connecting with others, hearing how they do things can give us new ways of seeing, new perspectives on the issues, the context, the world.
- What do you have to guide your work? When you´re in a sticky situation, what guides you to act ethically and do no harm? Social workers, counsellors, and the like, have a Code of Ethics which guides their work, their behaviour, and the line of what is appropriate when working with the world around them. What do you have?
- Self-care! If you haven´t taken any leave in the last year, ask yourself why. Taking breaks and white space are essential to rest. Think of Winter – the season where nature lies in rest, to prepare for Spring.
- I always say, if you don´t know where you´re going, you can´t go anywhere. Strategy is essential to be clear on your purpose and what you are trying to do. Importantly, it also helps you match your methods to your objectives. This is also a good moment to look at the evidence for what works.
- Our organisations are known for often having a lack of support. You might have a manager, but they are often so busy dealing with their own workload that there isn´t much time for you or your development. 1-1 meetings are useful to catch up, get advice, see what you´re doing well and what needs work. Maybe you don´t have regular 1-1 meetings, but maybe you feel completely supported by informal catch ups and other colleagues. That´s ok too.