How my One-Page Profile has helped me become a better Advocate
19 August 2015 | By Amanda George
Ray Beckwith, a recently recruited volunteer with Knowsley Pensioners Advocacy & Information Service (KPAIS), shares his experiences.
I have worked in the legal industry for over 12 years and attended many police stations and court rooms during that time. I have always thought people really knew me and what I was about. However after recently joining KPAIS as a volunteering advocate, I was asked to attend a one-page profile session with the rest of my new colleagues.
I was somewhat sceptical at first as meeting everyone for the first time was already a daunting experience and I thought that it would be really hard to share personal things with them. I soon realised that we were all in the same boat and it became apparent that I was in the company of six wonderful ladies who all wore their heart on their sleeves. I never thought it would be so much fun completing my profile especially knowing it will help so many people understand who I am and what really makes me tick.
A One Page Profile is a short introduction to a person, which captures key information on a single page which gives for example family, friends or staff an understanding of the person and how best to support them.
The One Page Profile typically consists of a photo and three sections:
- What is important to me
- What others like and admire about me
- How to best support me
At KPAIS we have made a commitment to personalisation, and have a program approach looking at ways we can improve as an organisation to be more person-centred.
One of the things we have been doing is asking everyone working within the organisation to have a one-page profile. The process of creating these has helped people in the team to understand each other more and has provided an insight into the best way of working with colleagues. By creating my own one-page profile I recognise my strengths and weaknesses and now my colleagues know not to be put off if I am having a bad day and know how to work with me offering support.
We live in a culture where giving or receiving a compliment can feel uncomfortable. Using like and admire in team meetings has broken down this barrier and I feel we can be more honest and open with each other. Colleagues will find this to be really helpful in appraisals and one to ones too. Our one-page profiles facilitate positive feedback and open up conversations. We have found that talking about “how best to support me” makes it easier to ask for the support we need from Pat our manager.
I can see that the team has adopted one-page profiles as they “gel” together and work in harmony; they understand how to get the best out of each other and have found it easier to work out issues. When other people have seen the positive impact this work has had its inspired them to create their own one-page profiles.
My one-page profile has given me insight into the way I work, and how others see me. When I am out visiting or attending events I always try to dress to impress and wear a suit and tie, sometimes people find this a bit daunting and think I am unapproachable but after reading my one-page profile it breaks the ice and people know they can just talk to me.
Everyone regardless to his or her position or role in life can have a one-page profile, why not start yours today!
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