No room for high horses

A small group of us have been working together at HQ Sign up to Safety for the last year.  Together we have found meaning, even joy, in working on a common purpose together.  These are the insights, the things we are noticing that are different from the work each of us has done before:

Locally owned self directed safety improvement really does trump top down initiatives

Helping people work on things that matter to them is vital; there are a ton of things that can be done on a wider scale and by those at a national level but the closer the implementation is to those who are delivering care the better

No room for high horses

Each of us need to try to unfreeze our fixed positions or move away from the entrenched views and assumptions we have long held; moving away from an attachment to a particular point of view opens us up to hear different perspectives and shift from polarised positions of us and them

Who do we think we are

The answer exists not in any one of us but in all of us; we are not the experts and nor should we look to other experts;  the answers lie all around us – in those that are working day to day in the NHS

Model the world you want to live in

When people speak, really listen, take in what they are saying and use silence as a positive – show you appreciate their contribution, listen with respect.  Value those that don’t obviously contribute – who are not the first to speak – these are people who listen and see patterns from simply paying attention

Pay attention to the question as much as the answer

Frame your dilemma as a question rather than a problem – seek to identify the right question to answer; a question that if explored thoroughly will provide the breakthrough you are seeking;  a question that  generates hope, new thinking and action for the future rather than keep us focused on the past and obstacles

Free up people from having to reach an outcome

Avoid predetermined outcomes – instead focus on bringing people together to explore a safer culture, a way of working which allows people to speak up, a safer NHS…. regardless of all of our opinions we can explore issues even if we have different views on how to get there

Conversations – who knew!

Move away from powerpoint presentations and speeches from ‘deemed’ experts on a stage to a structured conversational approach which helps the audience work together on complex challenges and questions.  Using conversations can support a core human need of being able to share our stories and to be heard – it is amazing what can happen when you provide a simple but profound format for people to really talk together as equals