What we did
Impromptu recently supported Gill Parkin of Gill Parkin Consulting (www.gillparkin.com) in delivering a series of dedicated, bespoke workshops for managers at Damart UK, the Bingley based clothing company, to help provide them with the skills and confidence to engage effectively with challenging conversations related to health and wellbeing themes.
The one-day workshop, with role play practice at its core, drew managers into exploring many facets of these tough conversations, developing their empathy, listening, emotional awareness, supportiveness, sensitivity and self-care. It was a demanding day, not just testing the participants’ skills and attitudes in these difficult learning areas, but exploring their own vulnerabilities and experiences through scenarios that tackled issues such as stress, anxiety, self-harm, bereavement, depression, suicidal thoughts, reflecting real situations that were deliberately designed to be evocative.
As a delivery team we were extremely impressed with the managers’ capacity to be open, to confront their own demons and to engage (emotionally) with this important work. It is difficult territory, inviting profound questions about the boundaries of the manager’s role and exploring the tricky and fluid intersection between duty of care and business imperatives.
And it was powerfully relevant as well as deeply resonant. The topics were live and real for participants, often very personally so. We were perpetually mindful of our own duty of care, in creating a supportive and sensitive learning environment, one in which the participants could be held safely in their own moment of vulnerability. It felt meaningful, valuable and exhausting, in equal measure.
Feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The have commented, universally, that whilst the role plays were a real stretch for many, the learning was huge and people really felt able to test out new ideas and approaches, and the client has responded that the feedback from these events far exceeded what they originally envisaged. Indeed, Damart are looking to expand this training out to managers from other parts of the business.
Our hope, at very least, is that the opportunity afforded for the Damart managers has made them even more alive to their organisational and societal commitment to compassionate living. And if we have achieved this, in our view, the workshops have been an immeasurable success.
“It’s always brilliant working with the role players; and I’m always hugely appreciative
of the quality of the experience and feedback that my participants get.”
Gill Parkin, Gill Parkin Consulting