What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales
What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales

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What about me? A personal development course for carers in Wales

Skills and qualities


Listen to Suzanne talking about the skills and qualities she has developed through her caring role.

Figure 3.2 (model photo used for illustrative purposes only)
Download this audio clip.Audio player: wam_s3_suzanne_audio.mp3
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I think the positives of caring are actually developing much stronger than normal perhaps. I suppose it can work the other way but for our family certainly, we have very, very strong familial relationships. My sister and I have been brought closer together by this, also myself and my mother. My father and I, although we’ve always been very close, even though there’s 3000 miles away in distance between the two houses, we communicate on a daily basis and it’s not just about Steve; a lot of it is about sort of how I’m supporting Dad, or what’s going on in my life, so that has been a real positive.
Being a carer, I’ve developed a really good feeling for my own inner instincts: I’m a great researcher--I had to do a lot of research; good at developing leads for different treatments and care options and following those up, gathering information and disseminating that to other people in a way they can understand. And I’m not afraid to say, ‘Well, actually, I don’t agree with you’, even if the people I’m speaking to are so-called experts: ‘Have you looked at this? Have you looked at that? Why?’ Especially around Steven’s medication, because it took a long time for us to find medication that didn’t have so many side effects that he couldn’t function, so that was, you know, that was really tough.
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So Suzanne’s skills and qualities are:

  • research
  • gathering information
  • supporting
  • not afraid to disagree.

Activity 3.1 Thinking about my skills and qualities

Timing: You should spend around 15 minutes on this activity.

What do you think about Claire’s and Suzanne’s list of skills and qualities?

Have you thought about the personal qualities that you possess and how you might use these? What skills and qualities have you developed through your caring experiences? What other skills do you have, for example from your education or career?

Pick an event or a point in your timeline when you had to take action to resolve something. It could be something to do with family, work or practical issues like housing and money.

Look at James’ table where he describes a difficult decision that he made, the skills that he used and the qualities he demonstrated.

Table 3.1 James’ table

The event in my life
Turning down a job which I had worked hard for due to caring responsibilities
What I did
Interviewed and shadowed my retiring boss for 6 weeks then turned down the role – very difficult
What skills I used
Openness, clarity, logic, communication
What qualities I demonstrated

Kept my emotions in check

Remained resolute

Now make a list of what you did and then think about what skills you used, and the qualities that you have, that may have helped you.

Write your notes on Activity sheet 3.1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


Go to Activity 3.1 of your Reflection Log. Once you have completed the activity, make sure you save the document again.

If you are working as a group you may want to discuss together. Or, you may want to discuss with a friend.


Think about the following questions and make some notes in your Reflection Log or notebook:

  • Did you find that you used some of the same skills as Claire, Suzanne or James?
  • Did you discover that you have other skills, maybe some that you were not aware of?
  • Are you now aware of qualities that you have but hadn’t considered before?

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