Thinking about skills and qualities
First we will hear from various carers about the skills and qualities they have developed from their caring roles. Then it will be your turn to think about your own skills and qualities.
Listen to Dean talking about the skills he’s gained through his many caring roles.
Clair reflects on how caring and the need to see things from the point of view of the person she is caring for means she knows how to see things from other people’s perspectives.
You have to think of the other person all the time … so you do think of the way they see things. I think it’s important for everyone to see everyone’s point of view. That’s such a vital thing in life, because if you just think of your own point of view and your own self and everything, then you don’t get other people and you don’t understand what they’re doing. You understand why someone’s doing something if you look at it from their point of view.
This ability to see things from another’s perspective is sometimes called emotional intelligence.
Anna looked after her brother through his mental ill health before he had to accept professional help, while also caring for her own children and finding her way in a new country. She is proud of being able to cope. She lists the things she is proud of achieving:
Look after someone who’s sick. Look after other children. Organising the house. Myself when I was taking my course at The Open University. Studying. It’s not easy. I’m proud of myself because I can say I’m well organised.
Janet reflects on how having to be organised and manage her time well means she is more focused. She also understands the value of patience.
I get stuff done a wee bit more quicker now … you’ve got to be more focused because if you spend too much time saying ‘I need to get such and such done’, it will never get done. So if you focus on something, then you’ll get the task done a lot quicker.
Patience. You’ve got to have patience. And you’ve got to be more laid back. Because I think if you’re not laid back, even just a wee bit, if you’re too much in a rush then everything is just wheeesht! If you’re trying to rush that other person to do something and they start shouting and bawling, then that’s it. Everything’s all gone.
Jade draws confidence from reflecting on the initiative she displayed in taking steps to gain volunteering experience.
Just thinking about it today, I’ve kinda amazed myself … I’ve not really thought about it properly until now, I’ve kinda shocked myself, just, well I have actually achieved something.
Listen again to Lesley talking through the skills she gained through caring, and thinking about how the reflection process helped her to recognise them.
Now listen to Katrina reflecting on the skills she feels she’s learned through caring for her son. She talks about learning to be patient, how to negotiate and pursuing a goal.
There are a lot of skills and qualities being talked about here. This table provides some examples for you.
Table 3.1 Carers' typical skills and qualities
|Communication, critical thinking||Emotional intelligence|
Do you recognise any of these skills and qualities in yourself?
What do you think about the skills and qualities highlighted by carers and summarised in Table 3.1?
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?
The skills we saw listed for Lesley, Scott and Jade result from all their experiences gained through education, their work and their caring roles.