Excellence is a choice. It does not discriminate; it is FREE, available to anyone who chooses it. It is that simple; make the choice to pursue the challenge of excellence. Living the choice is painful; even so, all great things involve some degree of pain.
In the profession of direct support, excellence in service is a true rarity. There are many dedicated direct support professionals across the country working in organizations that are understaffed, and underfunded, leaving the direct support employee, overworked and underpaid.
In the pursuit of excellence and quality of service, consider the following twelve tips for those of you who choose to begin your journey toward excellence in direct support.
Know what your customers “vision” is.
Each person has a dream and a picture of how they want their life to be. As a DSP you need to know and hear that, from each person. Not just what was captured on paper at a meeting, but build on that by listening to the person you are serving.
Be a mentor.
The definition of a mentor is a wise or trusted counselor or teacher. As a DSP teach, coach and guide everyday.
Spend time getting to know your customer.
Discuss with, your customer, what expectations and goals they have set for you as their mentor, teacher coach and guide.
Ask for commitment
Ask your customer for their commitment to the process as well as establishing yourcommitment level to your customer.
Know what tools and resources you will use together.
Be prepared. Find out what you will need, get it, and move on, No excuses here
Prepare, daily, plan for tomorrow
Set goals for each time you are together. Write them down, be concrete specific and detailed soeach person knows what the expectations are. Ex. today you accomplished laying out the pattern and cutting the wood. Tomorrow we will bolt the shelves together and sand the wood.
Establish a set time that you will be working with your customer. Keep as consistent as possible. We all know there are detours on the road, but don’t get lost here. Get back on the established road, quickly.
Once a month devote time to discuss progress that has taken place, what each of you haslearned in this process, what adjustments might need to be made and PLAN.
As a DSP you need to be “present” when you are side by side with your customer. You have tobe immersed in the process and the purpose for there to be progress. FOCUS, no distractions.Turn off the cell phone, no water cooler conversations going on while serving your customer.
Teach someone else,
We have all heard the saying – you will learn the lesson faster if you teach someone else. When your customer has accomplished one piece of the goal no matter how small, support them toshare their knowledge and skills with other people.
Launch – Soar – Fly
Evaluate what you have taught,
Support your customer to do it alone
Evaluate what you have learned.
Repeat! You are on your way!