As we deepen our work, it should not just be about the efforts of the organisation or volunteers. It must also be about how the people who come to our programmes are taking ownership of their shared concerns or challenges. The work should be “community-led” and supported by volunteers and if needed, the resources that we link them to. So, have we been successful or are we on track? This is a simple question but often one that we often perceive as a loaded gun pointing at us. Why is this so and what does it say about our ability to learn and our desire to get better at what we do?
It is easy to say that professionalism means having the integrity for honest self-examination and the maturity to identify solutions, close the gaps and charge ahead. In reality, moving on from our shortcomings is not a straightforward endeavour and it is more likely to occur when we truly believe that regardless; we have worth, we can learn, and we can contribute. It also helps to be surrounded by people who do not just see what we cannot do but what we can do and find a way for us to continue contributing.
This week with the help of volunteer consultants from Talent Trust Singapore, we reviewed where we are with the 58 public-rental blocks we cover and how do we best deploy our resources going forward. Do we sustain our efforts, deepen and develop them or do we slow down in places where we not making progress and attempt to reach a new block? Such an exercise calls for self-examination and this can be uncomfortable, but it turned out to be an important effort at gaining an increased awareness of who we are, the people and organisations we engage and the relationship between us.
This happened because of the facilitator’s clarity of purpose and role. She was there to support, to build and not to criticise, “This is not a judgement of our performance. It is time away from the day-to-day running to observe and understand ourselves. It is also an opportunity to notice what inspires us to move ahead energetically.”
As we continue to engage in neighbourhoods, we would do well to remember our purpose of supporting people to build their dreams. To also remember that even professionals like us feel weak when subjected to self-examination and how a little kindness in accepting shortcomings can go a long way in giving people strength.
Enjoy your week
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi