“We were swallowed by the whale,” one educator told me. When one team has to integrate another, it triggers an avalanche of questions and mainly the following one: What is our new identity?
I had the pleasure of accompanying a team of about ten educators for people with disabilities on this journey towards redefining their identity. We began this journey with a few classic coaching exercises around the skills of each individual, the values and dreams of the team. We then plunged into their daily life through self-observations. They simply wrote a detailed list of their interactions with their residents, the words and gestures they used.
Taking the time to observe one’s own work with neutrality and distance is not simple, but so useful. This made it possible to reappreciate what had become invisible and banal. The exercise also highlighted the real problems in the daily lives of educators. It was then simple to make links with the team’s values, dreams and mission in order to re-anchor them in the daily life of the demanding job of educators who supervise people with disabilities.