Personal Skills and Characteristics Summation For a professional that helps people, there are seven characteristics they should have to be an effective helper. They include, empathy, genuineness, acceptance, the desire to help, a balance between subjectiveness and objectiveness, self-awareness, and patience. Empathy is being able to have compassion for some one else other than your self. Meaning you try to understand a clients feelings, and life.
Empathy is very important to have because if you do not have it, your client will not feel comfortable around you and they will not truly express their feelings to you. It helps build a relationship between you and your clients. Do I have empathy? I do to a certain point. For me it all depends on the situation the client is in. If I had to rate my self from one through ten, I would give my self a six. Usually when I have empathy for a person, I show them that I do care and I try to give advice to make them feel better or look at the situation in a different point of view.
However, if I do not have empathy for a person, I do not pay them any mind. Or I would make the comment "why did you do that in the first place"? I know in the human service field you cannot say that to people. So I think if I actually took the time out, out of my own life and problems and realize that every ones life is not like mine. I would be much better at having empathy for people. Genuineness is not being phony to people. By not being phony you express true feelings and not being fake.
At the same time you have to be congruent. Meaning, do not say one thing and then later on do the other. Also human services have to be professional. You may think your client's problems are stupid. However, you can't just say, " I think your problems are stupid" or "you are crazy for doing this or that." Those are personal problems. You have to keep your opinions separate from theirs.
Basically, there is a limit on what you should and should not say to a client. If your genuineness affects your relationship with the client, than that is a problem. Again rating my self from one through ten. I would say I am at negative one. I say this because I have a serious problem of saying what's on my mind. I have this concept, that if you feel a particular way about some one or some thing, you should speak up at that moment and not hold it in.
Yes, this is something I should really consider working on. Even though I do not do it to be judgmental. I just feel that is the best way to do it. By working on it, I will have to learn how to bite my tongue and learn what should be said and what should not be said to clients. If I would have to say something that may offend them, make sure that I say in a way that they know I am looking out for their best interest. Accepting means to be able to accept people for who they are and all the baggage they bring with them.
A person that is accepting understands that people have the right to think, act, and feel differently. In human services acceptance is a positive quality to have. This can help the relationship grow. It will make the client feel safe. One through ten, I think I am at eight.
I never really have a problem with accepting people for who they are. Not to sound full of myself I do not think I could get any better at it. Even if you do not like a person's ways and you know how to put them aside. I think that is pretty well. Having the desire to help is very important quality to have because if a person did not have the desire to help in the human services field, then they are in the wrong field. Their job will be torturing.
In human services if you truly had the desire to help some one this will help the growth of others. I rate myself at a ten with this because I truly want to see people succeed in life. People should help each other. To me that is one of the main reasons why society is the way it is now. Nobody wants to help. Even though I do enjoy helping people.
There are ways I can do a better job at doing it. For example, I could participate in different programs. I could donate a little more to different groups and fundraisers. That goes hand in hand with genuineness. (Talk the talk and walk the walk) Having a balance between subjective and objective is very important to have in human services because if you are too subjective you let your personal feelings get in the way of things. But being too objective you do not let your feelings get involved at all.
There has to be a balance between the both. I consider myself both. It all depends on the situation and if I have been through it myself. I rate my self with a five. The majority of the time I put too much emotion into a situation. I could help the client and myself by having empathy for them but not too much.
Learn to put my personal life to the side and only focusing on my client's problems. Self-awareness is all about knowing your self and the way you feel about different things. If a human service worker does not know their self, they can't possible help some one else figure out their problems. Human services workers need to be aware of what messages are being sent to the client. On a scale through one and ten, I rate my self as nine.
I am aware how I feel about my self and all the things around me. I just need to work on not trying to force other people to feel the same way I do about things. I can try to guide them in my direction, but cannot push them. I think a good way to help this is to talk to the client about different viewpoints on a particular topic. Then maybe the client and me will learn different viewpoints.
Patients is a verdure. Having patients can be a very difficult thing to do. You have to be able to work in the client's pace. Human services have to understand clients may take longer to recover from a certain incident. But you have to be patient. Usually the people that take longer to show process are usually the people not use to change.
It is harder for them to adapt. I rate myself at a negative one again. I love to help people but I hate to repeat myself over and over again. Yes, this will be a problem. I think if I keep reminding myself that everyone works at a different pace. I will do fine in my field.
The only way I will get better at patients is if I continue to work with a bunch of different type of people more often. I also learned that there are basic helping skills that I will have to develop or even work at a little at to be able to help future clients. Listening means that you actually have to put things aside and pay attention to one client. By doing this you could observe body language and the tone of their voice when they speak of different things. Listening is where the human service worker actually starts to learn about his or clients. If I were to rank myself I would give myself a five.
It is not that I do not listen it is that I get easily detracted in trying to do many things at one time. The way I can help better that skill is to make sure I get all plans done before a client comes or even let people know that I am busy and try not to disturb me. Communicating goes hand in hand with listening. When you communicate you are letting the client know that you did listen to them by giving input on what was expressed. Ranking myself I have to give myself a nine because I do pretty well at giving input to people.
Giving people advice is something I like to do. To me that goes hand in hand with being genuineness. Not actually telling them what you really think but kind of put that idea out there. But I do believe that my ability of being geniuneness may take over. So that is something that I would have to watch for. So working on biting my tongue again is something I will have to do here.
Giving feedback is something that I could do. Giving feedback lets a client know how they were perceived by you. I would let them know all the good things I heard but at the same time ask them how they think they could improve on what ever the situation is. Then give them a task to try to improve that particular thing. Hopefully then they will start to look at things my way without me having to say any thing about what I think. Each time they come back try to let them know that they did improve a little each time.
Observing is where you pick up face expressions, vocal, and body posture.