Stronger Than You Think introduction video



Hi, I’m Rachel Jackson from Changing Dialogues. I’m a coach, consultant, facilitator in the field of personal and organisational development. I particularly specialise in working with individuals, teams, leaders, and whole organisations in developing emotional intelligence and resilience.

EEAST have asked me to come along and provide some support in developing a package of activities that will help staff in the organisation develop their resilience, develop their emotional intelligence and essentially, develop their wellbeing.

I just wanted to put together a quick video just so that you can see my face and you can understand a little bit about who I am. But also, to give you an understanding about the programme, where it has come from, what the design looks like, and how you might be able to use it.

Just to start with I’ve asked Tom Davis just to say a few words about this programme, about its history, and about why EEAST is investing in this way. Thank you Tom.

Hi everyone, I just wanted to acknowledge how tough lockdown has been for us all, but also how for those with any disability, the changes of working and the possibility of isolating and shielding and so on has made life even more difficult.

It is really important to us that we support all our staff, but there have been particular concerns about our disabled staff members, a subject close to my heart as Exec sponsor of the Disabled Network, some of whom who have been isolating during lockdown and others who have been in the front line throughout the pandemic.

Late last year, our fabulous wellbeing and EDI teams fought hard to win a significant budget from the Workforce Disability Equality Standard Innovation Fund to put together a package of support that will hopefully benefit all our people from front line to back office, from new starters to senior managers.

In line with the Workforce Disability Equality Standard proposal, we started a review in January by running some internal surveys and focus groups with staff. This highlighted the need expressed by our disabled staff, who were largely in line with the whole staff group, and those needs were for some tools, techniques, and support mechanisms to help staff cope and recover from what has been a pretty difficult year.

Rachel will be outlining the details for you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing it roll out over the next few months.

Thanks very much for that Tom. I think it’s really great that EEAST are making this investment at this time. I think coming back into the workplace and getting back in to whatever the new normal looks like for us is going to bring up some challenges for most people, so I’m really looking forward being part of supporting the workforce in this space.

So, let me give you a bit of an understanding about what this programme looks like and where it has come from. The programme is called Stronger Than You Think, and there is a reason why it is called Stronger Than You Think. The concept behind it is that we are all able to operate in the world already. We’re already here, we’re already demonstrating resilience simply by turning up.

But what we want to do is provide some additional tools and materials to help you to develop your resilience to the next stage. So, we’re going to start by helping you understand what you already do, what you already know how to do, and then we’re going to help you to build.

Just let me give you a bit of an understanding about the model that sits underneath this. The model is a three-part model. It looks at three different core elements of resilience. The first part is about being strong on the inside, and strong on the inside is about knowing yourself, it’s about self-awareness and understanding where your emotions comes from, so that you have a better handle on them.

The second part is recognising that we don’t operate in isolation, that we’re stronger together, that we’re stronger with our connections, we’re stronger in our influence on those around us. And the final part is looking at how we connect to the future, how we become strong for the future, how we become strong for the future, how we take risks, how we look for opportunities and how we find space for growth in the future.

The way that the programme has been set us is specifically designed to tap into your strengths and help you to understand how you can have the choice about how you want to develop. So, the first part of the programme is about testing your strength, and we’ve put together a tool that enables you to do that and to get some feedback straight away about what you already do. That’s something that will stay confidential to you, it’s not something that will be shared.

The second part, growing from that piece of feedback is looking at ‘ok, these are some things that I’m already good at, how can I get better at them. And these are some things that I struggle with, where are there some tools so that I can start to build my strengths in those areas’, and we’ve put together a wide range of tools to suit different styles and different situations.

So, you might want to watch a video, like these kinds of videos, you might want to listen to a podcast whilst you are driving, you might want to read some materials, there are also some strengths on a page tools that we’ve put together to help you with specific skills and activities that will build strength. Or you might want to start looking at some of the tools that happen in stage three.

And that’s where we really need your help. What we’d like to do it put together a strength sharing space, where people can actually share what works for them and others can learn from that. It’s a really good way of building resilience, but also recognising the resilience that you already have that others may be able to benefit from.

I think it’s going to be a great programme and I’m really looking forward to it, I look forward to working with you. Thank you.

 Published 17th June 2021