What does it mean to have lived experience? When we think about negative experiences we naturally think they are inhibitors of progression because of the psychological trauma that they can cause, but what if it was seen differently, what if we could use these experiences for personal development and see how we have grown and learnt skills that help us every day without even realising it, this is exactly what this speech does.
In this keynote we completely reframe lived experience, first by putting forward the argument that there isn’t actually negative or positive experiences, its only the way we think about these experiences that give meaning to them. This doesn’t dismiss negative experiences and their impact, it provides an alternative way to look at them through learning about how we over come them and what skills we developed to do so.
When a child moves home, we often call this unstable, when we can also see this as adaptability. Adaptability is an incredible skill that enables us to navigate different social situations, work collaboratively and work will under pressure. If a child has to move area or change school we can see this as unsettling as they lose friends and have to gain new ones. We can also see this as the development of soft skill such as communication, children learn empathy and emotional intelligence with each person they meet, they become great judges of character. Each time a child changes social worker we can see this as another loss and focus on the psychological effects of separation and loss, what if we saw this also as understanding grief and overcoming this, or understanding each time we have a personal relationship we learn something deep about ourself.
This way of thinking is a mindset that if grasped can provide a powerful tool to understand and reflect back the experiences children in care have. On top of this is we can reflect this back to children and help them understand this mindset, this could be the key to them using their experiences to lead and not feel they hold them back.
This keynote is for
- Frontline children’s services staff
- Social workers
- Youth workers
- Police officers
- Health professionals
- Senior leaders
- ..or anyone that works with children!