December 2018 | Issue 4
Welcome to the SEEC Community newsletter!
In This Issue
  • Greetings from Karen Lee
  • Shift Your Perspective at Work by Telling Yourself a Different Story
  • HR Update: SEEC’s Wellness Team 
  • Building and Maintaining Friendships and Relationships (NADSP competency #13)
  • Technology: Story Kit 
  • Upcoming: Penny Roll Out 
  • New Year, New SEEC
 I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
I’m excited about all that’s going on at SEEC including a new database called Penelope, a new logo rebrand and a new website that’s launching the first of the new year! In addition to all that, we are launching a new ten-year strategic plan in 2019! Thank you all for embracing these new changes and for the work many of you have done and are doing to make it all happen. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s support, and I’m thrilled to work with such a great team of people. 
I hope you all have a very happy, healthy holiday season.  

Best wishes, 
Shift Your Perspective at Work by Telling Yourself a Different Story
We all tell ourselves stories about work, and these stories shape the way we think, lead, and make decisions. For instance, if the story that runs through your head all day is “Everything’s a battle in this office,” you’re more likely to expect hostility and be primed to attack. Negative stories like this one generally don’t help you, so consider shifting to a new narrative. Start by identifying a challenge you’re facing, and then ask: “What is the basic story I’m telling myself about this issue?” Consider how the story is affecting you and your team. Is it constraining or liberating? If the latter, think about what you’d like to change and how your story needs to shift. What reimagined (and true) version of the story would be more useful for pursuing your goals or doing things differently? Rewriting a story is often a matter of choosing to see a situation from a different, more-positive, perspective. 

Adapted from "To Make a Change at Work, Tell Yourself a Different Story," by Monique Valcour and John McNulty 
HR Update: SEEC’s Wellness Team 
We’re excited to introduce you to SEEC’s Wellness Team! The mission of the Wellness Team is to establish and maintain a culture of holistic well-being at SEEC. Our vision is to focus on one’s overall financial, community, physical, social and career well-being. Check out our list of Wellness Ambassadors and ask about our 2018 Holiday Campaign!  
Building and Maintaining Friendships and Relationships (NADSP competency #13)

Interview with Michael Cunningham, Community Engagement Coach. Community Engagement Network Department 
What does build and maintaining friendships and relationships mean to you as a staff member providing supports? 

“So, when you’re coming in this field of supports, and you want to help the person you know build relationships, respect, friendships and relationships, you’re looking at how they communicate. [You’re looking at] how can [a person] communicate socially, verbally, and physically. And from there, you work on how they want to build a relationship. [Seeing if they] want to build with people at work, their neighbor, brother or sister, or any person they have an interest in and how to work on the ones they already have to make it better. [It means to help people] understand what trust is, what respect is…showing them and then watching them do it.” 
What strategies have you used to help encourage and assist a person branch out and discover new friendships or relationships?             

  • Strategies include looking at all relationships and looking at new ones that he or she may be wanting to develop. If they have a challenge in social relationships, we can do cue cards and we can do verbal stories from the app... For example, I’m going to this place so “how should I act” or “I’m going to the store, this is what they’re expecting and what I should be expecting” 

  • If a person is socially challenged [may not talk] verbally, look [at] how they can communicate physically. And look how they can do it better or [find an alternate way]; whether they’re writing or using a laptop. Observing, listening, and putting things in place will ensure that communication is successful. 
Tell us about a time you helped a person you support communicate with their friends and relatives.  

One person I support named JR was communicating a birthday wish to his father. “He would just say, ‘give me’…so I would say, well let’s remember his birthday and give him a gift. What can you give him? So, Jeff would give him a piece of homemade pottery. Eventually he started giving out pottery to people on their birthdays after asking them first. It’s still him communicating, the way he does, now a better way. 
Describe why you find helping people to develop relationships to be a difficult task. What could be hard for incoming staff to understand about it? 

The difficult part in building JR’s relationships with his neighbors and his friends is that in the beginning he just went into the kitchen. He would just knock on the door, walk in the door without a hello, and go right to the kitchen. Now he engages in conversation. It was rough in the beginning, because he was learning how to socialize and build friends so that he was welcomed and not ignored. And by doing that, he’s more welcome with his friends in the neighborhood and his building because he’s saying hello first. He says, “Can we go get a drink?’ or ‘Let’s watch a movie’. It’s building relationships based on dialogue and open communication. 
What advice and/or strategies would you tell a staff what he/she can do to support a person develop relationships? 

Ask them first what do they want? Do they want friendships with people? Ask what do they desire? What do they dream? And if they don’t know what a desire or dream is, give them an example. Get to know them. See if they’re an introvert or extrovert. Some people are just “hello, hello, hello, hello, let me be the life of the party like Jeff.” … 

Listen and learn about the person so that you can support them. Don’t come in with your books thinking “well I’ve had this before” or “I’ve done this”. Everybody is different. We’re not our diagnosis, we’re not our symptoms, we’re still a person with a challenge. Me and you, everybody, so see what they want.
Technology: Story Kit 

Story Kit is a free app that can be used to create an electronic storybook. It allows for text, images, and sound to be used to tell a story. 
Recommendation: Having trouble communicating with the person you support? Try using this app create a digital book of places s/he likes to visit.

Upcoming: Penny Roll Out 

The Penny team is wrapping up the process of uploading the data to the new website. A couple of kinks, but we are nearing our timeline toward GOING LIVE! Soon, you will be able to enter data, track progress, and learn other cool features among SEEC team members throughout the organization. 

Did you Know? 
New Year, New SEEC
Starting January 1 st  SEEC will be unveiling our new logo, new colors and new website! Our url will still be  but it will be new and improved when you log on! We can’t wait to share the changes with you! Visit our table at Open Enrollment to get a sneak peek of the new website, learn where to log into ADP and take home a gift!  
SEEC | Live. Work. Thrive.