Finding the right pace: Lessons for Living series, by Dr Neil Thompson
Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.
When it comes to working with people and their problems getting the pace right is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, but do it we must.
That is because if we are going too slowly we may miss opportunities to move forward – for example, ‘missing the boat’ when someone is in crisis and motivated to make important changes.
If we move too swiftly, we may create (or exacerbate) insecurity and anxiety and thereby hamper progress in terms of whatever need we are trying to meet or problem we are trying to solve.
So, how do we judge what is the best pace? There is no hard and fast rule, but mainly it comes from looking closely at the situation, gauging reactions to our input and picking up the clues about how comfortable or otherwise the person(s) involved appear to be.
Difficult though this may be, it gets easier with experience, provided that we stay tuned in to the need to consider pace as an important feature of our efforts to help.
Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.
His website is .
Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.
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