Member Care Associates -- MC Resource Update

November 2015 -- Number 79

Member Care Update -- November 2015
Expanding the global impact of member care

Resiliency Toolkit
Strengthening Ourselves and Others

"Human resiliency is the ability to face reality:
to engage with and grow through life's challenges and adversities
via inner strength, social support, coping skills, 
and core beliefs/values
including life purpose and spiritual meaning." 
Kelly and Michele O'Donnell

Sunrise on the Bay of Bengal, Mahabalipuram, India 29 April 2012
This Update focuses on developing resiliency (defined above). It provides practical resources to  promote well-being and effectiveness (WE) for workers in mission, aid, and development as well as for member care workers themselves. The resources include brief assessments and articles--core items in a versatile toolkit to strengthen yourself and others. 
Periodically we do special Updates that feature items to put in such a member care toolkit. Five past examples are archived HERE: 12/2009 Resiliency, 8/2010 Self-Care, 3/2012 Work-Life Balance, 1/2013 Cool Tools, and 10/2014 Creative Healing. We finish the Update with a reflection on resilience from Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (available now as an ebook) and one of our favorite resiliency songs, Ready for the Storm.

Resiliency Resources

CHOPS Stress Inventory (2015 version)
Kelly and Michele O'Donnell, adaptation by Laurie A. Tone
This tool assesses 10 areas of stress: cultural, crises, historical, human, occupational, organizational, physical, psychological, support, and spiritual. Click here for the one-page summary of the dissertation research done on this new version:

Introducing the CHOPS Stress Inventory 2015

Self-Care and Life-Style Balance Inventory
Headington Institute
This scale includes 28 items to explore important ways for staying healthy and balanced in one’s life and work (in four languages). Also see the Headington Institute's various materials on resilience, including their blog posts. Family Matters: Self-Care for Family Members of Humanitarian Workers is also one of their many excellent online learning modules (the Family module is authored by Lisa McKay--see her website here).

Giants, Foxes, Wolves, and Flies: Managing Life's Meta-4s
Kelly and Michele O'Donnell
This short article explores four common areas of challenges for mission/aid personnel--areas that can disable, distract, distress, and disgrace us. The material also includes several questions that can be used by individuals, couples, and teams for personal reflection and discussion (in five languages).

Three Tools for Team Development
Kelly O'Donnell
These are three of the main tools that we like to use for assessing team health and for strengthening teams: Team Feedback Form, Sentence Completion,and Relationship Verses (Gordon and Rosemary Jones). Use them and adapt them as part of regularly planned team-building times.

Building Resilient Teams: The CACTUS Kit
Kelly O'Donnell
This short article explores eight core characteristics of resilient teams: Coping Ability, Commitment, Appreciation, Communication, Time Together, Understanding, Structure, and Spiritual Wellness. It also includes several tools for developing each of these eight areas.

Building Resilient Managers in Humanitarian Organizations
People In Aid, Lisa McKay
This is an initial exploration, based on interviews, of personal skills and strengths that foster resilience in humanitarian managers. Eight areas are discussed: Adaptability and flexibility, Problem solving ability, Sense of meaning and purpose, Good relationships and social support, Optimism and the regular experience of positive emotions, Emotional management, Self awareness, and Balance and the ability to pace oneself and disconnect. You can get a quick overview via the Executive Summary.

Member Care And Resiliency
CORE Member Care, Member Care Associates
These six entries from our weblog offer some challenging, avant-garde, and deeply cherished perspectives on the relevance of resilience. "How resilient are you/? You may never know lay down your life, you confront evil, you weep, you deal with hydras, you experience drought, and you are salted with fire." Great for devotions and discussions.

Resiliency--Some Core Conceptual Tools
On Cultural Resiliency, Naji Abi-Hashem, Journal of Australian Community Psychology (August 2011, pp. 22-31). This article emphasizes the centrality of culture/community and cultural/community strengths in order to broaden our understanding of human resiliency. "Resiliency is mobilising and utilising the best of the cultural heritage, generational wisdom, intrinsic insights, extrinsic resources, community connections, existential hope, available means and mastery skills, collective strengths and support, and internalised values and spiritualities to result in genuine creativity in the midst of adversity. Resiliency is best described as cultural competency in action!" (p. 26)

The Resilience Doughnut--"Combining Strengths to Thrive"
This website offers several resources related to a the resiliency model in the Resiliency Doughnut books by Lyn Worsley. "The Resilience Doughnut is a model for building resilience that considers both the internal qualities of a resilient person as well as the factors in the person’s environment which support and interact with those internal qualities. The model is based on a wide body of research (both Australian and international) examining the factors common to children and young people who have shown resilience in the face of adversity." [with applications for adults, schools, and organisations too]. 

Final Thoughts
Relational Resiliency in Our Troubled World

“OPPORTUNITY, DANGER, DUTY, HELL. Life can be as difficult as it can be wonder­ful. And helping those whose life is even more difficult than our own can be very difficult indeed! There is so much misery that requires the interventions of the faith-based, government, and civil society sectors (e.g., natural and human made disasters, poverty, HIV-AIDS, malaria/diarrhetic disease, and internecine war, to name a few). For the mission/aid community, helping can often involve staying sane—and alive—in unstable, insane places....

It is not that mission/aid work always deals with life-threatening experiences, of course. Rather it is just that helping to relieve the “maims and moans” of creation takes its toll. Mission/aid workers, like the people they are helping, have some special challenges and needs for resiliency [as do member care workers themselves!]....

This international and interdisciplinary field [of member care] continues to flourish with the hard work of so many resilient people over the years who have labored together on behalf of mission/aid workers and the many needy people in our troubled world....Developing member care well has clearly involved doing partnerships well. And at the core of partnerships are relationships--solid relationships, healthy relationships, resilient relationships, love-based relationships. Such relationships last through thick and thin and help us to develop as good practitioners."

Global Member Care (vol. one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011), pp. 2, 3, 21

Music video: Ready for the Storm
Kathy Mattea and Dougie Maclean,1995


Member Care Associates

Member Care Associates is a non-profit organisation working internationally from the USA and Geneva. We provide and develop supportive resources for workers and organizations in mission, humanitarian, and development sectors. Our services include consultation, training, research, and publications.
Global Integration (GI)
GI is a framework for living and working relevantly in our globalizing world.
It involves integrating our lives (connecting and contributing) with global realities

(promoting well-being as we skillfully address the major issues facing humanity)
in light of our core values (e.g., ethical imperatives, commitment to humanity, faith-based). 

More MCA Resources 
Global Portal for Good Practice (website)
Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)
Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)
Global Integration: Common Ground-Common Good (updates, materials, webinars) 
Global Member Care: (volume one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011)
(e-book version is available on Amazon)
Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013)
(e-book version is available on Amazon)

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