Community Managed Mental Health Leadership & Management Program - Pakenham

17 October 2016 By Elena Wight, Neami National

Days 9 and 10: Community Managed Mental Health (CMMH) Leadership and Management Program - Pakenham

Morning Day 9

Day 9 of the Community Managed Mental Health Leadership and Management Program had a focus on ethical decision making.

LV Senior Facilitator Oenone Serle took us through a focus session on ethical Decision making with a workshop titled “What is the ‘right’ thing to do?”

The group discussed practical exercises that focused on uncovering our biases and assumptions in ethical dilemmas and how our own moral compass influences our behaviour and decisions. The exercises highlighted that there is no such thing as ‘universal’ ethics and that as leaders this is not a new conversation but one where our individual ethical perspectives are driven by our values. Leaders can develop their ethics and improve our ability to make the ‘right’ ethical decisions.  Oenone said "just as using weights can develop physical muscle, similarly, through training we can develop an ethical muscle.”

The group were introduced to two lenses around ethics.

Lens one looked at the circles of moral concern. The circles of moral concern say that individuals are often guided by those closest to us:





Often people make unconscious ethical decisions which are close to ourselves, when making decisions we are more likely to be influenced by ourselves and family and friends and less likely to act on ethics that aren’t as close to us for example larger issues in our nation and around the world as they may not feel as relevant to how we live. Our ethical perspectives are driven by our value system, as leaders it is vital that we are aware of our value system and how they can compete and influence our decision making.

Lens two looked at the 2 spectrums of ethics : Deontology vs. Teleology

Deontology – Decisions made out of duty or rules.

Teleology – Decisions based around utilitarianism or the greatest good for the greatest number.

Table groups got together and looked at these spectrums in more detail and worked through ethical dilemmas and decision making and spent time noticing where on the spectrum certain decisions or dilemmas sat.

Afternoon Day 9

The afternoon of day 9 saw Joanne Marriott take the group through a focus session on “Working with our common values”.

The question was posed to us, how do organisations drive their values and how are they applied in practical terms?

As individuals our values represent what is important in our lives and often drive how we think, act and behave. As mentioned in the session on ethical decision making, competing values are common and being conscious when this occurring improves our chances of making better and more informed decisions. Understanding our values is just as important as knowing who influenced our value system. Our value system is developed by our experience and exposure in life, our culture, our formative relationships including immediate and extended family and friends. Although are value systems are often developed by our life exposure it is important to mention that values can also be innate.

Values can also be influenced by the generation we were born in, for example baby boomers (1946 – 1964) often struggle with feedback and are more comfortable with an authoritarian work style. Conversely Gen Y (80’s mid 90’s) thrive on feedback and seek it to guide their work.

As leaders it is important for us to have the emotional intelligence to identify what people value individually to get the best out of them, to support them and to hold people accountable to organisational values that guide a business.

 Morning Day 10

 Today sadly marked the final session of the Community Managed Mental Health Leadership and Management Program for Pakenham. To start the day Oenone took the group through a reflection of what inspired us about a leader we know and what was it we liked about their leadership.

Literature has identified that the top 4 qualities people want in a leader are stability, trust, compassion and hope.

The group spent time reflecting on our own leadership journeys, our program experience and the goals we want to achieve over the next 10 years. To finish the reflection our personal vision statements were returned and time was spent with our program buddies to see if what we visioned was still relevant and how we can continue to action our goals.

Following reflections the group was introduced to the Joharri Window. The Joharri window is a visual tool that solicits authentic feedback around self-knowledge and self-awareness. The tool can be used as a strategy to explore how much you should disclose under a structured framework. Self-disclosure builds trusting relationships, knowing how open we are can give us time to consider what may be important to share. As leaders sharing and displaying our values, what we like and what we can enjoy can promote better relationships.

Afternoon Day 10

The last activity had our CLAN groups present their thoughtful and inspiring ideas we have been working on since program commencement. It was interesting to see that each team had a common theme around the NDIS moving into the sector and how we manage this change through different lenses. The CLANS for Pakenham will continue to work around the following:

  • Development of the workforce through the NDIS
  • Easing the tensions of the NDIS and recovery orientated practice
  • Collaborative Practice and networking under the NDIS

The group finished with a gratitude exercise. It was truly wonderful getting to know everyone.

Blog by Elena Wight Community Rehabilitation Support Worker Neami National.