ecdp Works in the beginning - Cycle 1, day 2

On the second day of ecdp Works - the unique employment programme ecdp and MITIE are running to support disabled people in Essex to get back into work - we welcomed trainers Oli and Ruth from MITIE. 

Building on yesterday’s session, where the ecdp Works participants talked about their aspirations and expectations of the programme, Ruth and Oli asked them to think about skills we need in the workplace; communication, resilience and integrity. 

Initially we discussed the ‘three Vs of communication’; visual, vocal and verbal. Ruth told us that studies have found these are not of equal importance, indeed, only 8% of the impression we create actually comes from what we say. People place more importance on how we say it, and how we look when we say it. The ecdp Works participants considered how important this will be for them to keep in mind when going into new workplaces.

The group then looked at pictures of people and were asked to list their first impressions. We were all very opinionated, demonstrating how quick we are to judge someone on their body language, clothes and expressions (as shown in the picture below!).

We listened to two voice clips that made us feel very different. In the first the man sounded old and tired. We recognised the second as the inspirational ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King. When Ruth told us the first was him too, we were very surprised.

The group reflected on how the tone of your voice, or the vocal aspect of the three Vs impacts on the impression you create, for example when answering the phone. ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!’

Following a short break (to keep up our energy), we discussed the importance of maintaining good energy levels throughout the day by eating breakfast, stretching, taking breaks.

In this Audioboo, our Lived Experience Officer, Faye, talks to Penny and James during the morning session about the exercises they were completing.

We started the afternoon talking about integrity and building a reputation for yourself in the workplace through what you know, what you say and what you do.

We finished the day with a real life Bob Holness… The ecdp Works participants got competitive in two teams playing Blockbusters! 

Tomorrow the ecdp Works participants are going to meet the people they will be working with for the next few weeks. We will all be meeting in the afternoon to discuss our first impressions, and the first impressions we created!

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