Avoiding mistakes and misunderstandings

Any innovation can be spoilt by people who are too busy or who have not understood a key element. So here is a list of the commonest mistakes that we have spotted, along with their remedy.

Activity rather than inclusive activity

Someone who makes this mistake might consider that carpet bowls in the day centre should be recorded in ‘Sports’ rather than in ‘services’. To avoid this mistake, ensure you have a clear understanding of the difference between service settings and relationships on the one hand and inclusive settings and relationships in the community on the other.

Cheat on recording

Sometimes the person or the supporter / worker wants the second Inclusion Web to show an improvement compared to the first, so they make a mistake by creating the illusion of change. For example, casual acquaintances might be deliberately ignored in the first Web and counted in the second one, even though the person’s real relationships have remained constant. To avoid this mistake, do not allow pressure to demonstrate ‘success’ to researchers, commissioners or managers to divert you from your personal integrity and an honest respect for the person and their life.

Assess but then do nothing

People using services say that staff sometimes open up a discussion about getting a better life, but then do nothing to help the person achieve that goal. So avoid this mistake by ensuring that this person-centred planning approach is matched by personalised support so that people get the help they need to have a unique, meaningful life. That help may, of course, come from services, family or friends.

Double-count people or places

If a contact appears in more than one setting in the person’s life, it would be a mistake to double-count that person. To avoid this mistake, use the white space around the diagram to describe the complexity – where the same people appear at several points in the person’s life or the same setting is used for several different purposes. Explain it all here, but then count the person or place only once in the numerical data.

Assume that more is better 

It would be mistake to assume that more people and places mean that things are bound to be better for the person. It is true for a population that more is better, but this is not necessarily the case for an individual. So avoid this mistake by asking them what impact the changes that show up have had on their life.

Imply that a gap means the person has a rubbish life

It would be a big mistake to imply to the person that their life is inadequate if they have any zeros on their Inclusion Web chart. To avoid this mistake, reflect on your own life and that of your friends. Does anyone live in all nine segments of the Inclusion Web? Remember that, in general, for a group of people very low scores indicate potential for getting a better life, but each person is entitled to define their own sense of what makes life good for them.

Rush the process

Some staff have wasted the opportunity to get to know the person by filling in the Inclusion Web diagram in just five minutes.  Avoid this mistake by aiming for an in-depth and a conversation starter to discover more about the person. Stay curious!

Ride rough-shod over the person’s feelings

Some people feel vulnerable, shy or exposed when asked for information to complete the Inclusion Web. It would be a mistake to be insensitive to the amount of disclosure that is going on when the Inclusion Web is done well. Avoid this mistake by inviting someone else to use the Inclusion Web to interview you about your own personal life. Pay attention to the variety of different responses that different people have to disclosures of this kind. Ensure that the only people who see the Inclusion Web or hear the conversation are people the person chooses to be involved.

Ignore the need for training 

For many services, taking a serious approach to social inclusion means working in new ways. It would be a mistake to assume that this can always be achieved without training and support. using the Inclusion Web. Avoid this mistake by contacting NDTi.

Abuse intellectual property rights

It would be a mistake to take up the use of the Inclusion Web, change it or publish materials on it without keeping the creators of the idea informed. Please stay in touch, so we can learn together .

Use the Inclusion Web without a commitment to inclusive values 

A real commitment to inclusion involves more than what we do at work – it engages with deep personal values. So avoid the mistake of just going through the motions by keeping your activities connected to your values, especially when the work environment is challenging.

Shabby webs! 

Some people make the mistake of creating Inclusion Webs that are illegible, messy or contain such a small amount of information that a newcomer could not get much sense of the person’s life in the community. Avoid this mistake by ensuring that the Inclusion Web is completed with accuracy, consistency and care so that the person can ‘see’ their own life in the diagram and a real comparison can be made between the first and second Webs to find out what has really changed.

Force it on everyone

It is a mistake to make every person complete the Inclusion Web. Avoid this mistake by recognising that it is not appropriate for everyone and people have the right to refuse.