Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

By David A. Hardcastle; Patricia R. Powers et al. | Go to book overview

8
Using Self in Community
Practice: Assertiveness

When people see that you can get things done, they line up behind you.

D. KESSLER (AS CITED IN L. THOMPSON, 1990, P. 1)

Tiny steps … contribute to the making of the “hardy spirit. ”

S. PHELPS AND N. AUSTIN (1987, P. 227)


USE OF SELF

This chapter discusses competency and cognition in social work and then focuses on assertiveness as a pivotal skill.


Effective Use of Self

CORRESPONDING SKILLS

Consider how dancers and social workers are alike. Both respect highly developed use-of-self 1 abilities that contribute to professional accomplishments and benefits for others. Initiative and persistence also are basic to any success. While ballet and modern dance both require the same mastery over the body and an ability to relate to an audience, each requires specialized abilities; similarly, clinical work and community work draw on the same aptitudes while requiring the refinement of specific proficiencies.

The fact that we can draw on the same core skills means that elements of practice learned in one social work job, such as casework, are easily transferred to quite different employment settings, such as community organizations. Interviewing and information gathering, for example, are used in innumerable types of social work. Direct service workers might use these skills to elicit knowledge to improve a client's condition or to run a group more effectively, while community practitioners might synthesize information from interviews to undergird an exposé as part of social justice work. Dealing with an upset patient or community resident by telephone requires corresponding skills.

Social workers develop competence in relating to a variety of people and build on that competence in different aspects of practice. Coordination and advocacy are as basic to community practice as active listening and counseling are to clinical practice; assertiveness is vital to both. All five of those skills—coordination, advocacy, active listening, counseling, and assertiveness— involve communication. Social workers also attempt to heighten their self-awareness, that is, to become aware of skills and limitations in shift

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Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Note viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents *
  • Community Practice *
  • 1 - Community Practice: an Introduction 3
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • I - Understanding the Social Environment and Social Interaction *
  • 2 - Theory-Based, Model-Based Community Practice 33
  • Notes 57
  • References *
  • 3 - The Nature of Social and Community Problems 61
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 4 - The Concept of Community in Social Work Practice 91
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 5 - Community Intervention and Programs: Let's Extend the Clan 120
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • II - Community Practice Skills for Social Workers: Using the Social Environment *
  • 6 - Discovering and Documenting the Life of a Community 145
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 7 - Using Assessment in Community Practice 172
  • Notes 202
  • References *
  • 8 - Using Self in Community Practice: Assertiveness 208
  • Notes *
  • References 240
  • 9 - Using Your Agency 244
  • Notes *
  • References 270
  • 10 - Using Work Groups: Committees, Teams, and Boards 272
  • Notes 292
  • References *
  • 11 - Using Networks and Networking 293
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 12 - Using Social Marketing 320
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 13 - Using the Advocacy Spectrum 355
  • Notes *
  • References *
  • 14 - Using Organizing: Acting in Concert 391
  • Notes 420
  • References 421
  • 15 - Community Social Casework 426
  • Note 439
  • References *
  • Subject Index 441
  • Name Index 453
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