The dominant emotional cultures of organisations then seemed to reflect the anxieties of the customer group with whom they were working. Probation struggled with authority and father figures, young people services tried to distance themselves from the adult world, hospitals struggled with the fear of death, physiotherapy and addiction services in different ways worried about over dependant clients and so on. Reduced to these few lines, the point is too banal and prescriptive – these thoughts led me not so much to label each service with a preconceived idea about their organisational life, but rather to try and understand the extent to which such unconscious or semi conscious anxieties were impacting on the groups with whom I worked.
I will return to Partnership working later on. For now, the great opportunity provided by my time in the FWA was the space to listen to the experience and issues of people working in a range of voluntary sector organisations. In particular, the approach of FWA led me to see how to apply what I had learned as a practitioner to working with organisations and later to management.
I have already spoken about working to set up a Bereavement Support agency. When I left the FWA, I was asked to write up an account of my experience. What follows in the next few posts is taken from that account.