Rapport builds to reveal a love for life
Lisa Bailey

A positive approach marks the pathway to a successful relationship, says senior support worker Jonny. It’s the most important guidance he says he offers when training or orientating colleagues. He points to a relationship with an individual he supports as an example that it works.

Jonny says the individual had past challenges but he couldn’t “base what I think of this whole person’s character just on one incident.”

“I got to know him and slowly we built a rapport,” Jonny says, describing the individual as “fantastic.”

“Once you got to know him, (you realize that) he loves life. He likes to do things. He’s very expressive,” Jonny says.

He says he and the individual communicate well and do things that he enjoys, such as shopping for favourite foods, going on picnics and meeting people in the community.

The two have enjoyed dinner and a movie with Jonny’s family on occasion.

“He compliments my wife so much that I say, ‘Hey, this is my wife, you know,’ and he’d be laughing,” Jonny says, adding his wife jokingly encourages Jonny to be more like their guest.

“There are little lessons to be learned, and I learn all the time from him,” Jonny says, such as being content with what one has and valuing relationships.

“I look at it as a blessing to always have a loving family to come home to . . . It’s simple things that are very precious,” Jonny says.

Describing his job as the “best ever,” he says it’s fulfilling to know that you’re helping to make a difference in someone’s life.

He’s seen the individual he supports progress and become much happier.

“The best thing is the change that’s taken place . . . seeing a big smile on his face,” Jonny says, adding more opportunity awaits the individual in a new setting with more interaction with others.

In addition to the approach, Jonny says being genuine is key to forming a successful relationship with the people he supports.

“The approach is so big. You can approach something with lots of vigour, enthusiasm and encouragement and it will make it successful or give it a better chance for success,” he says.

“You really have to be patient, give things time, and you have to really love what you do.”

This includes setting aside personal things, good and bad, and focusing on the individual and his goals.

“People know when you’re being genuine or shrugging them off (for example) . . . And the relationship will either take flight or sink from there.”

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)axiomnews.ca.