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students in the interview, regardless of their paperwork, constituted the
top 5% of the class in grades as well as in field performance. This
approach, which combined structured and non-structured questions with
awareness of behavior in the group led to a high degree of confidence
among the raters about emotional intelligence. The top-rated students
appeared much more at ease with themselves than others and were able,
for 3 hours, to not show signs of undue anxiety. They didn't avoid ques-
tions and gave honest answers. They seemed comfortable with who they
were and appeared as energetic at the end of the interview as they were
at the beginning. And they had very good reasons for wanting to be
social workers, reasons that weren't unrealistically idealistic such as “to
change the world. All of it? Yes!” or self-serving answers such as “to find
out more about myself or to get a promotion at work”. Instead, they
spoke about helping others because they thought they had the skills and
motivation, and they were very interested in the work. Or they said that
a social worker helped their family and it motivated them to do the same
thing for others.
Joyce and Showers (1983) believe that effective staff development for new
and more experienced workers requires sustained, ongoing efforts with
proper funding. Joyce calls the primary purpose of staff development a
“problem of transfer.” As workers learn new knowledge, skills, and values,
they need to cope with the obstacles to make new learning work with
clients. One of the functions of staff development is to help workers prac-
tice new skills and values in a safe setting until they have some degree of
mastery, which is then advanced through coaching and mentoring by
supervisors and co-workers ( Joyce and Showers, 1983 ,pp.15 22). Hunt
(1971) believes that staff development deals largely with two issues:
changes in competence, and the value system and knowledge that support
the development of new skills. Such training requires immersion in the
subject and must build matches between the way people learn new mate-
rial and their willingness to use it in practice, quite different tasks for staff
and one of
the reasons workers
stick with practice
approaches that may not work but feel comfortable.
McKenzie (1991) reports that the following elements must be present
for effective staff development: (1) Change requires time and immersion
in the subject and includes time to reflect and think through how new
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