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Building A Connection

“How was your weekend?” Salim asked me one recent Monday morning. That simple question was meaningful to me. Here’s why:

Salim’s interest in my life demonstrates to me that we’re building a rapport. Our interactions are not just one-sided, but a two-way street where we both feel invested in the relationship and the goals we set together. Rapport also demonstrates mutual understanding and a higher comfort level in sharing concerns or questions. 

The online dictionary defines rapport as “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well.” Rapport is so central to social work practice that it one of the National Association of Social Worker’s six Core Values. 

These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession's history, are the foundation of social work's unique purpose and perspective:

  • service
  • social justice
  • dignity and worth of the person
  • importance of human relationships
  • integrity
  • competence

When job seekers like Salim take the time to talk to me about their life before coming to the U.S. or show me a picture of their family in Ethiopia, it means a lot.  It means job seekers are trusting me enough to share a deeper part of their lives with me. Building relationships and making connections is not easy and it takes practice, but the pay-off in terms of job seeker progress and success, as well as my personal satisfaction in work and life, make the effort worthwhile.

One of the goals of this blog is to connect YOU, our community, with the inspiring stories our job seekers share with us. But we want our relationship with you to be a two-way street, too. So please share your stories with us, too.  Why do you care about Daily Work? What inspires you to make donations, be our friend on Facebook, or read this blog? Share your comments here…or call us up! We’d love to know you better.

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By: Megan Toner, Case Management Intern
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