Sparking Emotional Conversations in Early Learning. Goodstart's Journey with The Emotional Culture Deck

Anna Clayton and Clarie Marriott, two ECD Certified Consultants, have brought a significant shift in how emotions are addressed in the workplace at Goodstart Early Learning, Australia's largest not-for-profit childcare provider. With over 650 centres across the nation, Goodstart has embraced The Emotional Culture Deck as a tool to foster open conversations about emotions within its Leadership, Centre Teams, and Centre Support Teams.

In this video above, Anna and Claire unveil their strategy for deploying The ECD across the expansive network of Goodstart centres. Their focus has been on using The ECD to foster a playful and open dialogue about emotions within Leadership Teams, Centre Teams, and Centre Support Teams.

"The gold didn’t only happen in the workshops, it’s actually what happened outside them."

This statement by the duo encapsulates the essence of their approach. The workshops served as the starting point for a deeper transformation within the centres. Following these sessions, each centre was able to define its unique emotional culture, creating a supportive and safe environment for educators. 

The Power of Play

The introduction of The ECD has not only made discussions about emotions engaging and playful but also deeply impactful. The real magic, according to Anna and Clarie, wasn't confined to the workshops. The transformation unfolded beyond these sessions, fundamentally changing how emotional culture is perceived and integrated within the organisation.

Following the workshops, Goodstart defined its centres' emotional culture, crafting environments where educators felt supported and secure. This newly defined culture wasn't just for show; it was embedded into the fabric of the organisation through the team's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). By incorporating desired feelings into these benchmarks, Goodstart has fostered a continuous practice of emotional check-ins, ensuring that team sentiment is a central consideration in project delivery and daily operations.

Emotional Intelligence But Not As You Know It

This innovative approach to emotional intelligence and culture in the workplace showcases the profound effect of The ECD in creating spaces where conversations about feelings are not just welcomed but are integral to organisational success and wellbeing. Goodstart Early Learning's experience illustrates the power of playful, yet serious, engagement with emotions to create a supportive and effective work environment.

The Emotional Culture Canvas & Workshop Plan

The Emotional Culture Canvas & Workshop is the comprehensive toolkit the Goodstart Team used to support their centre teams to craft their emotional culture. The Canvas is a carefully structured guide that aids teams in mapping out their desired emotional culture. It transforms abstract emotional concepts into actionable strategies, promoting a healthy, vibrant culture that recognises and values the emotional drivers of performance.

Problem It Solves: The Emotional Culture Canvas addresses the often-neglected aspect of emotional dynamics within teams. By making the intangible tangible, it helps teams reduce conflict, enhance motivation, and improve overall satisfaction and productivity. It also helps in attracting and retaining talent by creating a workplace where emotional well-being is a priority.

Get your Emotional Culture Canvas & Workshop Plan Here >

The Takeaway: Personalising Team Emotions in Childcare

Anna and Clare have helped create something special at Goodstart Early Learning. They moved the culture conversation past the usual values and behaviours and goals of the organisation. Instead, they helped each centre talk craft their emotional culture. This means every childcare centre could decide what’s important for them and their emotions most important to their success. It's not the traditional approach. It’s smart. Because working with children means dealing with emotions every day. By focusing on the emotional culture, Goodstart people feel more connected and understood. This helps them to do their job to their full potential – caring for and teaching the kids, making each centre a unique and supportive place for everyone.

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