How we work is as important as what we do

How we work is as important as what we do.

These words have been the starting-off point for the PLAN Mentor team as we wrap up the year with fresh conversations, connectedness, and a focus on communication and storytelling.  As we welcome new families into the PLAN community, expand our Community Connector team, and continue to develop new planning tools and resources, we know that communication and connection are key. This is why we are so excited to provide you with this short update.   Each month, after the IMPACT Meeting, we will write a blog post with information and ideas about the work that the Mentor team is doing at PLAN. 

On October 12th, we put our heads together in our first new, revamped IMPACT Meeting.

IMPACT Meetings are 90 minute monthly meetings focused on the big picture mission, vision, and values of PLAN. Each meeting starts with a Welcome In activity led by one of the Mentors.  Then with discussion, reflection and brainstorming, the team takes a deep dive into one specific element of PLAN’s Good Life planning model.  This ongoing  review allows us to maintain a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding of our various roles at PLAN, and high levels of integrity for our mandate.  As things change and progress for Lifetime Members and their families, our support and practice can also deepen and evolve.  IMPACT meetings help us to evaluate our current process and practices to create strategies and goals for ongoing growth and development.

For our October meeting, as we have been throughout the pandemic, the Mentor team gathered on Zoom and started the meeting by sharing about something we were thankful for. As much as we miss being in person, we talked about how thankful we have been for Zoom and the way that it has helped us to continue our work. 

During our IMPACT Meetings, we have been reviewing one of PLAN’s foundational resources, Safe and Secure: Seven Steps on the Path to a Good Life for People with Disabilities. Chapter One proved quite relatable to the whole team as it focuses on the first step: Clarifying your vision

Stories were shared, including one with a premise I am sure more than a few of us can relate to. 

In this scenario, a mother of two attended a PLAN seminar together with her daughter to clarify the vision for their loved one after his parents were not able to be as involved, or had passed away. This mother was aware of the responsibility this could create for her daughter and was hesitant to have a conversation with her.  At the same time the daughter assumed that of course, she would be the person to step in when her parents could no longer do it. 

These thoughts went unshared until they attended the seminar together and had a conversation.  Now together with their personal support network, ongoing planning conversations are happening about the important and specific roles that this person’s friends and family can play as they look ahead to the future with intention and confidence.

How we work is as important as what we do and we are very glad that we are all in this learning and growing together. 

Thanks PLAN Family for working together to create an IMPACT.


Submitted by:  Alex Neff on behalf of the Mentor Team

Art work by:  Liz Etmanski