The Equilateral Pyramid

An equilateral pyramid is one where all sides are equal and there is a solid base. If one side begins to dominate or drops the ball then the whole structure changes and collapses.

In Direct Care the three sides of the pyramid are:

  1. The Client
  2. The Staff
  3. The Organisation

The base is solidly made up of the desired end result for all three pyramid members – improved quality of life, job satisfaction and a thriving business.

Each side of the pyramid is full of drivers, variables, purpose and personality. In an exemplary direct care service each members understands, accepts and works together.

The Variables

These are many and varied and often shared between two or three members.

Individual Health and wellbeingAbility – shortages, request for additional timeDesired outcomes and outputs
History and backgroundInter-staff relationshipsResources and how they are managed/allocated
Context in seeking assistancePerception of role and valueOrganisational and personal ethos
Understanding of the need for assistance and loss of controlExpectations of role and other pyramid membersLeadership skills
Aspirations and dreams Aspirations and dreamsAdversity that can’t be controlled e.g. COVID-19
Family supportWellbeing – health, family and homeOrganisational structure – board, stockholders
Financial resourcesRules and proceduresCompliance and registration

Achieving the desired end result for each member – improved quality of life, job satisfaction, thriving business – is obtained through 8 key things.

  • Achieving balance and clear timely communication. An equilateral pyramid has all sides supporting each other.  If the organisation didn’t have the business the service wouldn’t be available, if the staff didn’t do the job well the clients wouldn’t return, if the client doesn’t choose the organisation the business closes
  • Each member knowing who they are and how they react. Individual personality traits and communication styles are not always easily understood or accepted. In direct care we are working with people our business is about people and our role assists people. Being aware of ourselves and how we communicate, what pushes our buttons and how we handle stress allows us to handle and minimise conflict
  • Recognising the importance of self-esteem and valuing each individual.  It is a basic human need to be valued.  How we feel valued can be different and varied, but in essence it is appreciation. Self-esteem is how much we value ourselves.  If you are dealing with very ill or difficult clients and are isolated from your team and management value may not be forthcoming, so having a strong self-esteem is important.  We show value to clients in the first instances by seeing them first and their condition or illness second.
  • Accepting and using verbal, non-verbal, written and visual communication in a professional, empathic and timely manner.
  • Finding clarity around ‘must’ versus ‘wants’. This has a huge impact on time.
  • Being aware that Perception, Expectations and Understanding have a complex relationship.  Often our history and background have us perceiving something one way when the intent, or expectation was the opposite
  • Recognising that actions are multi-dimensional and need to considered in the wider picture
  • Finding the technology that helps.

 As equilateral pyramid is a wonderful construction and, when working well looks magnificent.  To be working well all sides must be considered equal and individually valued and the foundation or base understood and agreed upon.