This is a book intended for a wide readership, covering a range of occupations
that come under the broad heading of ‘people work’. This includes health
and social care staff, social workers, staff in professions allied to medicine,
youth workers, counsellors, advisors, advocates, personnel officers and other
managers, teachers – especially those with pastoral duties – and others
involved in helping people deal with the problems and challenges they face.
Because of this wide readership, I have concentrated on what I see as core
issues in dealing with people and their problems. Consequently, not all
aspects of people work will be covered, although the issues addressed here
should have wide application across a variety of work settings and tasks. In
view of this diversity within the book’s readership, I have chosen to use the
term ‘service users’ to refer to the people we are seeking to help. This is
intended to be a generic term to incorporate the variety of terms used within
different professional groupings. ‘Service user’ should therefore be translated
into client, patient, customer, resident and so on, depending on the reader’s
own professional context.
The second edition of this text continues to offer a thoughtful and supportive introduction to the diverse and complex field of people skills, but in extended and updated form. New to this edition are four completely new chapters, on decision making, influencing people and dealing with bullies, and information management. The relevance to a diverse range of occupations and environments has been strengthened still further and the references and readings have been updated throughout.
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