I just finished an incredible meeting with Care Oregon, with members of their clinical leadership team. Can I just say how much inspiration they instilled? Care, compassion, curiosity and intention were present. I was moved to share a story of connection. We’ve spent three hours together over the course of the past two months and had the luxury of diving into some intentional leadership skills. If you’re interested in doing this type of work with me, I’d love to talk more!
We had been discussing the importance of connection, relational leadership and modeling a sense of common humanity. I had encouraged them to think about ways to connect with their staff and each other with intention. We can model vulnerabilities and empathy without oversharing or being unprofessional. It struck me how one clinic emulated this sense of community and story-telling.
Tell us about a patient you’ll never forget.
I wasn’t there, but I can imagine. Even telling the story provoked memories of so many patients and families I had experienced. A flood of memories came over me within seconds. The young 5-year-old who was assigned as a boy at birth, but every time she drew pictures of herself, it was a little girl in princess dresses. I still recall walking her family through this information and transition. Or my long-time client who I sat with days before she died from an aggressive brain tumor. The teenager who asked me, “What’s a job I can take so I can be far away from people who hurt me?” He’d been deeply hurt in foster care. So many memories were summoned.
Who do you think of? How did their story impact you? How were you changed as a person?
When we draw on stories and invite others to share in community, we feel less alone. And less aloneness is EXACTLY what we need right now. When we allow voices of lived experience to arise, when we invite others to share, we increase intimacy and trust. These simple acts create an environment of mutual respect.
And you know what? When someone shares these tender stories, or you share your own, you need not DO anything else. Just listen. Sit in the pain and presence. Offer support and kindness. We’re ALL dealing with hard stuff right now. You’ve simply provided a holding space.
It was such a beautiful example of what we’d discussed, I just had to share. I hope this inspires you and creates a stimulus to connect with others in meaningful ways. You need not endure tumultuous times by yourself, nor should your team.
If you want to learn more about how to do this important, moving, vital work that will help you and your organization thrive, reach out. I’d love to chat. Or, happy to just listen to your story.