Have you ever worked with a person who just smiles – all the time?
Why aren’t they taking me seriously? They are NOT listening as I generously imparting soulful wisdom! As a teacher, I am a very serious person and WILL NOT tolerate this type of disrespect!!!
Just kidding, but I do find those bright and happy people a little disarming at times – especially when I am not feeling bright and happy.
I have a passion for working with health and education professionals. I am very comfortable in this realm of care giving. In some ways I think I have been programmed all of my imperfect life to care. That is not unusual – many people are the same. People like me invest in relationships. We communicate to serve – how can I help? What is your story?
I study the environment. I like to immerse myself in the community of the people I work with. I like to get to know their story. A little bit like Dian Fossey, played by Sigourney Weaver in the 1988 drama “Gorillas in the Mist”. Dian Fossey was a naturalist. She was an Occupational Therapist inspired by anthropology. She lived with the gorillas and formed strong bonds with them because she was there. Unlikely friendship developed through proximity and need. Dian invests in relationships from her work that changed her life. We are all impacted by the relationships that we develop or manufacture for a purpose – the relationships we mold for business. AND, relationships need work.
Relationships for business – either health and education, can be stressful. Relationships can trigger stress response – in yourself and in others. Having to deliver criticism or improvement suggestions is stressful for both the person and the professional. It is stressful, but necessary. I can’t predict the other person’s response. I can create an open environment and be accountable for my part I the relationship, but I cannot control the other person’s part. I cannot predict the circumstance, but I can manipulate the situation through planning what needs to be said, understanding why and being clear on the steps necessary to rectify the situation. I also need to be open to understanding the other person’s opinion or reasoning. There are things that I can do to minimize the fallout. (No sudden moves in a jungle full of big, hairy creatures).
If people are to progress, we are going to go through change. Change is inevitable. Change creates stress – Stress is a normal response for us imperfect humans. We do need to be aware that stress, particularly prolonged and unnecessary stress is damaging to our physical as well as emotional wellbeing – so be prepared. Be prepared to manage your stress. Be aware of how you respond and figure out how to let it go.
Relationship is the free gift that comes from working with people. Working with people is not easy, but it can be fun. We are all different. Take risks to invest in relationships. Listening is not enough to develop relationships – we need to live with the troop of gorillas – metaphorically of course. Partner with the people you work for – the people you work with.