Have you ever hibernated? Do you consider “hibernation” as an essential practice in your life? While the concept may seem strange or odd since humans don’t hibernate like others in the animal kingdom, the purpose behind hibernation is well worth our reflection and consideration. In his blog “Make Time for Personal Renewal — 4 Strategies for the New Year” John Hester makes the critical connection between rest and renewal and productivity: “When people don’t take time out, they stop being productive” (Carisa Bianchi). A few years ago after making a major life change, I found myself craving time out; it was during this several month period that I connected the practice of hibernation by some in the animal kingdom to our human need for rejuvenation and restoration. I have come to appreciate the cold, snowy, and sometimes brutal winter days here in the Upstate New York region precisely because it has helped me give myself permission to sit, reflect and regenerate. In fact, between December and the end of March, on weekends — when possible — I set as my intention to park my car inside the garage late Friday afternoon as I return from work and not move it again until Monday morning when I venture back out to start another work week. There’s something freeing, healing, and re-energizing about this practice! If you have a similar practice in your life or if you are interested in incorporating one, I encourage you to read John Hester’s brief blog highlighting four strategies for making time for personal renewal in this New Year.
I started experiencing back pain around the time I turned 50. When I went to the doctor she told me, “John, you are at that age where every morning you will wake up with pain somewhere.” Wow! Talk about a wake-up call. Luckily, she didn’t leave it at that. She also gave me some specific stretching and strengthening exercises to help with the pain—and when I take the time to do them, they do help.
The reality is that without care and attention, things break down – our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. As we start this new year, I suggest that we each increase our capacity by taking time to regularly renew ourselves in each of the four dimensions of life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
- Increasing or maintaining your physical capacity
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Ann Phillips, in her blog “Do you have a customer service mindset? 3 ways to find out,” offers a very engaging and simple approach to service and the importance of relating to our customers out of our own expectations, hopes, values, preferences and the like but rather through theirs. For example, using the Golden Rule that is held up as an universal standard for how to treat others provides a basic framework for empathy and compassion — shifting the locus focus from self to others — and yet falls short because our expectations, hopes, interests, values, etc. are still the guiding light. Phillips invites her readers to consider another, more customer-centric, framework and offers very practical examples that convincingly make her point. To read her article, click here.
- “Do unto others as you would have _____ ___ _____ ____.” (Yes, the Golden Rule)
- “Beauty is in the eyes of ____ _________.”
- “If it were me, this is what __ ______ ___.”
I trust you were able to complete these very common sayings. While well meaning and mostly true, these are not just sayings, they are mindsets. They are beliefs that determine behavior and how we act toward other people. This is all fine except when it comes to service.
Find your focus
In my last blog, I said that service was all about you: your willingness to serve, your decision to serve, your instinct to serve. But what you do—your actual behavior and how you approach a situation—has to be about the customer, if you are genuinely interested in wanting your customer to feel…
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Maz Iqbal poses an important question in his blog regarding customer experience: Is the human spirit the difference that truly makes the difference? I believe so! Especially when considering his question in light of the mission and purpose of healing organizations like hospitals, while it is not the only important element, most definitely the human spirit is the key difference in my opinion. In a recent article, Jason Wolf, Executive Director of The Beryl Institute, writes that in his year-in-review of Patient Experience writings and literature, “The themes I found in looking at this year reveal words that speak to that very humanness at our core in healthcare–empathy and compassion, caring and communication, commitment and hope, and yes even love.” In my December blog for Hospital Impact, I described four key ingredients for creating an exceptional patient experience, namely, calling, empathy, compassion and making an emotional connection — all of which derive and find their motivation from the human spirit. And, in my most recent blog with Hospital Impact, I share a moving story of two human spirits making a connection that goes beyond words and that left both the hospital caregiver and family member moved by their experience of one another. While clinical outcomes, patient safety, and even certain amenities and service standards are critical to the patient (customer) experience, without the human spirit, the healing portion of curing cannot and will not occur. Therefore, like Maz Iqbal, I conclude that the human spirit is the difference that truly makes the difference for the patient (customer) experience. The human spirit makes the difference when optimizing healing healthcare.
“I’m thinking, as a 6-year-old, 7-year-old, what are their thoughts?” she said. “So I said to them, ‘I need you to know that I love you all very much and that it is going to be okay.’ Because I thought it was the last thing they were ever going to hear.” Caitlin Roig, a 29-year-old teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary School
As I write this I have tears on my cheeks – of sorrow and of gratitude. I am reminded that I am father to three children. I am reminded the awesome contribution many teachers made to my life. I can remember the care that was bestowed upon me during those early years when care/love is particularly important. And I know that I am in a position to write this only because my fellow human beings saved my life twice. The first time was when I was 7 years old and…
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