Friday, October 28, 2016

UNYOC - Jill Hurst-Wahl: Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion

Shequaga Falls in Montour Falls, NYYesterday I had the pleasure of being one of the speakers at the Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter of the Medical Library Association (UNYOC) Annual Meeting in Watkins Glen, NY.  My talk was entitled "Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion."   Over the course of an hour, I talked about:
  • Reaching out to our communities community and to meeting them - physically, mentally, emotionally - where they are...with emphasis on creative ways of being physically with them or in their space.
  • Seeing the human-ness of each person and serving the human-ness in each person.
  • Showing compassion and care for yourself, so that you can serve your community well.
In that last area, I provided five tips which I want to share with you. Those tips are (and I embellished on each in my talk):
  • Use an external brain.  If you decide to use paper or some digital device to help you keep track of your to-do's and other information, your brain will thank you.  And when your brain is happy, the rest of you will be happier.  It really is an act of self-care to give our brains some relief.  And rather than trying to remember a ga-zillion things, you can use that brain power on something else.
  • Seek clarity of purpose.  You might also use the word "goal." What is your purpose for today?  For this week?  For this year? When you're clear, everything else can fall into place.
  • Take a pause.  There is an old "B" movie called "The House of God" which is about a hospital.  In the movie, the young doctors are told to take their own pulse before taking the pulse of a patient.  Later there is a funny scene of them taking their pulse while standing around someone who is having a heart attack.  However, the idea is that they needed to know that they were okay and they needed to be calm.  You do that when you take a pause.
  • Find a partner.  Find someone whom you can confide in and you can give you advice about whatever.  It may be a friend or colleague.  It may be someone who is geographically far away.  It needs to be someone you can trust and who can keep your confidence.  And it needs to be someone who can be in it for the long haul.  That person can help you ground you, even when you're not sure where the ground is.
  • Create rituals.  Rituals calm us and create structure.  And I'm not just talking about religious rituals, but also rituals around how you start and end your day, or even how you prepare for a meeting.  Structure is actually freeing.  For example, the structure of a Japanese tea ceremony is meant to be relaxing.
I heard afterwards that those tips truly resonated with people, and I'm glad!  May the also resonate with you.

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