Tuesday, 31 July 2012

In tune and in synch.

Today has been a day of feeling the universe was tuned into me.  Or perhaps I was tuned into the universe.  Whichever way I look at it, there were many moments where I felt tingly as everything was perfectly synched.  As I write this, there are ten minutes left in the day and I wonder will this feeling continue tomorrow.

Today I facilitated a test run of a workshop which I've co-devised for Monash University as part of a project looking at empathy amongst multi-disciplinary health care teams.  Travelling on the train to the other side of Melbourne, I took the time to think about empathy and also about the day ahead.  It felt so good to be in a position where I would have the opportunity to put a new workshop "on its feet" to test the design and material before "going live".  Too often this step is not factored in and facilitators are left to find a way to make poorly designed things work.  

The day was a success.  While I was waiting for my colleague to finalise some work I opened my email.  After I'd checked that, I picked up the book I'm reading at the moment.  In rapid succession there were three moments that felt a little bit "spooky" - little bit like being in my very own Truman Show.

Firstly, there was today's edition of The Get More Goer, sent weekly by the Get More Guy, Warwick Merry, whom you met in this Question Time post.  Whenever I read Warwick's provocative few sentences, I often feel like he has a sixth sense and writes precisely what I need in my life at that moment. 

Today the message was all about assessing if you are truly listening to the needs of your clients.  His final statement resonated - deeply.  "Most of the time our existing clients tell us what they want. Why wouldn't you deliver that?"  

Probably because we can spend too much time thinking about life from our own perspective and forget to be empathetic.  

Secondly, I saw my weekly quote from Tom Peters:  "Effective communicating REQUIRES "wasting" lots of upfront time to establish rapport.  ("Getting right to the point" is usually disastrous.)  

Again, it hit me right between the eyes.  I'd just been having a conversation with a paramedic educator about the particular challenges paramedics face when they walk into someone's home wearing a uniform when there are also time restraints and "efficiencies" which they are required by the system to meet.  I tried to imagine what it would be like to work in a job that has human interaction as its focus, but where spending time to establish rapport, can sometimes be seen as taking too long.  Obviously in a life threatening emergency situation, I don't really care about rapport - I'll want my clinical needs addressed swiftly.  However, I also think about the power of an interaction where both things happen - my life is saved and the health care professionals work in a way that inspires a relaxed confidence that my life is going to be okay in their hands and more than that, my human dignity will remain intact because they understand what I'm worried about.

The third example is a little more whimsical.  If you've visited my "What I'm Reading" page lately, you will have noticed I'm reading about Stanley Milgram's obedience tests, conducted in the late 1960's at Yale University.  I opened up to a new chapter, only to read about a staff member with the same surname as my colleague at Monash University and that he had been a paramedic, the same as my colleague.  On the back of the two mass emails which appeared to be specifically written for me, it was a little bit freaky.

I wonder if I was noticing these "coincidences", moments of synchronicity, particularly because I was in a hyper-aware observant state of mind.  

Looking back at this question I see that it contains the answer!  To fall into synch, to feel more in rhythm, cultivate observance and make the connections is truly inspiring!  And come to think of it, it's a great way to develop empathy.

As I contemplate renewing my commitment to divacultura for another year, I feel excitement and affection.  Thank you for sharing some of your time with me. As a thank you gift - and so I can gain a better sense of who's out there - I'll be giving away a pair of my hand knitted socks to two very lucky readers, where ever you are in the world (ie two readers will receive a pair of socks each).  To be in the running, leave a comment on this post by Friday 17 August 2012, stating why you like reading divacultura. My favourite responses will receive the prize (my decision is final).  Why not take the opportunity to sign up and follow too!

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