OK, I already knew this, but I was reminded again this week of the value of relationship – some form of contact or connection with others. Three things highlighted this for me
I started the week with two days training. I was with people from the same hospital but who I don’t generally work with. We know each other and say “Hi” in the corridor, but that’s about it. So to be with them for that length of time meant I got to know their personalities, what they’re like when they have scope to be a bit more playful than the day job allows and what they’re scared of (the dreaded role play on day 2 brought that out!). Going about the hospital for the rest of the week we greeted each other more heartily and I could see them as the person rather than their role and what they did. I had more of a sense of us as a team working towards the same end, which felt really good.
Next week will be the start of work to create a “secure” space for our reception staff to sit in, effectively behind glass. Whilst the reasons for this are sensible and it is very probably the right thing to do, it is sad to think that I will only be able to wave to the lovely friendly ladies who sit behind the front desk, rather than stop and chat as I do now.
Finally, as ever, working with groups showed me again the power of empathy. Often group members are sure that they are the only person who feels as they do. Sometimes their own feelings seem inexplicable to them, sometimes they think they should be able to “pull themselves together”, but for whatever reason they are convinced they are alone with what they are experiencing. To find that their peers can understand exactly what they are going through, can be a huge relief. There’s often what looks like wonderment that this can be so, that they are not the only person in the world with these thoughts, this pain, this struggle. The tightly held defences may start to relax a bit and the person allows the possibility to emerge that they share something with another human being and that there is a way back to the world of togetherness.