When we think about compassionate connections, we immediately think about those suffering or in need. But sometimes the suffering may not be physical pain. From a work perspective, perhaps it is mental anguish, fear or lack of confidence in skills or abilities. Maybe it is lack of self-worth.

I have a friend who reached out to me in my time of crisis. She called and left the message, “Lisa, I am sending you words of encouragement.” The words were so simple yet profound. She didn’t say, “I know what you are going through” (although, yes, she had experienced what I was experiencing). She was acknowledging my pain, my suffering and giving me hope.

Research indicates employee engagement and retention directly relate to the relationship of the employee with the direct supervisor or manager. Employee engagement surveys may also include the importance of at least one close relationship within the work environment. These relationships may provide personal care and support as defined by the person’s needs. They may also include professional coaching and mentoring, advisement and counsel.

We have the capacity to create compassionate connections throughout our daily work life. Think about creating a compassionate connection through words of encouragement.  How do you reach out to your team or colleagues and acknowledge them? We recognize excellent performance of our colleagues and team through our thank yous, praise at team meetings, our e-card system, and perhaps a formal reward and recognition system. But, how do you encourage your colleagues, or your team, especially during the tough times?

Thoughts To Build On

What is the personal touch you have that encourages your team or your colleagues? 

What actions or interventions do you or your organization provide that supports “lifting up”, or “reaching out?”

How do you encourage and build hope?

What is your comfort level with verbally sharing words of encouragement?

What interventions does your organization provide to create a caring employee experience to support an excellent patient experience?

 “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”

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