In our latest program Oxygen for Caregivers: Guarding Against Burnout, Sustaining Compassion we help you and your team restore such connections. They are one of the three pillars of resilience we build together in this program. You can learn more about it here…
At some point in your interaction there will always be a choice point, a moment when you can choose to escalate or run away from the tension. This is the instinctive fight or flight response when we feel threatened. There is however, a third option, the choice to engage with the other person and find out more about them. Then we regard the situation as a challenge rather than a threat. This one move reduces our own stress, gives us more information about the other person’s needs and goals, and helps us think more clearly about how to proceed.
The AiC program: Compassion in Action: Being Effective in Emotionally Difficult Conversations builds this capacity to engage effectively when the tension rises.
Treating people with compassion is a teachable skill, but you can’t teach it by lecture, sermon, or by simply telling people what they to do. AiC has a seven-step compassion cultivation process that is built into all of our programs. It begins with making compassion visible. This is the first step to making compassion teachable because everyone sees and understands a good example. Then they need to talk about it, and the art of facilitating this group dialogue is the second step.
When a conversation gets stuck, skilled facilitators will use a “third thing” to unstick it. So it’s not just you and me facing off with opposite viewpoints, there’s a third thing to talk about instead. You can use a poem, a story, a video, a photograph—something that’s related to the topic but doesn’t take sides. A well-chosen third thing will create new perspectives from which to look at the issue and allow the conversation to deepen into more meaningful territory.
The video-based programs we produce function as third things that help teams address hard-to-talk-about topics. Our new production, Oxygen for Caregivers: Guarding Against Burnout, Sustaining Compassion, stimulates a constructive conversation on the topic of burnout, compassion fatigue, and self-care. You can see a preview of it here…
AiC has developed many videos and articles – on DVD and online – for inspiring compassion. Inspiration often comes from seeing and hearing others of like mind and heart share stories and insights to the challenging work of caregiving. There are DVD-based programs, articles and references to great work along with videos designed to give soul-nurturing breaks on this website. Feel free to join our blogs & conversation, link up with others who have forged paths through today’s complicated care-environments.
Possibly not, but others of a caring nature are caught in a similar situation. Not able to express themselves fully or being worn too thin by tasks and obligations. Become a member of Adventures in Caring’s tribe, find and communicate with those who have walked the path before you and those who found solutions, sometimes eternal, sometimes if only briefly. Connection to others is key.
Stop. Take a break, reconnect with something natural and healing. Spend time with a loved one. If you only have a few moments to spare, perhaps a poem, inspirational article, music or art can offer recreation. We have original video-clips and music of a peaceful nature you may find soothing in the middle of the day. Watch them here: