Do you believe:
- You can make time in your busy schedule to lead caring in a different way?
- Nurses have time to provide authentic caring more frequently?
- Development of authentic caring capabilities is each nurse’s responsibility?
- You have the knowledge or skills to help nurses achieve more authentic caring?
If your answers are “YES” to these questions, You Are On Your Way! Go For It!
If your answers are “Hmm”, Then Come On Along With Me.
I’m like the startup guy in this image mapping a new path for a business. The startup path I’m mapping is,
How do we reach higher levels of authentic caring in today’s healthcare industry?
Mind mapping helped me see how my beliefs had become obstacles to being a better leader of caring. Here are some of the lessons that freed me from those beliefs.
Lessons that changed my beliefs –
- Where I thought I couldn’t do more to lead caring because of my job demands and heavy workloads; Not true.
It was not about heavy workloads. It was about allowing myself to think and talk about authentic caring openly, simply threading it through conversations everyday. I started with my nurse leadership team, in our meetings. Then I integrated conversations about authentic caring into classes I taught, then in nursing forums, during rounding, and in board meetings. Leading caring in this way shifted my job demands and workloads. Connecting with nurses in meaningful ways motivated me to round more and seek out relationships with nurses more often. These incremental steps enriched my self-growth and work experiences for nurses, nurses leaders and other leaders.
- Where I thought nurses didn’t have time for more authentic caring; Not true.
Authentic caring is about brief moments of deep connection that can involve a look, a touch, a pause, a word that can be lasting. It’s making connections in between nursing’s routine work. It’s more about awareness, than time. Each nurse has to discover this individually. Routine conversations about these connections build on nurses’ existing actions, thoughts, intentions in real time. By shedding light on nurses’ caring experiences in brief conversations, leaders expand nurses’ awareness and confidence without adding pressures and demands.
- Where I assumed that authentic caring was each nurses’ personal journey and responsibility, and I had no role in this journey; Not true.
First, our obligation is to create an environment where authentic caring does not fall silent, where caring has a voice threaded through daily clinical practices. For nurses, cultivation of one’s authentic caring skills is a personal, unique, voluntary journey. As leaders, our role is to coach and mentor authentic caring in nurses. Talking about its nature, giving words to it, and describing our own caring cultivation practices makes it visible to nurses and others. This helps leaders create that caring work place.
- Where I feared that I did not have the capacity or skills to help others achieve authentic caring; Not true.
Once I started talking, asking and sharing thoughts and observations about authentic caring, I saw caring energy spark in other nurses and leaders. This showed me that I could impact others’ authenticity and connections. As we make known what caring is and its dynamics in our own lives, this ripples through others. Everyone’s capacity for authenticity and authentic caring connection grows, especially our own.
As I mapped out each perceived obstacle, the paths prompted me to actively seek higher levels of authenticity and connection in my work. Once I learned that nurses were ready and willing to talk about authentic caring, all I needed to do was to start the conversations. The path was set. From there I learned how to explore with each nurse how they achieved their authenticity and caring connections.
These short meaningful conversations with nurses showed me the way.