Sometimes we learn things from proximity. In the past few weeks I’ve been on the road–out to Lancaster, PA for a wonderful conference of the Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association with my dog, Bella, and then back in Connecticut for a session on customer service for library professionals. As I was thinking about it, the two have a lot in common.
Here’s the easy similarities: both categories involve non-stop requests at work, both deal with deep issues that affect our communities such as poverty, disabilities, aging, etc., and of course both are at the heart of our communities.
Here are a few things from each session that might be helpful to everyone.
- Nonverbal support is powerful (this is one of the many reasons why therapy dogs are so effective)
- Information opens doors
- You can’t fake patience or kindness
- You must take good care of yourself if you’re going to be effective in caring for others
- “No” is a wonderful word–just be careful how you say it
- Humor is really important, too. There’s something about these two dogs that cracks me up!
- Take advantage of your co-workers. They may be better at something that you’re struggling with. Team up and learn from each other.
- Use mini-breaks to refresh yourself and regain perspective.
It was a long ride home after the conference in Lancaster. Bella didn’t mind–she slept for the six hours. It’s a tough job being a dog!