Category: Podcasts

The Empathy Museum

Would you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? Literally? At the Empathy Museum, you can do just that. Founded in 2015 by empathy expert Roman Krznaric, the Empathy Museum is a travelling collection of participatory arts projects that focus on Storytelling and dialogue. The “Mile in My Shoes” exhibit allows you to select an actual pair of shoes, walk around in them, and listen to the story accompanying them. The aim is to inspire compassion and understanding for the lives and stories of others.

While many of us can’t go visit the Empathy Museum in person, we can learn from its founder. Krznaric acknowledges that empathy is “trending” right now in the world of business, and he thinks it’s for good reason: because empathy is undeniably powerful. In this piece, he shares the Six Habits of Highly Empathic People (all habits we can easily integrate into our daily lives): cultivate curiosity about strangers, challenge prejudices and discover commonalities, try another person’s life, listen hard and open up, inspire mass action and social change, and develop an ambitious imagination. It’s also worth taking a listen to the podcast “A Mile in My Shoes” available wherever you get your podcasts.

While we aren’t suggesting you encourage team members to literally exchange shoes, in what ways might we encourage and facilitate active empathy in our organizations? How are we gathering the stories of our team members, providers, patients, and guests and sharing them to inspire a more global understanding of the humans that make up our Experience? Can we intentionally take another perspective for deeper knowing?

Healing Power of Compassion

In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we learn about the healing power of wholeheartedness. Dr. Kristin Neff, an expert in compassion, shares the impact that self-support has on our emotional, spiritual, professional, and physical wellbeing. Approaching all of our actions with kindness, compassion, and wholeheartedness allows us to tap into our strongest sense of health. Tied directly to mindfulness, self-compassion ensures that we can be our own best ally. When we lead with self-compassion, we decrease our Experience of anxiety, depression, stress, and illness which are scientifically tied to stress. We can truly benefit from learning how to care for ourselves as we care for others.


Carry Being in Your Pocket

As we learn more about the physical and mental benefits of mindfulness, apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” have become incredibly popular. These apps provide techniques for mindfulness and meditation – integrating the power of smart technology with the age-old wisdom of slowing down to breathe. The apps offer guided meditations, music features, notifications and reminders, and even a timer to set how long you’d like calming sounds to play as you drift off to sleep. Plus in response to the increased stress and anxiety of COVID-19, Headspace has offered all US health care professionals free access to their Headspace Plus through the end of 2020.


These apps make Being much more accessible for anyone. In just 10 minutes, whether on our morning walk, during a quick quiet moment of respite, or over a lunch break, our phones can serve as a transportation device to settling in and Being in the present.

Download one of the apps above to Experience mindfulness. How might we take advantage of this at the ready mindfulness at the patient bedside, in our team member lounges, and in our public spaces?

What Happens When We Meditate?

Mindfulness isn’t just good for our spirits; it’s good for our bodies. In this one-hour discussion from the Aspen Ideas Festival, filmmaker Perri Peltz and meditation expert and advocate Bob Roth dig into the hard science behind the practice and benefits of meditation. 

As they break down the three different types of focused breathing (focused attention, open monitoring, and self-transcending), Roth identifies which areas of the brain are activated and the brain activity that occurs. The gamma, theta, and alpha-1 brain waves that result from the three different types of meditation are the root of the positive health effects of meditation such as decreased pain, a higher functioning immune system, decreased anxiety and depression, greater attention, and increased self-control. As it turns out, meditation nourishes our minds, bodies, and spirits.

What would result if we gifted our team members with the time for this practice of being? What about our patients? Think you don’t have the time? You do if you make it – it is a choice.

Humanity’s Story

 

We love the folks at StoryCorps who are on a mission to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” They work tirelessly to record the stories of ordinary people and share them in a way that properly celebrates the beauty of humanity in all of its challenges and triumphs. Initially StoryCorps was known for their  mobile tour –taking their iconic recording studio on the road to cities around the country to ensure they’re hearing stories in their most raw form: straight from the storytellers’ mouths. Next they added the StoryCorps app — putting the power of story gathering and storytelling into our hands. And now, during this time of Pandemic they’ve added a virtual tour to their suite of story collection methods. Partnering with various artists, StoryCorps selects particularly poignant stories to be illustrated and shared on YouTube and other social media platforms to appeal to visually driven audiences. Be sure to sign up for their podcast to hear a new story each week.


LOOKING at Personalized Learning

The notion of a classroom and education is being LOOKED at with fresh eyes as students across the country spent their spring semesters learning from home due to COVID-19.   To date, “Personalized learning” has equated to a computer-based education system that allows students to set their own goals and pace and receive instructions via algorithms at the point where they individually need it. This podcast explores the benefit of the approach. And while it is based on an individual’s skills and has been a wonderful support piece of the teaching puzzle, in it’s current form, it’s not the perfect answer.

This Forbes piece proposes a new definition for consideration.  What if this fall Personalized learning meant designing an education Experience that was just right for each child?  It would require more time, more resources, more effort, and yet it may be the beacon of possibility schools need to design toward for students to thrive in what will certainly be a different beginning to the new school year.

 

LOOKING at our own learning tools and techniques, what might we need to modify? What questions could we ask to understand how each team members best learns? How might this insight inform and influence the environment and approach we take?

A Delightful Box

Monthly subscription boxes continue to be a household go-to, so making a business stand out is a challenge. Beauty product company BirchBox brilliantly realized that its sustainability as a business depended on placing the Orchestration of the customer Experience in the most savvy hands – those of its customers. Birchbox launched as a transformational company giving consumers the beauty counter-sampling Experience, curated and shipped to their homes each month. Because they are a mostly digital interface, BirchBox knew that in order to avoid fading into a saturated market, they needed to stay relevant, and what better way to do that than to put the power into the hands of the consumer? Using customer input, they are able to tailor the Experience to the customer’s beauty preferences and then offer products that the customer might not have found themselves. By Orchestrating and personalizing the Experience, BirchBox can delight its customers every time they open a box. Founder Katia Beauchamp shares how she built Birchbox and divulged that she believes “if you’re going to do something discretionary, it’s the retailer’s responsibility to make it really delightful.”

How can we Orchestrate a personalized Experience for our internal and external customers? As leaders, how can we invite others to provide input?

One Physician’s Guide to a “Feeling Connected” Practice

In health care, we are often conditioned to be emotionally detached–the pace, complexity, and stress can otherwise be overwhelming. Yet, in this Greater Good podcast, Dr. Leif Hass shares his practice for Connection–finding time to see and care deeply for his patients and colleagues each day. This practice not only benefits his patients, but Dr. Hass as well. When he visits a patient, Dr. Hass acknowledges the suffering they are feeling rather than simply focusing on the pain scale of one to 10. By asking about suffering, he is taking both the physical and emotional pain into consideration. Dr Hass has learned that with a thoughtful pause, deep breath, and time to acknowledge someone’s distress, compassionate care is easier to deliver. And he invites the whole team into this approach, beginning with gratitude for the teams’ commitment and effort first, then encouraging them to care for others in this unique yet simple way. 

Dr. Hass goes on to share his “Feeling Connected” practice where he tunes into powerful moments of Connection. He spends time reflecting on one person and on a time he felt a true bond with this person. Dr Hass considers how the Experience felt, what made it memorable, and then he writes about it. Writing it down helps solidify the memory and makes it really stick. Studies show this practice of writing about our bonding Experiences also helps to make us kinder to others. 


Making a Magical Connection

It takes at least seven minutes to form a true Connection during a conversation. In an age where technology buzzes, pings, and interrupts us on a nearly continual basis, this finding by social psychologist Sherry Turkle inspires us to think about how we can practice Connection. She discusses conversation and gives us some ideas about how to make it happen in this podcast from the Note to Self series “Infomagical.”

What does it take to have a truly human, face-to-face interaction for seven minutes these days? Why seven minutes? It takes that long to get past the settling in – the initial chat – and really dig into the meat of the conversation.

As leaders, when we encourage our team members to truly Connect, and take the time to do it right, we create a Connection culture – a culture where Connections are sought after because they create valuable interactions. We know it’s not easy to remove all of the dings, mental distractions, and alerts urging us to read and reply. It seems so much easier to shoot off a quick note and be done with it. But creating human Connections opens the door to so much more – and is truly time well spent.

Try having a full seven-minute, face-to-face conversation with someone - no phone, computer, or device - and discuss something you've recently heard, read, or watched. What is the hardest part about this exercise? What did you discover that you would have missed if you had Connected for only a minute or if you had been distracted by technology?