Category: Videos

Giving Wholeheartedly

There’s something incredibly powerful about the practice of giving. This moving video displays that generosity is a strong thread in the practice of wholeheartedness; when we give something, whether tangible or intangible, merely for the purpose of gifting it to someone, that energy changes us both for the better. We all give in different ways whether by making donations, by cooking for others, by helping those who have less, and more.

Selfless giving is key. As one individual stated in the video, we must “not have the expectation of getting something in return,” because giving is not transactional.

What would happen if we incorporated this Wholehearted practice of giving in our work? What if we viewed the Experiences we’re creating every day – and the time, energy, and compassion we have for our work – as the gift we’re giving to our team members, providers, patients, and guests?

Some Football Loving

We have discovered a Wholehearted football tradition at the University of Iowa that brings huge smiles to our faces. What began as a Facebook suggestion is now a full-blown movement. 

The University’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital sits adjacent to the football field, and their wonderful, young patients have an incredible view on game day. The children in the hospital watch the game in a “tailgate” on the top floor of the building. Between the first and second quarters, the hometown crowd turns around, looks up, and waves to the children and their families to let them know they’re rooting for them, too. The kids wave right back enthusiastically. And for night games when the kids can’t see the wave? Don’t worry, fans will be shining their phone flashlights high and bright. Fight! Fight! Fight! For Iowa, indeed.

What Wholehearted moments of joy and connection can we build into our unique places and spaces? How might we change the view of what is seen or Experienced through our many windows? How might our windows become windows of possibility?

“Being” In Action

When entrepreneur Kevin Kruse set out to learn the secrets to success of 200 of the most productive individuals in the US, more than half of their rules of engagement tied back to Being. While you may be thinking that “Being” is passive, think again. It’s a practice that must be put into action. From using a notebook to living your day “minute by minute,” the practices that make up what it means “to be” are also practices that increase how much you accomplish and how fulfilled you feel by your accomplishments.

Select one of the 15 practices from Kruse’s piece to introduce into your day. Set an Intention to continue this practice regularly for three work weeks. After the three-week experiment, reflect back on the weeks and see what you gained from adopting a new way to be in the workplace. Introduce the idea to your team members.

Are You LIVING for Your Resume or Your Eulogy?

New York Times columnist and deep thinker David Brooks compels us to think about who we really are in this inspiring TED Talk. Brooks proposes that there are two selves within us: the one we can define by our resume and the one we can define by our eulogy. While one is mired with titles, successes, creation, and the climbing of ladders, the other is filled with stories of love, heartbreak, selflessness, and values. We don’t have to choose one or the other— we are intrinsically both.

After watching David reflect on these two selves in his sub-five-minute TED Talk, pick up a copy of his book, The Road to Character, to delve deeper into all of these issues.

This time of pandemic is filled with life’s big questions and unexpected and unimaginable loss. How might we make time with our team members for the big questions—pondering and discussing what matters most?

Too Short a Story?

“There’s a bus coming in. A gork in two. Intermittent CP with SOB in five. And a soft tissue contusion below the fourth thoracic vertabrae in three.” Huh?

Like many industries, health care is filled with jargon and lexicon. Codes, acronyms, or difficult to follow medical language can prevent our team members, patients, and guests from fully dedicating themselves to our organization’s story, merely because they don’t understand. Jargon can alienate patients and guests who are often afraid to speak up and ask for explanations. Adorably exemplified in this Fast Company video, it doesn’t matter how old (or what kind of Muppet) you are, jargon is confusing and isolating.

While it’s easy for us to tell our team members not to use jargon, what’s more important is to be sure that every team member, provider, patient, and guest understands the conversation occurring around them. By narrating our Experience we ensure others understand what’s happening to, for, and around them.

Tell My Story

Even when we don’t see people, we’re often writing their story in our heads, making assumptions and creating a mental image. So what might we be missing out on? Our friends at Soul Pancake explore this mind-opening concept in their powerful video series, Tell My Story. Participants discover the pitfalls of assumptions and how their own biases are tough to avoid. While we’re all on our organizational missions to weave a positive and memorable story for our team members, providers, patients, and guests, we must remember that each one of these individuals is also creating and telling their own story. Assumptions, biases, and misunderstandings all impact the story we tell ourselves about caretakers, patients, clinic managers, billing specialists, environmental service team members, and…everyone.

Are we tuned into the assumptions, biases, and misunderstandings taking place throughout our organization? What are the impacts of these assumptions? How might we increase our ability to gather the real story and reduce our use of judgment, bias, and assumption?

Are We Human?

All We Do

There’s a simple way to tell the stories of humanity: ask people for their stories. Driven by their belief that we are all equal, human, and deserving, British musical duo Oh Wonder (Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West) created an awe-inspiring interactive story map that explores the global theme of what it means to be human. To visualize the thread of humanity, the duo reached out to filmmakers, artists, and citizens of the internet to impart what they think it means to be human—to be alive. They asked people to share their stories, their thoughts, and their hearts.

Take a few minutes to watch Oh Wonder’s video. Mentally stimulating, aurally pleasing, and visually stunning, it will truly warm your heart.

What does it mean to be human? How might our deepest humanity live through the work we do every day? What more could we do to more fully understand the humanity of our team members, providers, patients, and guests?

Wordless Stories

Not all stories are told with words. Married couple, dancers and choreographers, Keone and Mari Madrid use dance and movement to weave intricate stories together. It doesn’t take an expert in dance to understand that Keone and Mari are masters at their craft. In their competition for NBC’s “World of Dance,” Keone and Mari took our breath away not only with the technicality of their movement, but in the way in which they use their bodies to tell a story. 

As you watch this recording of their performance, which artfully depicts the interference of phones and technology with human connection, notice how Keone and Mari clearly share a storyline alongside the music and movement. Yet it is without one of the most commonly thought necessities of Storytelling: words. 

If you’re thinking you’ve seen the duo before, it just might be that you’ve watched them in their emotional tribute Built for This for Health Heroes nationwide or perhaps in one of Justin Bieber’s music videos, Love Yourself and Confirmation.

Some of the stories we see in our patient rooms are stories of the most complex emotions in our lifetimes: loss, grief, fear, perseverance, hope, and healing. How can you help the people in your organization be better “listeners” of these visual stories?

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.

The Original Method

When stories were first told, they were not read or recorded – they were simply spoken aloud. The Moth, a non-profit organization founded in New York City, aims to keep the beautiful art and craft of Storytelling alive by organizing live audience events and now even some virtual StorySLAMS across the country.

After organizing many of these events and hearing a lot of stories, the team at The Moth soon learned more about what it takes to tell a truly great story. Exemplifying many of their tips is Kevin McGeehan, party planner extraordinaire (listen to his story to learn just how great of a party this was). In order for a story to be authentic and best understood, it should be told from the heart—not read from a page—it should hold some high stakes, and you must stick the landing (the end of a story can make it or break it). Be sure to check out the Moth’s newly transformed Story stages.