Quality Service: Compassion – Barriers & Solutions: Systemic

Systemic Barriers

Some things that hinder compassion can be caused by the process itself. For example.

  • You or your client has had a difficult past experience that affects both perception and behavior.
  • We all have other responsibilities (e.g., deadlines, meetings, etc.) that compete for our time and energy.
  • The atmosphere is hectic where we work and sometimes it’s easy to be distracted or fatigued.
  • Our own personal lives can be hectic and it’s easy to be distracted or fatigued.
  • We work hard to establish resources, but sometimes there just isn’t anything to offer a client.

Systemic Solutions

Some simple ways we can address the systemic barriers to compassion are to…

Be Deliberate:

  • Work to be fully present with every person;
  • Get rid of any distraction;
  • Check your understanding of the situation;
  • Make eye contact (when culturally acceptable);
  • Be sincere;
  • Repeat key information from speaker to check understanding;
  • Let the other person talk;
  • Be respectful of their time;
  • Avoid public discussion;
  • Follow up on previous conversations;
  • Do what you say you’ll do;
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say;
  • Be honest and open.

Prioritize Other Work:

  • Keep your other work organized so you can dedicate the time needed to your clients

Establish Relationship:

  • Show respect by not making people wait
  • Smile
  • Address individuals by their surnames
  • Shake hands if culturally acceptable
  • Make it easy to ask questions
  • Share your contact information
  • Don’t use DHS jargon or acronyms
  • Take any and all actions possible while the person in the office
  • Give information on what to expect next
  • Follow up on resources you’ve given
  • Return calls promptly

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