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.
Some simple ways we can address the systemic barriers to compassion are to…
- 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
- Show respect by not making people wait
- 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