Katy grew up in a home where nobody ever recognized her goodness, just her shortcomings and mistakes. She spent her childhood looking at herself through a mirror that showed only the faults identified by those who formed her way of thinking.
Remarkably, inspite of the oppressive environment she grew up in, she developed skills that brought her joy and ultimately a job in healthcare that required them. Though she was a proficient phlebotomist, her suppressed self-image prevented her from seeing she had any potential to be more than flawed in the eyes of any authority. One day her supervisor approached her.
"I noticed how you went out of your way today to help an outpatient overcome her anxiety about getting her blood drawn. You're really good at that, and I just want you to know you're one of the best on our staff at showing compassion. It's one of your shining gifts."
Katy was stunned. Nobody had ever recognized a positive attribute about her before. Someone actually defined her in a positive light, identified an asset she didn't know she had. Having it recognized gave her a newfound identity. It felt so rare, so good, that Katy started seeing herself as her supervisor saw her. Her demonstations of compassion and customer service excellence exploded and became her defining attribute. She blossomed as an employee and a person. With one random but deliberate observation, a supervisor turned Katy from an other-actualized person to a self-actualized asset to the world.
Many supervisors and managers expect compassion, punctuality, compliance with policy, team-thinking, civility---all that and more---to be baseline skills among their staff. When it's not demonstrated, they chide and discipline. Worse, they let it slide.
Empowered healthcare managers recognize sparks of what they require in individuals and inspire it to blossom by recognizing the tiniest fragments of light.
You have Katys on your staff. Recognize a tiny fragment today and watch it become a beacon.