Allow me to introduce myself. I am Diane Rogers and delighted to be part of the internet, social media conversation network. And this is my first blog. As I sit here and write this very first note, that loud voice inside my head is screaming – ‘Your first blog? What took you so long?’ And, that’s just it – what took me so long?
As I thought about this, I couldn’t help but think about all the times, working with my healthcare clients/clinicians, that I have promoted the notion of – ‘you have to create the conversation, continue the conversation and change the conversation’. These three simple actions, so seemingly easy to understand become so difficult to execute in practice. Armed with the evidence to support their importance, (as if this will make it easier to execute) I reiterate how the AMA Health Literacy Program suggests creating ‘conversational or living room language’ improves communication. I offer how the literature supports the need to further engage the patient in their own care – by continuing the conversation – inviting patients into the conversation and partnering with them as we collectively determine the best plan of care forward. And, I introduce the notion that changing the conversation is about changing our own conversation – internally and externally – paying attention to our negative language and shifting to a more positive perspective, to share through conversation what makes our hearts smile.
But now, as I sit and write my first blog, pondering why it’s taken me so long to create the conversation, I am struck by the fact that creating a conversation isn’t at all about properly executing evidence based communication tactics.
Creating a conversation is about creating a connection… and creating a connection requires me to be vulnerable.
Writing this blog, creating a conversation (with you) means that I will be creating a connection … an honest, heartfelt, authentic connection. I will be sharing my thoughts, experiences, and feelings. I will be sharing me. Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly suggests that ‘in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be seen’, and to be seen we must be vulnerable.
Creating this conversation, this connection, means risking that many of you won’t share, agree, or embrace my thoughts, experiences, feelings. And that seemed to matter to me. In fact, it scared me…. So much so that I put this off for years – not days, weeks, or months – years! The fear of ‘not being good enough’, fearing that I might not matter (to you), that no one would ever read my blog, got in the way of my own willingness to create new relationships, new connections, new possibilities.
Sure, I want to matter (to you). We all do. That’s why connection is so vitally important – it helps us to feel that we matter in this world. But I somehow missed the fact that in creating a conversation I would have the opportunity to connect and share with each of you as individuals – amazing individuals, with wonderful perspectives and stories. And through this (new) experience and connection we may, together, discover joy, discover meaning, discover a smile, and discover that we all matter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diane Rogers is a facilitative, leader with a collaborative approach inspiring individuals and organizations to raise the bar toward the Achievement of New Potentials, together. She has a diverse background, with a history of demonstrated leadership positions across multiple industries, including healthcare, software IT, aerospace and nuclear power. Diane can think big and put the details in place to design effective action plans building trust and respect along the way. With her unquenchable energy, she tenaciously engages stakeholders to join the improvement journey and, along the way, cheerfully nudging the players, bringing them to the same page, to move beyond their potential.