“Their is nothing more exciting that meeting new people, hearing their stories and being inspired”
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I, along with business partner Vanessa, attended the Nursing Times Directors Congress. It was the first time that we, C&C Empathy Training, had attended a conference in an exhibiting capacity. Normally my conference experiences are from presenting, which I love, so this was a new experience for us…and one, that exceeded our expectations.
We had become involved through the fabulous editor Jenni Middleton, who had attended one of taster training days on Using Empathy to Help Resolve Complaints that we had put on in March. We had spoken to her fabulous team and decided this was the event for us. And on reflecting the next day of this big Nursing event, I have, not the 6C’s, but the 4C’s to describe my experience.
#1 Conference: It was truly a great 2 days and Jenni, was an inspiring and funny chairperson.It included excellent delegates, great other exhibitors and sponsors, amazing Nursing Times staff, professionalism, great content, a live video link to Jane Cummings launching the Leading Change and even a football team somewhere in the hotel, (although unrelated to the actual congress and way to elusive for my liking and many of the females present I dare say). Vanessa and I spoke to some great Nurse Directors, we saw a wealth of experience and heard of the problems they face. We saw some we knew and some we didn’t and we interacted with the congress fully. After us both doing a gruelling Moonwalk the Saturday before, not only did it give us the chance to talk to people about our empathy training we do, it was the mental stimulation we needed to keep our minds off our poor aching legs!!
#2 Connections: I have mentioned the the delegate connections, but the other exhibitor connection also was inspiring. We didn’t get chance to speak to all of them in detail, but we spoke at length, sharing stories about our work and what drives our passion for it with Cayder who specialise in white boards to improve patient safety and with Kaplan who support Trusts with language challenges when English is not health professionals first language. The connection though that I describe was not so much a business connection, but one of connecting with each another on a human level; taking the time to know each other. Our work, which was very different, but all focussed on communication from some perspective, patient safety/experience and staff well-being did connected us, but was enhanced with connecting on a human level.
#3 Comedy: My favourite pastime!! 🙂 What can I say, I am deep, reflective and sometimes very serious having had so much loss and grief in my life, but…. I am also a complete, self confessed nutter. I am the one who is known (and loved) by my friends as the ‘entertainment’, sometimes a little too often, as most of the jokes are at my expense!! Laughter however is my defence mechanism. Losing a child, as I have, is soul destroying. Living way beyond them is a destructive force sometimes. Being happy, laughing, being silly, smiling and seeing others at their best is quite simply, a life force to me. When it is absent for too long, I question why I have tried so hard to live. It is like my drug. When laughter is concentrated by many it is just lovely. Jenni’s humour as she chaired the event and that of her staff, was simply captivating to me. Delegates and exhibitors/sponsors too, who were engaging and sharing their personality with us, adding to this. The joy of sharing your personality and laughter with someone and not being judged (because they get you), but appreciated for it, is one of the greatest joys of life.
#4 Care: And finally the last ‘C’ and one of the most important and is part of the nursing 6C’s – Care. During these days, I felt care for others and received it from others. I heard and saw some fascinating and touching personal stories, (which are not my right to share publicly), but I was privileged to experience. I shared my story, my losses and challenges and received care back ten fold.One exhibitor from Kwickscreen hugged me, unafraid to show me his compassion for the information I had just shared. I know for sure that human stories are the most captivating and humbling stories that can ever be told ,things that mean something real to someone. Something that evokes empathy and in another. Something that demonstrates how strong people are, even when they don’t feel it and something that gives us the genuine ability to demonstrate you care. How you respond is one of the most powerful communications there is.
So my blog today about MY 4 C’s, is in way of thanking all those who have enhanced my life over the last 2 days – THANK YOU. To all those I shared the conference with, those who I connected with, those who were comical and caring and allowed me to be comical and caring back – THANK YOU. In between all the hugely valuable and educative information, thank you for providing me and Vanessa with the opportunity to come back feeling like we had experienced this………