What I witnessed today made my heart sing.
I am sure you have been there, sitting in the back section of an airplane with two young children and their parents sitting in the row ahead. One child (around age 3) sitting next to the window, her Mom sitting next to her on the aisle holding a 1 year old and the Dad sitting across the aisle. Before the plane takes off you sit there wondering how the 3- hour flight will unfold. Will the children cry, get restless, squirm in their seats? Will they whine, talk nonstop and be loud? How will the parents react? Will they be patient or get stern? Will they talk gently or scold and threaten the children? What happens when the children squirm or even worse, cry? Will the parents be all stressed out and angry with their children or will they be calm?
As it turned out, this was anything but a smooth flight. We were flying through several storms which brought much turbulence throughout the flight. In the middle of the flight, after a 10 minute “roller coaster” ride, the 3-year old “felt sick”. How the parents reacted truly brought tears to my eyes.
- The Mom hold the hand of the 3- year old during take- off and have her lay her head on her lap when she felt sick.
- The Dad look over and reassure the 3-year old as she felt sick that it was okay in a calm, comforting voice.
- The Dad taking care of the 1 year old by having her sit on his lap, reading her a story, letting her have a sippy cup with milk and comforting her by cradling and holding her tight while talking quietly in her ear. Few words, just reassurance in action.
What really became apparent through the flight was Teamwork.
The couple passed the one year old back and forth across the aisle between the two of them while they calmed and attended to the 3- year old. The Mom would pass the sippy cup and bottle of milk to the Dad, he would fill it and hand it back to the Mom without a word spoken between them. Teamwork was evident during this flight.
Is Teamwork evident in your work setting, clinic, hospital, school and home?
Lessons Learned to Take Back to Our Lives:
- Stay calm, especially during turbulent times.
- Seek out, or better yet, be that calming, reassuring voice.
- Be open to assist others.
- Show up and be present.
- Be attentive to the needs of others.
- Listen with mind, body and soul to what is happening.
- Work together in a collaborative style.
- Provide warm handoffs between departments, clinics and individuals.