Wendy

Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Professional Boundaries and Cultural Bias

Sometimes the obvious connections slip to the edge of my consciousness. I had not made a specific link between professional boundaries and cultural bias until a couple of weeks ago.

I was invited to facilitate a seminar for Interpreters on the theme of Cultural Bias. As I was researching content for the seminar, and more specifically, from the discussions during the seminar, light bulbs started going off in my brain. Neuroscientists would say it was the sparking of my neurons – however I like the image of the light bulb, I guess I just have to be careful when I switch the light bulbs off and on.

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Why You Want Critical Feedback

Why You Want Critical Feedback

Today I thought I would write about feedback, specifically what is known as critical feedback.

I have experienced critical feedback that has had both a positive and a negative impact on me. In reflection what has made the difference has been the delivery style of the individual who has given me the feedback. Where I experienced that the individual giving the feedback actually did have my best interests at the centre of their interaction with me I took in what they said and allowed myself to digest and make my sense of what they were saying. I felt able to approach them later to ask for clarification which also helped me to come to decisions.

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Reflecting for a moment…

Reflecting for a moment…

A new year begins and with it endless possibilities and choices for the present and future. I received a lovely present in the post today. A calendar of photos which captured moments from a holiday I had in Italy last year, was hand delivered. Only twelve seconds were captured and yet so much more time, emotion, thoughts and friendships are held in those seconds. How many lifetimes do we humans live in a second? If we were to capture 60 seconds of delight, joy and enjoyment that we experienced in a day how much richer would we be, I wonder.

I have also been delighting in the daily photos and videos that I receive via email of my great niece born last month in Scotland. I see her face change as she takes in her environment and the actions and voices of those who engage with her. I enjoy very much all of the seconds that I watch her. The magic of the internet to be so close to someone and at the same time thousands of miles away. Amazing.

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Welcome to 2014

Welcome to 2014
Welcome to 2014

Welcome readers, to another year. What does 2014 hold for you, your family and your community? What specific plans have you made for the year in terms of holidays, study, changing jobs or developing a new skill for the job your currently hold? Is this the year to start that activity that you have been talking about for some time? That book you always wanted to read, has it been purchased yet? If so have you made the book visible to remind you of your wish to explore the writing held in the pages?

I ask these questions of myself as much as to you. When I actually allow myself time to pause and consider there are many things that I have put on hold for a number of years. I say to friends “I will do that one day”. I might even set a plan I will do a certain activity by a specific date. The date comes and goes and somehow I have managed to fit something else into the space. The book sits beckoning, the golf clubs become a beautiful landscape for spiders to weave upon and the book that I want to write remains unwritten. Yet I have not given up on these plans, they remain planted in me and yes I will get there.

On a different topic yet somehow related I invite you to look at a new TED talk posted in December 2013. It is well worth a visit. The speaker is Andrew Solomon and he talks about depression – his experience of being depressed and also depression as a broader theme. He starts his presentation by saying “I felt a funeral in my brain” and I was intrigued. One word that he used several times during his presentation really resonated with me, VITALITY. As a mental health professional for over thirty years, I do not think I have been so awakened to the nexus between depression and vitality.

As I listened to Andrew, I considered the restrictive language that I have used as a health professional when talking about depression. It is as if the word itself or perhaps our interpretation of depression creates a void in using a more extensive, elaborate, and descriptive language. Then I wonder in what ways the language we use when interviewing individuals who have depression may actually assist in keeping a depressive theme going? What would be altered if we were to ask questions about vitality? I suspect we would witness different stories emerging from the folks we engage with. Give it a go next time you talk with someone. Be curious about vitality, what does it mean to and for you?

Wendy

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share.html [Photo by LadyDragonflyCC – >;< via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons]

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