After a lengthy process involving almost 5,000 employees, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle came up with 10 rules for fostering human dignity and mutual respect among its staff and patients.
Now they’re yours to implement at home or work, thanks to Kathy Shingleton, Vice-President of Human Resources at the medical center.
1. Listen to Understand
Good listening means giving the speaker your full attention. Nonverbal cues like eye contact and nodding let others know you are paying attention and are fully present for the conversation. Avoid interrupting or cutting others off when they are speaking.
2. Keep Your Promises
When you keep your word you show you are honest and you let others know you value them. Follow through on commitments -- and if you run into problems, let others know. Be reliable and expect reliability from others.
3. Be Encouraging
Giving encouragement shows you care about others and their success. It is essential that everyone understand their contributions have value. Encourage family members and/or coworkers to share their ideas, opinions and perspectives.
4. Connect with Others
Notice those around you and smile. This acknowledgement, combined with a few sincere words of greeting, creates a powerful connection. Practice courtesy and kindness in all interactions.
5. Express Gratitude
A heartfelt “thank you” can often make a person’s day and shows you notice and appreciate their work. At work give the colleague a handwritten note or verbal praise, or share a story about someone “going above and beyond” at your next team meeting. The family dinner table offers the same opportunity to express gratitude.
6. Share Information
When people know what is going on, they feel valued and included. Be sure everyone has the information they need to do their work and know about things that affect their work environment. Sharing information and communicating openly signals you trust and respect others.
7. Speak Up
It is our responsibility to ensure a safe environment for everyone -- not just physical safety but also mental and emotional safety. Create an environment where we all feel comfortable to speak up if we see something unsafe or feel unsafe.
8. Walk in their Shoes
Empathize with others and understand their point of view and their contributions. Be considerate of their time, job responsibilities and workload. Ask before you assume your priorities are their priorities.
9. Grow and Develop
Value your own potential by committing to continuous learning. Take advantage of opportunities to gain knowledge and learn new skills. Share your knowledge and expertise with others. Ask for and be open to feedback to grow both personally and professionally.
10. Be a Team Player
Great teams are great because team members support each other. Create a work environment where help is happily offered, asked for and received. Trust that fellow family members and teammates at work have good intentions. Anticipate others’ needs and clearly communicate priorities and expectations to be sure the workload is level-loaded. Strive to be consistent in word and deed no matter what is going on in your life.