Learning To Listen

Before I came to FDC, I was a Family Service Staff supervisor who was totally bent on performance. It was important that I do my job well, that my families receive quality service and that everyone in my agency also operate at the high standards that I set for myself. Well my standards have not changed but my appreciation for people has. FDC reminded me that everyone has strengths. It has also taught me how to chill out, aka ‘take a mindful moment’.

Now I say FDC reminded me, because as I remember Meryl saying during our FDC orientation: ‘FDC will pull out of you things you already know’. When we are born, we know that everyone matters. If a baby hears another baby crying, they begin to cry. It’s in our nature to have empathy for one another. Somewhere from birth to adulthood, we forget how to care for each other. Especially family and social workers, we sometimes get overwhelmed with our jobs and forget how to even care for ourselves!

FDC taught me how to remember; how to be human again; how to care for myself; how to help families identify their own strengths (regardless of the realities of their challenges) so that they can better advocate for themselves with the new tools and resources that we equip them with. It also taught me how to be a better communicator (I use to be the magnificent multitasker!) but FDC taught me to stop, be in the moment and listen! And as a wonderful bonus, the coursework increased my cultural competence by exposing me to history of various peoples in our nation. To sum it up, everyone has value –regardless of their race, religion, gender, physical or mental capabilities. Such a small but yet powerful statement, such a wonderful way to live as a human!