An interaction happened today.
A patient died. This was a sick person who had been in the hospital for over a month.
The family wanted an autopsy not for themselves, but to “improve medical knowledge.” Our team thought that this didn’t make sense because the disease the patient had was not a mystery.
A desire sprang up in my brain to call the family and convince them to see things our way. Luckily, my colleague called the family.
This is what she said:
“I just wanted to call to let you know what an autopsy involves. An autopsy will involve removing the organs and examining them. We do autopsies when there is a medical mystery, but in this case we had a pretty good idea of what was going on. But if you want an autopsy that is completely your right.”
She gave her thought process but was open to accepting whatever they wanted to do. She didn’t have this rigid: I-WILL-CONVINCE-YOU! – Homer-Simpson-strangling-Bart-Simpson – type vibe that I had.
A long quote from Leo Babuata:
“A lot of the time, we come to a decision to make a change, and we want to get our spouse on board after we’ve already made the decision. But the decision didn’t just happen in that moment…You’re going through all this thinking process and reading and finding inspiration…So you’ve gone through this process but your spouse hasn’t…You have to help them go through the process on their own. They might not make the same decision as you, but you have to give them the opportunity to go through a process.”
This is what my colleague did with the family. She gave them her thought process but she let go. She allowed them to go through their own process.
One aspect of being a good listener could mean being present to the cues people give you, “smelling the air.”
Another aspect could be being receptive to other people’s process, journey, truth.