Tuesday, March 10, 2015
3 Traits of an emotionally elite Chaplain
I had the pleasure of listening to William Vanerbloemen teach on the subject of emotionally elite staff candidates. What a tremendous series of insights William brought to the table. These principles are easily transferable from a church setting to chaplaincy. This process is what I am following here. The first trait of an emotionally elite hospice Chaplain is: He or she can take a N.A.P. That is, the Chaplain provides a Non-Anxious Presence. There are plenty of crises in hospice care. The Chaplain, however, cannot allow him/herself get caught up in any drama that may go along with crises. Whether the crisis concern staffing, or downsizing, or transfers, or change in general, drama is off limits to an effective Chaplain. A non-anxious presence is what places oil on the waters of staff crises. The IDT certainly needs the Chaplain to be calm and assured that all will be well. It would be disastrous if the Chaplain gets caught up in family drama during a visit. Again, the Chaplain’s calm, non-anxious demeanor brings peace to the family in crisis. Taking sides in a family dispute or engaging in argumentative behavior defeats the purpose of the Chaplain. So, learn and keep on learning how to “take a N.A.P.” The Chaplain uses the pronoun “we” far more than “I”. The Chaplain supports the Team by using “we” rather than “I”. Yes, there are times when grammar requires the Chaplain to use “I”, but overall, the Chaplain is secure enough emotionally to realize that by spreading the praise his/her stature grows among team members. And, in front of a patient or family during a visit, the use of “I” by a Chaplain sets the stage for a very boring visit. Again, hospice is not about us as individuals. It is about the patient and family. The Chaplain is on the solution side of a problem. This suggests the Chaplain is not a negative thinker and not a negative influence among the IDT members or, for that matter, facility personnel or other associated with hospice. I have been around hospice staff through the years and noticed that when the chips are down they can’t seem to help themselves but to complain and bellyache to any and everyone who would listen. That is a trait of a highly unprofessional employee. Being positive and hopeful in the face of hospice challenges is the road less traveled. An emotionally elite Chaplain will adopt that manner of behavior to the betterment of the organization. Calling upon all emotionally elite hospice Chaplains! Your presence is required and very much needed in this juncture of hospice history. We need you!