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Transparency and the Human Connection

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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw

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The Human Connection in Action

The school year had just begun and Linda was already overwhelmed. Not the regular “overwhelmed”, but the kind that occurs when a teacher realizes she has a particularly challenging class.  So Linda turned to her good friend Beth, a child therapist, for help and guidance.

Beth felt for her friend and knew this would be a difficult year if she didn’t receive help.  “Perhaps she could share some of her expertise?” She pondered this question, took pen to paper, and created a short and practical reference guide focusing on developmental disorders.  On the front page she listed facts and common misconceptions.  On the back she identified a series of basic “do’s and don’t’s” for the classroom.

Linda was touched by her friend’s generosity, and amazed at how helpful the guide was in the classroom.  It would not be long before she shared it with other teachers and guidance counselors in her school.  As the weeks passed, Beth became a frequent topic of conversation, a critical piece of the puzzle for this small elementary school community.  And just like that, her small gesture created a whirlwind of activity.  Her reference guide spread across the County, and her private practice burst at the seams with referrals from teachers, guidance counselors and parents.  All of whom trusted and respected her as the leading authority on developmental disorders in the community.

Changing the Game

There are countless stories like Beth’s that can be found across the profession, and they are powerful examples of the importance of connecting with others in a way that is open, honest and giving.  It is this level of openness that offers someone like Beth the opportunity to connect with people on the ground floor.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if more of us decided to change the rules a bit within our profession?  Scratch the outdated and ordinary in lieu of a more engaging, honest, candid, and even curious approach to the field of psychology. One that reveals its beauty and blemishes on equal footing.

Would anyone care then?

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Discussion

  1. Susan Giurleo  February 28, 2010

    David, I have been in Beth’s position. It is absolutely AMAZING what one “gift” of knowledge, given for no other reason other than to be helpful, can do to grow a practice.
    This is what Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin” discusses…..how each of us has the power to do our “art” share it with the world, trust that good ideas will spread and offer business opportunities.

    Also, do you notice that your posts that challenge us to work differently have fewer comments than others? It’s that way on my blog too :-). Wonder what that is about?
    Innovation is the name of the game, guys. We need to work differently–the rest of the world is changing and if we don’t the profession will be left behind! Don’t think it can happen? Look at the music or newspaper businesses…..

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