A more compassionate career

A More Compassionate Career

“I am a people person”, a frequent response to why do you want to become a nurse, teacher, social worker, and other professions that interact with people. This comment makes me wonder, what career is devoid of people? Does anyone seek that path? I think not, people are drawn to people. We seek connection and compassion in our friends, family and, on occasion, a stranger.

I live in a city where people come for a variety of reasons, but mostly seeking quality healthcare. In this community careers tend to have a compassionate foundation. If you take a close look, you will notice that businesses around the city hire professionals to provide a high level of compassionate service in every industry. If you interact with people, you are expected to interact with customers with kindness and compassion. An expectation and norm of compassion to others is a lovely and unique characteristic of Rochester.

I have given the characteristic of compassion and how it is taught a lot of consideration and believe compassion is an essential trait to a long and satisfying career. Reflecting on a more compassionate career is a natural fit for me as I have taught nursing students and administered nursing and health programs throughout my career. Compassion is an expectation in healthcare careers, but what about the other careers? Actually, the most effective sales, business, service, hospitality, and other professionals are those that demonstrate authenticity, which includes compassion. Valuing professional characteristics, including authenticity and compassion, is key to teaching students and launching individuals into successful careers.

Indeed, we should all be considering how to achieve a more compassionate career, and life.

Photo credit to Renee Rongen 🙂



A Simple Thank You

The simple act of writing a thank you note is one of the most rewarding parts of my week. There are several people who have mentored this practice for me, my mother, my husband, my siblings, community leaders, and my team. I love working with people who reach out and express their gratitude. It seems simple, however the reality, for me, is that I don’t always have a chance to say thank you. For shame, right? Well, I decided there is a way to overcome the urgency of the moment, by reflecting and writing a simple note of appreciation. I do it more to center my life and reflect on the greatness around me.

Over the past 18 months I have had the honor of serving faculty, staff, students, and WSU in Rochester. This community has been welcoming and kind. Regardless of the community member or industry where they work, there has been a welcome and introduction of opportunities that seem uniquely Rochester. One such encounter and relationship that I would like to highlight as both mentor and friend is Don Supalla. He is a community treasure. He walks the walk of gratitude and recognition for great work. I am convinced that his budget for thank you notes outpaces my monthly cellular service costs. When I came to Rochester he welcomed me and we had coffee at Café Steam – for that introduction alone, I am grateful! During that initial visit and over the past year he has provided clear and succinct advice on navigating a new and exciting city. His advice has been true.


There is another group of individuals who rock my world every day – the WSU Rochester staff and faculty. They work hard every day to identify ways to better serve students. When presented with a new opportunity they give it a whirl. Understanding that we are exploring together, I have found safety in their confidence and commitment to better student opportunities. They are true to the population in Rochester and beyond and have been true to me as I learn from their dedication. I am deeply grateful for the team, for Kristi, Brenda, Kelly, Trent, Diane, Jane, Sara, Carolyn, Christina, Sue, Ardell, Paula and Kyle. They are the steadiest of companions and are doing exceptional, often unrecognized work. Thank you!

Over my career I have learned to be grateful and appreciate each twist, turn, and personality. With every step there is something to appreciate, even with failure – we can celebrate the commitment of great people who weathered the storm with us. Celebrations seem even sweeter when we have a team that made the work possible. Everything is truly possible with a team and a culture of gratitude.

With appreciation and sincerity,


Trust, a rare gem


The only way I know how to trust you, is to trust you.

My approach to trust has always been to trust first and then evaluate. I am aware that this approach can result in disappointment, however, I just don’t know a better way. Beginning with trust is part of my authentic approach to people. As a relationship deepens and opportunities to strengthen trust occur, this is when trust can become stronger or weaker. Trust becomes stronger, for me, when promises and commitments are kept, and the individual follows through. Trust weakens when the opposite occurs, promises and commitments are not kept and the rationale is based on factors that imply the relationship is less important than other relationships.

Examples range from personal relationships to employment and sometimes both. Although commitments are not always possible to keep, the rationale for not following through and the frequency of failed commitments impact trust. Trust is tested in every relationship with each choice made by the individual. It is not a constant. True, you can build your trust “bank” with someone. However, rebuilding trust after consistent failure to support and follow through, is almost impossible.

Treasure and commit to those who you value having trust as a part of your relationship. Know that trust requires you to be vigilant and committed to following through with promises and commitments. Trust is different than care or love, you may care for someone and not trust them. And, don’t be surprised when you fail to follow through for someone that they are cautious or choose to not trust you.

I begin with trust as I believe in the possibility of a solid trusting relationship. I also know that trust is a rare gem. Consider your approach to trust…