what are your bubbles today?

Yesterday, I had a valuable interaction with a colleague. She initially approached me because she wanted to share an observation regarding my expression of frustration in an team meeting earlier in the week. I appreciated her feedback, as I know that no matter where we are in our career, we always have the opportunity to learn and grow. Often, our colleagues can be the most valuable source of that lesson. It was a very good conversation and I appreciated that she had “called me out,” if you will.

In the course of discussion, I brought up one of those things that most of us at least subconsciously realize on some level but isn’t always acknowledged, which is that I had come to that meeting with a series of “bubbles” surrounding me. You know – these are the silent thoughts swirling in your head that often aren’t spoken; the ones that can affect outward behavior – or maybe they don’t. In this particular situation, my bubbles ranged from stress over looming, unrelated project deadlines to a level of disagreement around some of the concepts being discussed that I felt were out of my control to change to the always-present literal pain in my neck.

In sharing this, I reminded my colleague of this video that we are shown during New Employee Orientation. It was produced by the Cleveland Clinic; KP shows it to help illustrate the compassion we must always demonstrate for our members/patients (particularly staff who work in care delivery) and for one another. I affectionately refer to it as the “the bubble video” and think about it fairly often: when there’s that person who is tailgating me on the freeway, the person who “steals” my parking spot, or the coworker who shows up to a meeting with something other than their best self. It made an impression on me, and maybe it will on you too. Of course, it also means that I cried on my very first day of work.

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