A recently completed senior executive retreat revolved around caring. Many program activities presented throughout the three day retreat gave participants an opportunity to care for one another. Our experiences don’t tend to instill a caring attitude on on organization, more accurately, they reveal one waiting to be lived. Perhaps the most revealing element of our remote executive retreats is what happens between program elements and business planning sessions; the spontaneous acts of caring and compassion that are of an every day nature.
Of course we all have the intention (I) to care, but there are two other elements that are sometimes elusive.
We need to have our attention (A) tuned to the possibility that caring might be needed in a given situation. Sometimes, program elements are overtly set up with a need for participants to be cared for and care for one another. During my business day or any other ordinary day away from the Edge at home or work, or in public spaces, my awareness may bring to my attention a need to care; either for someone I know or someone I don’t.
Just think about it: Have you encountered anyone today who needed care?
The third component of caring is making a decision (d) to care. Knowledge that an individual may require care, can spur us as individuals or communities to step in and offer assistance or care where it is required. This can only occur if we decide that we want to intercede and care.
For most of us, we have an inherent willingness or intention to care. Where we fall short is in paying attention to the needs of others or in making the decision to care.
To be aware, requires us to pay attention to our surroundings and that requires us to be healthy and not overburdened ourselves. Taking steps to ensure my individual personal health by eating properly, exercising and doing other things that are good for my soul, helps me to be ready to offer care to friends, family, co-workers, or passersby more often.
To make the decision to care is perhaps the most difficult part of the equation. I may be healthy enough to care, recognize that care is required, but something special is required to coax me forward to intercede and offer aid. I must first be assured of my safety (physically, emotionally, intellectually). Then I must decide to step beyond myself and reach out.
Sometimes I am hesitant to offer care because I do not respect or feel in any way responsible to care. As I become a caring person, I am challenged more often to step up and care for individuals that normally I don’t care about. Afterwards, I want to feel satisfaction knowing I am living up to my personal principles and values.
Just do it: The next time you are aware that caring is required and you feel you have the capacity to care, don’t hesitate, step in and offer care.
To remember what is needed to be a caring human being, consider the acronym: A-I-D, Aid. Focus on having the Attention, Intention and make a Decision to reach out and care.