Listen, Understand & Support

Our planet has successfully made its way around the sun again and so we celebrate the coming of the new year. It is a time when many of us reflect and make resolutions. When we set goals for ourselves for the future. Thinking about this reminded me of the following story.

I had a workshop participant share with me about an adult being served by their organization who when asked after their annual support plan meeting if they were satisfied with the meeting told the worker that they didn’t like the goals in their plan. The caregiver asked the person why they didn’t speak up in the meeting and the person said they didn’t know they were allowed to.

As I reflect on the time I spent working in an organization serving people, I realize that we often did not do a good job listening to what the people in our programs want for their future. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we know what’s best for people in our care and forget they are people with their own hopes, dreams, and goals. As we move into the new year, maybe one of our resolutions can be to work to better listen to, understand and support the people we serve to achieve their own goals not just the ones we impose on them.

Happy New Year!

Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty

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