Mass shootings inevitably generate the usual process reviews to determine why, and how to prevent it in the future. Then, there's of course the finger pointing and blaming. It reminds me of this tale of the 2 pros which I will now tell to you with the utmost appreciation for the challenges of your work. I also tell it with the utmost humility in hopes to encourage you.
The 2 pros went off to work. The one, a surgeon and, the other, a counselor. I will tell you the tale of the surgeon first and then the counselor’s.
The surgeon had several engagements that day. One was to remove a small growth on the little finger of a patients left hand. At prep time, the care coordination team and the surgeon somehow read the chart to mean remove the little finger on the left hand. And so, that's what the surgeon did. He lost his shirt as did the hospital system with which was affiliated with. Ultimately, he paid the associated damages and the patient walked away with boatloads of money less one finger.
Now, the counselor went to work. An engagement he has on his rather full schedule, is a patient who tells him he has been hearing voices. The voices are asking him to do bad things. He also tells the counselor he he'd been working many late nights at his job. The counselor tells him the voices must have to do with working those late nights and needs to get more sleep. He sends him home with a plan to meet again in a few weeks. Not long after that, there was a shooting at the crowded entrance to a local red carpet event. Seven people were reported killed and another 35 sustained injuries, some critically. Turns out it’s the counselor’s client. When asked why he did it he tells them these voices told him to do it.
Both professionals produced what they thought was the best outcome that day. In the surgeon's case, the impacts and consequences were limited to the one patient and maybe some close family members. In the counselors tale the impact was more far reaching. The client and his relationships, victims and their relationships, emergency personnel, evacuated residents and shopkeeper in the area, the old lady who broke her hip running for cover and it goes on. Although both cases yielded undesirable outcomes, the implications were more significant in the second tale, isn't it? The point here is inescapable. The implications of our work are HUGE, although the world can't exactly point to successful results (unlike the surgeon) because nothing went "wrong" so to speak. It's tremendous what the human and justice services professional is responsible for, and how valuable you are.
While we can't get everything right in all client interactions, we do know of loads of research on proven methods to produce desirable outcomes. Consequently by learning these methods we place ourselves in a position to practice whats effective. While we wont get it perfectly right every time, we must raise our sights and aspire to higher levels of performance by doing our best to learn what the research says as we know it. This is the minimum we must do. It's the path the true pro must take.
So whats my hope with this message today?
... That you find this post to be useful, and that it motivates you to think bigger. I also hope it help raise your expectations of colleagues at your firm and partner agencies you work with. Remember, people rise up to meet our expectations. They do..
-- We need more pros like you who accept nothing but what works as their MO. I urge you to stick with what works.
-- We can help you move with lightening speed through our member subscription plans..
-- It offers resources, eLearning, education, evaluation, and software tools you can access 24/7, 365 online from any smart device. Its simply amazing, the benefits!
-- I hope you will join us today and keep up the push to become an evidence-based professional and organization.
THANK YOU for your continued support...
With Humility and Great Respect,
Sobem Nwoko, Founder
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