This isn’t some veiled humble-brag message about our event on Compassion Design with Dr. Jim Doty this past weekend—oh no! This isa FULL brag + honest exploration on why you…and I…and everyone in the health field should be designing for compassion. Afterall, everywhere we look, healthcare falls short and anemic on exhibiting compassion. Have you had enough?
For example, my father is dying of a rare cancer that makes him, as you can imagine, struggle with intensely negative and despairing emotions. And sometimes, to ease his worries, he leans on his oncologist for reassurance and hope. So today he receives a letter fromhis oncologist starting with the words, “I have some great news!” So heperks up. Does she have a new cure? Help with paying for his medical bills? The letter continues, “We are moving our offices to [blah blah blah]…” #Tonedeaf.
But this past weekend gave me HOPE! Forty leading professionals, clinicians, designers, creatives, and innovators from across the spectrum of health and wellness gathered at our training center for ourCONNECT: Design for Compassion workshop. Esteemed Stanford neurosurgery professor and bestselling author, Dr. Jim Doty, was our lead faculty—his work unparalleled in compassion science. By the time they readout their final designs, this tribe of compassion designers hadgenerated actionable, breakthrough ideas for scaling compassion into mental health, pharmacy, functional medicine, digital health, and many more use cases. And the collective power and influence this group has will no doubt move the whole industry!
And YOU, too, can build on this compassion explosion. Here are a few design prompts to fashion your own compassion design into your work,workplace, and sphere of influence.
1. Describe who you want to target. Do you want to be more compassionate towards them or influence them to be more compassionate?
2. Brainstorm two lists: a) What are the current barriers that preventcompassion? b) How can you make compassion either more social (doing it together, part of the culture, etc.) or more rewarding (rituals of reflecting on how it feels good to be compassionate)?
3. Design a plan that takes the best elements from steps 1 and 2. Build in specifics by asking yourself: What, Where, When, How, Who, etc.
Go forth and spread COMPASSION, folks! Right now!
With an open heart,