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Making Real Connections

It always feels like there is so much to report – we have so many exciting projects we are working on here at FHI & Lab.  I thought about sending out another update about everything that’s happening, like how our new Learning Environment is launching, or that we’ve updated the websites (yep, plural, sites), or how we’ve added new people to the team who are awesome, and some of the new courses that have been added to our catalog.  Oh yeah – and that you need to remember to sign up for the MI course that’s coming up!  

That’s what went through my mind initially, you know, typical newsletter-y stuff.  However, over the past week some events have transpired that made me re-think what I wanted to say.

On February 27th, FHI will celebrate its 14th birthday.  That’s a pretty big accomplishment and I’m incredibly proud of having survived so long and it’s worth a pat on the back.  Yet despite having been around as long as we have, there are still a lot of people who don’t know much about us and everything we offer.  More recently, as I’ve been trying to do more outreach, I’ve been asked quite a bit about what makes FHI different, or better put, why should people work with FHI?  You know, the elevator pitch.  Maybe I’m just not eloquent enough – but I’ve always had a hard time narrowing it down to 30 seconds.

And then – in an interesting series of events over the last week, I was reminded what’s different about us.  Yes – we are about training and learning and we look to create effective and efficient training.  Yes – we utilize technology to help us reach people and to better track outcomes, to better track progress.  Yes, we utilize behavioral sciences and try to have fun in a field that is usually cold and rational.  And these are all great things that we do. But here’s what I think we do best…

In the middle of difficult situations, navigating difficult materials and having meaningful and sometimes very difficult conversations – we never forget that there is a real person who is receiving our services. 

Real people, myself included, are not perfect.  They are not always (or ever) rational. They struggle with making changes. They have real feelings and those feelings impact their decisions. Sometimes you have to have more than one, or two, or twenty meetings with a person for them to hear you. Sometimes they don’t even want to hear what you have to say.  Sometimes they make mistakes.  And sometimes it takes them time to figure things out.

And yet, have you ever had that moment when you truly connect with someone? When you see the real emotion break through? When you see the lightbulb go off?  When they tell you you’ve made a difference in their life? 

These are powerful moments.

These are moments that are priceless.