• Fresh Views

    OPPORTUNITIES : Today’s word to jump-start solution-focused practice

    Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try ~ Author unknown

    Deb’s new hummingbird feeder creating opportunities to catch an up close view of these beautiful tiny birds

    In this new virtual world, Deb had the opportunity to attend the virtual American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions, from the comfort of her home office! While we @AFreshPOVforYou really enjoy the social aspect of attending in-person conferences, Deb embraced this virtual opportunity and found some interesting presentations.Today we want to focus on and share with you one particularly outstanding session.

    Today’s word is: OPPORTUNITIES

    If you follow our blog, you know that we’re in a series which addresses a client-focused approach to a solution-focused practice word each post. So we want to think about today’s word OPPORTUNITIES in relation to diabetes care and education specialists embracing some learnings from ADA Scientific Sessions.

    One presentation in particular that garnered much attention was the ADA’s 2020 Diabetes Educator of the Year Award Lecture by recipient Dr. Bill Polonsky. His lecture,Tedious, tiresome and dull’: Strategies to improve diabetes self-management education” was thought-provoking and insightful. Dr. Polonsky stressed that diabetes care and education specialists need to make education meaningful to those living with diabetes, and it can’t be focused simply on a checklist of content. We are of like mind as Dr. Polonsky, and believe there are new opportunities to engage with people with diabetes. Rather than working through a list of content that may or may not be relevant to your client, why not incorporate a solution-focused approach, and turn attention to the individual, their needs, their skills and strengths they already possess. This solution-focused approach is one OPPORTUNITY to address the challenge of “tedious, tiresome and dull education”.

    To spur thinking about different opportunities you can create in your practice to make diabetes self-management education and support meaningful, we want to share 3 of our previous blog posts:

    1. Co-design. Last April we discussed the concept of “co-design” and how gaining input from people with diabetes around the content and structure of diabetes services is critically important. You can read about co-design here.  
    2. Strengths-based language. In 2018, we wrote about using person-first, strengths-based language here. We continue to believe that this practice is essential for successful diabetes care and education.  
    3. New perspectives. In September 2019, we shared a glimpse of our presentation at the international European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference. We began that post with this quote by Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” We’d like to encourage fellow health care professionals to “have new eyes” in relation to diabetes management, and be open to new tools and solutions.This different view through “new eyes” may lead to creating incredible, innovative and visionary opportunities to evolve diabetes self-management education and support services.

    Our solution-focused challenge for you this week is to start each session with your clients by doing one solution-focused activity to create new opportunities.  Here are a few examples:

    Ask your client:

    • What would need to happen to make your meeting valuable to them?
    • What 3 questions do they want to discuss today?
    • What strengths do they already have that you can build upon today?

    We welcome anyone interested in our approach to Subscribe to our blog and we’ll email you when a new post is published!

    If you are a health care professional and interested in learning more about our solution-focused practice and approach, when you subscribe to our blog, we’ll send you in return a FREE resource of 10 Solution-Focused Questions to start a solution-focused discussion with your clients. 

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  • Fresh Views

    “Turning Turtle”: Seeing life from a different point of view

    Dubai, UAE following the IDF Congress, December 2017

    Last week’s blog post focused on developing a practice of gratitude – being grateful for the little, everyday things (and big things too), especially when challenged with the burden of a chronic condition that may sometimes make finding joy in life a struggle.  

    Along those lines, this week we are continuing our discussion on gratitude from a slightly different view……. when things are “turning turtle”, or in other words turned upside down! What are we talking about? You may have seen the recently released movie Mary Poppins Returns. One of the movie’s songs beautifully sung by Meryl Streep is called “Turning Turtle”. If you haven’t heard it, click on the link and check it out!

    The song opens with these  lyrics:

    Turning turtle? What exactly does that mean?

    It means my whole world goes flippity flop like a turtle on its back.

    And I don’t know my up from my down, my east from my west,

    My topsy from my bottomsy…

    By definition, “turning turtle” is to capsize or turn upside down. (For example, during the accident, the car turned turtle). A turtle on its back is helpless and disoriented. It can’t move. It isn’t safe or protected by its shell. It may seem stuck, without options or an evident solution to being trapped on it’s back. Or are there options? The song lyrics go on to say:

    …It’s good to get a different point of view

    You see, when the world turns upside down,

    The best thing is turn right along with it.

    When the world turns upside down so to speak, an opportunity is presented to gain a fresh point of view. And when a situation may seem challenging, being able to bring forth opportunities for gratitude may need that twist – that upside down view. This song is a great exercise in seeing the world through a different lense and creating a different point of view. And in turn, rather than focusing on the “problem”, instead focusing on “solutions” that could work (especially if similar solutions that worked in the past can be applied here). In illustration, a friend with diabetes shared this story that might help us think about the “turning turtle” concept applied to life with diabetes:

    She was traveling out of the country and had recently changed insulin pumps.  By mistake, she packed her old infusion sets, that worked with her old pump. When she was preparing to change her pump,  site realized what had happened. Fortunately she packed enough insulin pens as back up and had those with her to use for the remainder of the trip. When the trip was over she actually felt like she had been on a vacation from her pump.  She never dreamed of stopping the pump – she felt like she would be flat on her back without it, like the turtle. But, she actually found some joy and gratitude in not being attached to her pump for a week, and at the same time gained a new sense of appreciation when she returned home and was able to connect to the pump again. She was pleased with herself for being prepared.  She commented that she always brings extra supplies but has never needed them before. This “problem” had a solution readily available because of her constant effort to be prepared. And her trip might have been ruined had she focused on the fact that she couldn’t wear her pump, but instead she chose to be thankful she had insulin pens available and experienced a different week of diabetes management that then gave her a little more resilience when she was ready to start the pump again.  

    Returning to the song…it goes on to close out:

    When you change the view from where you stood

    The things you view will change for good

    I never thought of things that way

    She never thought of things that way

    Now Wednesdays are my favorite days

    …I have changed. To be exact, I love the fact

    The world is turning turtle, turtle, turtle

    When you next find yourself in a “turning turtle” situation, we encourage you to reflect on the  following:

    • What new point of view is in front of you to be embraced?
    • How can you leverage past successful solutions in this situation?
    • What can you acknowledge gratitude for?

    And like the closing song lyrics, now Wednesdays are our favorite days too since that’s when we share a new blog post each week! Until next Wednesday!


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