I recently had the joy of spending a week with my 2½-year-old granddaughter. One thing that stood out to me was that when she was feeling insecure, she would say, “Mom-mom, I need a hug.”

 Something as simple as a hug would bring reassurance that all would be OK in the world. And to be honest, having those sweet little arms around my neck brought me comfort, too.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could give the equivalent of a hug to our “family” at work when they needed some reassurance? When you know your coworker is struggling with something or having a rough day, just find some way to bring them the warmth of human spirit to let them know you’ve been there and it’s going to be OK?

As leaders, can’t we also be a bit warmer, a bit more giving of ourselves especially in the season of giving to bring comfort and reassurance? A bit more sensitive to what others are going through, a bit more kind instead of the, “Well, she just has to put on her big girl panties and deal with it!”

I mean, wasn’t Buddy the elf (in the movie “Elf”) always asking, “Does someone need a hug”? OK, so it didn’t work out really well on the racoon but at least he’s asking.

And don’t be too shy to ask for a hug. Embrace your inner toddler and just ask. I promise if I ask for one, I won’t bite your face off!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.

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