Cancer-and-Caring_large

My sister led a simple life. She woke at 4:30 AM every work day, made breakfast for her  husband, helped him shuffle into his winter gear, kissed him goodbye and waved as his truck pulled out of the dark, snowy yard and headed for the mountain pass to rendezvous with his logging crew. Raising two kids and a commitment to her faith and church pretty much rounded out the last 30 years.

Her  priorities were clear– marriage, kids, faith. She knew everything she needed to succeed at them until the day Jack was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer.

Yearly obligatory phone calls at Christmas became weekly check-ins. The transformation in my sister was astounding. Prior to the diagnosis she shunned the internet. While never actually saying it was a tool of the devil she certainly insinuated it was at least an App, but now she was a veteran online medical detective.

Complex terminology rolled from her lips as if she were an oncologist: historical survival rate statistics, advanced treatments, even promising new genetic cancer therapies filled our conversations. Her days consisted of scouring the internet foraging for everything she could find about Jack’s type of cancer and discussing it with others stricken in online forums.

She didn’t care about cancer, she cared about Jack and that’s my point. People don’t care about process, people care about people. This is why you need to address the “Why” before the “How” when creating change messaging strategies and training.

Your staff need to understand the impact, benefits and relevance to your clients, customers or their colleagues first, because only then will they care enough to actually expend the time and energy to learn the new skills to successfully implement the change or launch the initiative.