Nollau To You Helps Bring Renewed Passion to Good Samaritan Home

The Council for Health and Human Service Ministries’ (CHHSM) one-day Nollau To You seminars often create a foundation for change within participants, in a workplace, and sometimes both. The executive team of Good Samaritan Home in Evansville, Ind., recently came away from a Nollau To You seminar inspired and feeling positive about the future.

Bert Papineau HFA, administrator of Good Samaritan, said they invited CHHSM to present the seminar “as a means of building more open communication between the executive team members and ultimately to build a stronger sense of belonging amongst the group” as they work on new projects together.

Papineau said that learning the various personality traits of team members was the most meaningful aspect of the day. “This increases our opportunity for more meaningful communications and fosters a better understanding of how we relate to each other,” he said.

The seminar was presented by Jamar Doyle, president and CEO of CHHSM, and the Rev. Dr. Elyse Berry, CHHSM’s associate for advocacy and leadership development. It consisted of a number of exercises and discussions, including an introduction to the Enneagram, a system of understanding personalities that describes people in terms of nine types, each with their own motivations, fears, and internal dynamics.

“We spent the day delving into who we are, what we value, where we put our energy, and what drives us,” said Berry. “Through exercises using poetry, learning about the Enneagram personality system, and discussions on vulnerability and courage in leadership, the team had the opportunity to reflect on themselves and discover new things about each other.”

All of the participants brought different lessons away from the day. “The entire experience was a surprise and was one of the best ‘team meetings’ I have ever been involved with,” said Laura Tate, director of admissions. “From the meditation, the ring of the gong, prayer, and all the exercises, it was very informative. The entire day was spirit-filled. I especially liked learning about the Enneagram. Learning the personalities of my coworkers and myself was very insightful. We are all different and learning why we are and how all connect was very interesting.”

The Enneagram sections were most meaningful to several of the nine participants. The sections “gave me a better understanding of some of my behaviors and where they come from,” said Christa Bennett, director of human resources. “It also helps explain my reactions during stressful times and gave me opportunities for growth.”

Bennett added that the entire experience was beneficial. “The whole day was very spiritual and a great team bonding experience,” she said. “I feel like I understand my fellow teammates better, and we all gained a greater respect for each other. I was surprised by how supportive the team was with each other. I know we support each other in general, but the amount of positive encouragement and affirmations that were given throughout the day was amazing to see.”

For Kathy Kessler, director of social services, the Enneagram section was the biggest surprise for a different reason. “The thing I will take away from the experience is learning what type I am. I really never thought about myself in this way,” Kessler said. “I was surprised at finding out my true type, when I thought I was someone else totally different. I enjoyed the entire day. It was enlightening, fun, and made me dig deeper into myself.”

Administrator Papineau also found the Enneagram section the most meaningful because learning about the various personality traits of the team increases the “opportunity for more meaningful communications and fosters a better understanding of how we relate to each other.”

A lengthy discussion of the book Dare to Lead by Brené Brown also received high marks from attendees, including Jacob Mills, director of food services. “People opened up a lot about what vulnerability means and looks like to themselves, and how others may perceive it differently,” he said.

Mills added that he was most surprised in hearing team members’ back stories, because “getting to know them on a personal level, not a professional level, helps one understand more clearly why someone may have a tendency to act or respond to certain situations in different ways.”

Carla Johnson, director of activity services, agreed. “We all have different personalities (balance of strengths and weaknesses), and each has something significant to contribute,” she said. “It was interesting to learn additional background information about each team member.”

As she reflected on the seminar, CHHSM’s Berry found the commitment of the Good Samaritan team members awe-inspiring. “What stood out to me from this team was how integral their personal values were to them, and how easily they seemed to be able to articulate what was important to them, and why,” said Berry. “This is a group of people who comes to their work with integrity, wholeheartedness, passion, and grit. I was moved by their honesty and by their desire to give both their residents and their employees the best care possible.”

CHHSM President and CEO Jamar Doyle, concurred. “It was an honor to be present as this team shared openly with each other, building trust through a vulnerability rarely seen in the workplace. As Brené Brown states, ‘You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability,’” Doyle said. “The courage of this team to lead with their values speaks to the integrity they bring to Good Samaritan, and it was a privilege for CHHSM to be a part of their leadership journey.”

The diverse and supportive nature of the executive team are what stood out to Papineau. “We each have different processes and needs,” he said,” but I feel that as a group, we learned a great deal about each other and, therefore, will be much more open to reaching out in different ways in our communications.”

Perhaps the prevailing feeling from the day was best expressed by Jacob Mills, who pointed to a  ceremony at the end of the day was most surprising to him on a personal level. The ritual involved pulling a rock out of sack. Each rock had a word written on it.

“I pulled out a white, marbled rock with the gold word ‘PASSION’ on it. Reflecting on that word, sometimes our passion for what we do may grow dim or get distorted by whatever it may be –– long hours, staffing issues, no time to complete a job because of meeting after meeting to attend,” he said. “But this meeting helped my light shine a little brighter and bring some of that passion back that had been lost.”

If you are interested in offering Nollau To You at your ministry, contact CHHSM.

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