By Steve Moran

If you are a regular reader you know my faith is a big deal for me. If you are a skeptic that’s okay, many of my best friends are, and this is not a Bible study. During my morning quiet time, I read this single phrase:

Be afraid of those who kill the soul

It really hit home. Our world today thrives on “killing the soul” narratives and too often, it even seeps into the world of senior living. I confess that when I write about negative stuff, hard topics, I worry that I am being a bit of a soul killer. It is why when I talk about things that are wrong with the industry I attempt to offer a better way. 

Two Forms

Killing the soul comes in two forms; circumstances and people. While it is impossible to completely avoid people who kill the soul, there are things you can do to reduce their impact:

  1. To the extent possible, eliminate those people from your life. This is hard and often you cannot completely eliminate them. I have a friend who has a toxic relationship with her sister and mother over religion. She carefully manages how much time she spends with them and under what circumstances, not wanting to completely cut them off. Sometimes this is the best you can do.
  2. If they work for you, FIRE them. Honestly, life’s too short to keep those people around. They destroy your culture and make you less profitable, no matter how good they are at their job.
  3. If they are your customers/residents, FIRE them or evict them. They will suck the life out of your team and your community. They will make you less profitable.

Soul Killing Situations

There are situations that can feel like soul killers, right now there are three in senior living:

  1. Covid
  2. Staffing
  3. Occupancy

First, they are not or do not have to be permanent, unless you let them. Second, it is also possible to see these situations as opportunities to be better at what you do. Opportunities to rethink serving residents, serving team members, and making the world, your local community better.

One of the things that really excites me now is hearing stories about talking to leaders who have used the current situation as a catalyst to try new things and eliminate things that are not working.

How About You?

Who do you need to eliminate from your life, your organization? Who do you need to minimize contact with? What are you doing or what do you need to do to turn soul-killing situations into opportunities?