The Kindness Hub
If you can’t make it to GOK 2018 events, don’t despair!
We encourage you to hold your own events during and after Gathering of Kindness week. Your event could be an organised gathering, a session at a weekly meeting or even just a collection of conversations Film them in short grabs (even on your phone) or tell us about them so we can share them with the community on our More Gatherings page.
Please explore our Kindness resource Hub - a collection of useful resources for you to build kindness at work for yourself, your colleagues, patients and families. Consider running your own mini events or start conversations in your workplace.
And please add your own resources, comments and feedback on the Contact page so we can keep the conversation flowing! If appropriate, we'll add them to the Hub. And please join our Facebook Group to share your thoughts and ideas.
Elizabeth Broderick AO has drawn from her considerable experience in human rights to deliver a series of video insights for us. Watch out for more on our Videos page! They will be a wonderful resource for starting meaningful conversations. We thank Elizabeth for her generosity and wisdom.
We encourage you to host your own gatherings and create discussions among your colleagues and associates.
To that end we have created a range of resources, ideas and inspirations to get your conversations off the ground.
Buy your kindness online now!
Get ready to cap, tee, and even tote for Gathering of Kindness 2018.
Based on demand and feedback the range has been expanded to include the very popular Gathering of Kindness as well as our 2018 hashtag #KindnessWorksHere.
Both equally efficient and scientifically proven to promote the benefits of kindness wherever you wear!
The Hush Collection features music composed and performed by some of Australia's most eminent artists, especially to create a calming environment for patients, carers and health professionals. Some of our music features lyrics which can be used to stimulate conversations about kindness and the value of the arts in health.
Videos can be a powerful means to elicit discussion. Here we present a collection of thought-provoking and inspiring videos created by kindness colleagues.
Here we include links and information about a variety of organisations, endeavours and resources in research and professional development in specialised and more general applications throughout the health care sector and beyond. Be it information or inspiration, we're here to share.
We have collected some of the literature that discusses the role of kindness in health care. You can use it to find articles to discuss at staff meetings or journal clubs.
In Macedon, Victoria in March-April 2016, 100 leaders, philosophers and innovators gathered to conceptualise ways to transform health care culture. The inaugural Gathering of Kindness was not only inspiring but also provided practical recommendations for advancing kindness in health care.
Here we provide the summary of the two-day event with recommendations for other Gatherings.
Below are a series of posters in different sizes, with each download including 6 different posters with messages of ways to care for yourself and others.
Feel free to display these in your office or around your healthcare organisation!
What is kindness?
Kindness can look like a smile.
It can sound like a please, a thank you, or a hello.
It can taste like a cup of tea or coffee made for you when you're tired near the end of your shift.
It can smell like a flower someone brought in and put on the staff room table, or a cake someone made to celebrate a birthday.
It can feel like a hug on one of those terrible days, or a greeting handshake with a patient.
It comes in all shapes and sizes.
Welcome to the Gathering of Kindness Toolkit! As well as hoping you can join us at our official events, we also encourage you to host your own gatherings and create discussions among your colleagues and associates.
To that end, we have created a range of resources, ideas and inspirations to get your conversations off the ground.
We can add you to our More Gatherings page. Check it out to see who else is having conversations.
Caring for our health professionals
Workshop Resource List
Shree Johnson, Dr Caitlin Weston and Lucy Mayes have compiled this excellent collection of resources for those wanting to delve deeper into the literature on kindness in health care.
From a workshop conducted at Monash Health, November 13, 2018
A tool for 'kindfulness'
By Christine Ireland, teacher.
The Kindness sessions I went to on November 3, 2017, were immediately applicable to not only my line of work, but also to every association with which I am involved with. (Also very applicable to marriage!) It spoke to the fact that we all impact significantly upon each other’s journey.
Professionally, it was about bringing the joy back to the practice.
For me it was apparent from the workshops that even though kindness in the workplace (and life) manifests itself in many ways, but so too does its absence. I then began collecting phrases from the presentations that fitted these two categories. The power of seeing the lists side by side was knowing that items on the negative side could be replaced with items from the positive side. This understanding, this mindfulness it seems gives power to kindfulness.
With a little flexibility and creativity, I have designed this simple tool.
Shapes and Sizes
Organised social gatherings...
...such as off site breakfasts or dinners. A film night, a BBQ. Or smaller on site shared lunch dates or birthday acknowledgments.
...where work is not discussed...like the staff room!
..., such as Frisbee throwing (check it out..there's international competitions!), barefoot bowling (Best in summer).
Encourage staff to attend organisational sponsored sessions such as mindfulness or yoga.
..., such as grand rounds, ward based activities, conferences off site.
Make sure staff feel welcome to attend these, and that their effort and work is acknowledged and supported. We're all busy, but we are also our best resource.
...where a minute or two could be devoted to a 'kindness' question such as:
3 examples of how we show each other we care?
3 examples of how we show our patients we care?
What can we do better, both for ourselves and for our patients?
What are we not doing as well as we could?
...As you leave work for the day, reflect on these, and other questions, for even a minute:
Did I listen to my colleagues today? Did I listen to my patients? Did I interrupt them? Did I speak, and explain things, in a way they could understand? Was I kind to people?
Was I listened to by other team members? Was I treated with respect by the team? Were people kind to me?
Filming your event
We'd love to see footage of your events and post them if you choose. Here are a few quick guidelines for filming and sending.
You can film on your phone. Try to make sure the space is well lit so we can see you. Remember to hold your phone horizontally so it doesn't look like you're all in a phone booth.
No need to film everything, but we'd especially like to see and hear your ideas and conclusions.
When you have your film, send it to our web coordinator, letting us know if you'd like it posted on our Other Gatherings page, and any extra information you'd like to share.
Build your own Kindness Event
Talk, debate, workshop, panel or world cafe topics:
Professional Boundaries - panel discussions or debates e.g. Boundary violations or Broadening our repertoire
Psychological safety in healthcare- why is it so important.
How will we build a community of kindness?
What stories can you tell of when kindness in your workplace made a difference?
Will we come up with a Consensus statement about Kindness
Kind leadership in healthcare- how could that work?
Creativity and the arts- can they bring a new perspective to our workplaces
Surviving bullying in the workplace- self care and caring for others
Practical self-care strategies and practices
The ‘busyness’ epidemic, how to be kind and connected in the modern workplace
How to have kind conversations, communicating with compassion
Emotional intelligence, what it is, what it means in healthcare, how to develop/improve it
T-shirts, polos and more are available for your gathering participants! Use them to identify volunteers or as a giveaway to attendees.
Some suggested gathering activities:
Join World Kindness Australia as an organization or individual.
Nominate staff as World Kindness ambassadors- hold a certificate ceremony
Mindfulness /Yoga sessions
Leadership Walkarounds- leadership highly visible and engaged at every site
Use volunteers in Gathering of Kindness T-shirts
Live or recorded Hush music is available for use in clinical areas
Filming of events and staff comments, vox pops we can share later as a community
Gather staff ideas on how to promote kindness and joy at work.
Involve staff in painting corridors or other places where possible.
Exhibitions- photos or artworks
Hold a Walk for Kindness
Comms and media support - press release templates (to come)
HUSH plays: Hush can provide our healthplays for your organisation.
“What Matters” (New Kindness play being launched during GOK 17)
“Do You Know Me”
Hold a Film Festival - we have an ever-expanding collection of videos designed to provoke thoughtful conversation
Thanks to Noni Bourke for providing the image below. Click to download a copy to use as a poster or postcard.
More resources available right here:
A bibliography for research projects
Hush music covering kindness-related topics or to encourage calm.
Further resources and worldwide associates
A summary of the 2016 Gathering with suggestions for holding events
Media articles about Gathering of Kindness and related topics
T-shirts and other clothing items to identify yourselves and hand out to volunteers
Public speaking, consulting and training from experts in patient and family centred care
Share your questions and suggestions on our Facebook Group
And when you're ready, you can share your gathering on our More Gatherings page
You are not "My Patient"
by Katrina Hall
You are not my patient
I do not own you
I do not control you
I do not have any rights over you
I do not manage you
You are a person
You are a person I am sharing my day with
You are a person who deserves my respect
You are a person I can offer advice and support to
You are a person who may share things with me
You are a person who has your own story
You are a person who has your own ideas
especially about your body, your health and your life
You are not My Patient, you are you.
Host your own events - and tell us!
Let us help to showcase your Gathering of Kindness events. Leave your details on the Contact page to register the name of the event, date, time, venue and a link to further details. You'll be included in the list of other events on the More Gatherings page. Remember to visit this Toolkit page and other pages in The Kindness Hub for more advice and shared information.
The Kindness Exchange
The Kindness Exchange provides a collaborative place online to share and promote local kindness innovation and improvement projects. This is the place to showcase the great work that is happening to promote Kindness and Joy at work across Australia and Internationally. It is also an opportunity to recognise the commitment and expertise of staff working in healthcare.
Submit your small and large-scale Kindness innovations and improvements to share with and benefit the broader health system. You can submit your initiative using the form here or download a copy. Read more below.
About Kindness Exchange
The Kindness Exchange provides a collaborative place to share and promote local Kindness innovation and improvement projects from all healthcare organisations across the World.
It is designed to share solutions that can be adapted to suit other local health challenges, without the need to duplicate work that has already been undertaken.
Small and large scale innovations and improvements generated are recognised and shared to benefit the broader health system.
The Kindness Exchange aims to:
Collect and promote information and resources about current Kindness projects, and improvements across Australia and beyond.
Provide resources to assist and encourage health professionals to make improvements and foster Kindness in their own healthcare setting/organisation.
Deliver a learning platform for new ways of improving and innovating for local needs and share experiences and lessons.
Connect health professionals with others who share similar interests to improve the patient/consumer and staff experience.
If you prefer, use this Word version and email it to email@example.com
If you’ve designed or implemented a project that aims to improve the patient or staff experience, the Kindness Exchange is a great opportunity to share your project with a wider audience and recognise the efforts of your team. You’ll have a page on the Kindness Exchange dedicated to your project, so other's can see what you’ve achieved and work out if it will help them solve a similar health challenge in their organisation or facility. Your summary can be used for a number of purposes, like sharing with your team, applying for speaking opportunities or promoting your project in the community. You don’t even need to have a completed project to publish it on the Kindness Exchange – we also accept projects that are in the planning or implementation stages.
Your project will be assessed by our team against the eligibility criteria outlined below.
Only high-quality projects that score at least nine will be considered, so it is important to ensure your submission is relevant, useful and current.
RELEVANT: Is it relevant to all health services?
5: Highly relevant to all health services and possibly internationally
4: Relevant to many health services across Victoria and nationally
3: Relevant to a number of health services in Victoria
2: Relevant to a small number of sites in some areas
1: A unique project that’s not relevant to other areas and settings
USEFUL: Does it provide enough information to implement the project in other settings?
5: Provides all information and resources required for wider implementation
4: Provides most of the information required for wider implementation
3: Provides useful information but doesn’t consider wider implementation
2: Provides some information but focuses on implementation in pilot sites
1: Provides very little information about implementation of the project
CURRENT: Is it a unique project that has been implemented or evaluated recently?
5: Developed in the last 12 months and is considered topical and a high priority
4: Developed in the last 12 months and is part of an ongoing improvement program
3: Developed in the last 18 months and is part of an ongoing improvement program
2: Developed 2-3 years ago but content is now outdated and has no limited relevance
1: Developed three or more years ago and has no clinical relevance today
The Kindness Exchange is a public website, which means it’s available for anyone to read. For this reason, you’ll need to be careful when including politically-sensitive information or negative outcomes. Consider whether what you are writing will impact your organisations’ reputation or generate negative media attention. If you’re not sure, contact us for clarification
How to submit your KINDNESS Project
Fill out the online form or download the Word version and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The publishing process
Our team will use the eligibility criteria to determine whether your project is suitable for publication on the Kindness Exchange.
We will work with you to develop your project summary to the highest standards, by providing feedback and edits on your submission.
You will have the opportunity to review our edits and provide any further information, changes or approvals required.
Once everyone is happy with the content in your summary, we will publish it on the Kindness Exchange.
Your project will have a dedicated URL that you can use to share your project with your team or other stakeholders. New projects will also be mentioned on the Hush Website .
The Hush Collection features music composed and performed by some of Australia's most eminent artists, especially to create a calming environment for patients, carers and health professionals. Some of our music can also be used to stimulate conversations about kindness and the value of the arts in health.
Please use the music in your own kindness gatherings and discussions. You can use the supplied lyrics and descriptions to facilitate conversations.
The tracks can be streamed here. If you'd like to purchase CDs, please visit the Shop Hush page. You will be supporting our work and assisting the development of more inspiring music!
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
This inspiring piece features reflections on kindness by kids from Jesse's grade 6 class, spoken by Matilda Rintoul and Leila Winsbury.
“Kindness is when someone says you are a friend.
If you make a mistake it is kindness that people give to you, to help you realise that you did something wrong.
Even though someone doesn’t like someone, they can still be kind."
Sticks and Stones
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
Like other songs from Hush 16, this is inspired by stories of young patients fighting serious illness. This song by Naomi Crellin addresses bullying and the importance of speaking out.
"You can turn sticks and stones into microphones
And make your feelings heard
It only takes a word
It begins and ends with you."
Finding my Brave
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
A shining example of the strength a child can summon in adversity, the words by Josh Concilia and Sophie Toll are a fresh way to look at illness.
“I imagine it as a big, dark faceless creature with muscles.
It tries to scare me and take over my body, but it doesn’t know I am a superhero."
Dance of the Paper Umbrellas
From Hush volume 13: The Magic Island
A gentle but joyous orchestral piece from one of our most loved composers.
"The idea for Dance of the Paper Umbrellas started when I visited the ward at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and witnessed what wonderful work Dr Catherine Crock and her team do. It was a moving experience that was still with me, when a few days later I sat at my piano. I wondered what kind of piece I could write the would be uplifting. I wanted to enter the world of magic and possibilities. I imagined a cake adorned with multi-coloured umbrellas. A dance formed in my head, starting with a pattern in harp, marimba, plucked strings and flutes"
A Hula Hoop of Space
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
An insightful observation about personal space, permission and empathy from 11-year-old Sienna.
“People have a hula hoop of space. Let them have that space. If you want to go inside it, then ask."
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
A song about knowing your own strengths and appreciating the strengths of others.
"Talents can be:
Finding nice leaves; walking far; being interested in things or being good at describing things.
I think one of my main talents is laughing… and annoying my brother.”
The Ocean and the World
From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet
A beautifully dreamy song By Naomi Crellin about the inspirational power of writing "your own storybook"
"And she said to me:
'You see, it wasn’t long ago life was dark and dim'
Her boat began to sink; she’d let the ocean in
She sank beneath the waves, but found that she could swim."
The Gathering of Kindness Anthology
Order the Anthology
To order the Anthology, visit our store.
Cost: $25 plus $5 shipping per book (contact us for more information)
Who is this book useful for?
Anyone who works in the healthcare industry. Anyone who wants to learn how to build a kind culture. Anyone who wants to understand the different perspectives of people on every side of healthcare. Anyone who enjoys reading stories from real people. Anyone who wants a thought-provoking read for their waiting room or coffee table, or who wants to stimulate discussion at their own Gathering.
This book is designed to be visually appealing and is perfectly suited to be read in small parts. The Gathering of Kindness Anthology will show you the variety of human thought.
The healthcare industry has struggled to separate itself from a culture of bullying and stress. Rather than focusing on merely escaping this culture, the way forward is to focus on the type of culture we do want to create - a kind healthcare system.
Based on this philosophy of taking the positive direction, the first Gathering of Kindness event was run in Melbourne in 2016. A wide variety of people attended - not just doctors, but patients, family, administrators, politicians, media, lawyers, students, musicians, and artists. We wanted some way to record the conversations and ideas that came from this wonderful assembly of people, so at the end of the conference we collected contributions from over 40 of the participants. It is from these contributions that the Anthology was formed.
The Gathering of Kindness Anthology is a collection of incredible stories, ideas, action plans, and creative impressions of this kind healthcare system, and how to get there. And by purchasing the book, you'll be supporting the Hush Foundation and helping continue the quest for kindness.
Here we present a collection of thought-provoking and inspiring videos from kindness colleagues. They are a wonderful resource for starting meaningful conversations. We will continue to add to the collection.
Kindness in Cancer Care
The Kindness in Cancer Care videos are a collection of short stories sharing what ‘kindness’ looks like for people during the cancer care experience. These stories are from people in our regional and rural communities.
Paul Levy on Kindness
Paul Levy, former hospital CEO and health blogger, explains that kindness is not a directive but a reflection of the underlying values of virtually every health professional.
Chris Turner - When rudeness in teams turns deadly
At TEDxExeter, emergency medicine consultant Chris Turner discusses research and describes real-life experiences where rudeness between staff impacts outcomes.
Kindness Works at Bass Coast Health
Thanks to our friends at Bass Coast Health for creating this video summary of what kindness means in their workplace. "Kindness matters. And the evidence is very clear - there is a direct relationship between staff wellbeing and patient wellbeing".
Small Acts of Kindness
An inspiring look at how acts of kindness can transform the patient experience. Produced by Far West Local Health District, NSW
The Honourable Linda Dessau
Patron in Chief of the Hush Foundation, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau, Governor of Victoria, talks about the need for a more compassionate healthcare system and the contribution Gathering of Kindness 2017 can make to the conversation. We thank her greatly for her kind words!
Dr Rajagopal, human rights award winner for his work in palliative care in India, and the 'spiritual leader of ethical medicine', has much wisdom to offer the cause of kindness. We also recommend you look at Hippocratic, the documentary about Dr Raj.
We are kind by nature. Dr Raj reminds us that we are innately kind, but our circumstances don't always allow that kindness to be expressed.
What healthcare needs Dr Raj believes health care has been too disease-focused and needs a greater focus on empathy, dignity and respect.
More from Elizabeth Broderick
The importance of Kindness. Liz talks about handing dignity back. "We are all born equal in rights and with dignity".
Being Too Busy. It's at our busiest moments that we need to remember kindness. "We're too busy NOT to be kind".
Upgrade to Kindness. The most effective leaders communicate with authenticity and shared vulnerability.
Breaking the Kindness Barrier. The power of story allows us to connect at a deeper level.
Elizabeth Broderick AO has drawn from her considerable experience in human rights to deliver a series of video insights for Gathering of Kindness. These videos, which could be used to open a discussion, emphasise why kindness should be a driver of all interactions in health care.
Check the Playlist on our YouTube channel for the full collection.
We thank Elizabeth for her generosity and wisdom.
The Leadership Lottery. There is a need for leadership which includes compassion and encourages authentic communication in both directions.
The Culture of Care. Elizabeth calls for a healthcare culture addressed by empathy and individual responsibility.
Solutions. Using your "compassionate self" to turn your emotions into positive action.
The Culture of Bad Behaviour. Being willing to call out bad behaviour has a lasting impact on the culture of your organisation.
Mindfulness and Kindness Liz talks about the importance of self-awareness in managing our behaviour.
Congratulations Liz congratulates Dr Catherine Crock AM on her work building the movement for kindness.
Dr Gordon Schiff: Knowing your patients better
Gordon Schiff, MD, General Internist and Safety Science Director for the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Academic Innovations Collaborative, talks about having a strong personal relationship with patients and the danger of taking a too "academic" approach to patient care.
More from Dr Schiff
Reaching Across Boundaries. Gordon talks about keeping "arm's length" from patients and the need to reach across those boundaries.
Communication Consistency. Gordon talks about "sub-optimisation" and the importance of communication in best outcomes.
Dr Catherine Crock: A New Health Care Culture
Dr Catherine Crock AM, Founder of the Hush Foundation and Gathering of Kindness, shares her vision of a transformed healthcare culture, in which bullying is addressed and kindness is a fundamental guiding principle.
Hearts in Healthcare: ICU and Patient Experience
I woke up in intensive care. My eyes were swollen shut. My jaw was wired closed. There was a machine forcing air through a hole in my throat. I couldn't see, I couldn't speak, I couldn't drink, I couldn't even breathe for myself but I could hear EVERYTHING.
From Hearts in Healthcare
Hon Lara Giddings MP: A More Resourceful Health System
Former Premier of Tasmania and supporter of the Hush Foundation Hon Lara Giddings MP talks for Gathering of Kindness about the difference between budgetary resources and the limitless and free resource of Kindness.
Cleveland Clinic: Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care
Patient care is more than just healing -- it's building a connection that encompasses mind, body and soul. If you could stand in someone else's shoes . . . hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?
Dr Benjamin Veness: A New Way to Measure Care
Dr Benjamin Veness talks about the need to find new ways to measure the effectiveness of health care. Kindness is hard to quantify but needs to be considered along with more measurable performance indicators.
Cleveland Clinic Empathy Series: Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable
When you're in the hospital, everything changes. You depend on caregivers for everything. Each word, each touch, each visit really matters. "Cleveland Clinic's Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care" told part of the story. But there's much more. You'll be moved by these life-changing stories, and astonished when you learn what these patients have in common.
Great Work Stories: Moses and Mindi
How does a hospital janitor play a critical role on the healing team? When Mindi's son needed specialized lifesaving surgery, she, her husband and little McKay flew across the country to find a qualified team. Surrounded by renowned doctors and world-class facilities, they were surprised to find the care and healing McKay needed came from the last member of the hospital's staff they would have expected.
From O. C. Tanner Co.
Carnegie UK Trust
Over the last few years, the Carnegie UK Trust have prioritised kindness, focusing on it in their research, strategy and approach - believing it to be at the heart of our wellbeing.
You can find a series of recent publications thanks to authors Simon Anderson and Julie Brownlie here: https://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/publications/public-policy-and-the-infrastructure-of-kindness-in-scotland/
For information on research and qualitative findings head to: https://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/project/kinder-communities/
The world is full of kindness. You only have to look...
Colleagues and friends across the world are actively contributing to the conversation for kindness in health care. Here we include links and information about a variety of organisations, endeavours and resources in research and professional development in specialised and more general applications throughout the health care sector and beyond. Be it information or inspiration, we're here to share.
Please alert us to any further connections you feel may be valuable via our Contact page.
Beauty Within Medicine
Founded in 2012 by Dr Lucy Desmond, Beauty Within Medicine celebrates "Diversity, Equality and Community" and focuses on creating resources that help bring these key values to medical education. We especially find their "Ward Stories" enlightening and inspiring.
You can hear Lucy talk in detail about her work on the Creative Careers in Medicine podcast.
Center for Compassion and Altruism in the Workplace Compassion Database
This project from Stanford Medicine includes research, education, lectures and other events, video resources and a comprehensive database of work in the field of compassion and altruism in the workplace.
Institute for Compassionate Leadership
Founded in 2012 by Lodro Rinzler, an author & meditation teacher based in New York City, the Institute for Compassionate Leadership (ICL) serves to empower socially conscious, self-aware, and compassionate leaders by educating aspiring change-makers in meditation, community organizing, and 21st century leadership skills built for today's workplace environment.
Free podcasts are available on their Soundcloud page.
Hearts in Healthcare
Robyn Youngston is an anaesthetist from New -Zealand who is the co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare, a global social movement for health professionals, students and all those who are passionate about “re-humanising healthcare”. He has generously made all of his powerpoint slides and resources accessible free of charge to anyone who would like to use it.
Planetree - Burnout among healthcare workers: can we turn the tide?
Burnout within the healthcare profession is on the rise. It affects quality of life of personnel, quality of care for patients and families and the bottom line of healthcare organizations. Planetree, supporting patient-centred care, offer a Caregiver Quality Checking Tool along with a brilliant array of other solutions for professionals seeking better care for patients and staff.