This customer service business seems to be growing like weeds. Everywhere I turn, I am running into it, so I assume that is what the Universe (God) wants me to be focused on.

Ruth Buczynski, PhD posted an interesting piece about spirituality in medical care. She reported on a study by Farr Curlin, MD on patient satisfaction in the hospital. They were more satisfied when the staff asked them about spiritual concerns. Even patients who didn’t want a spiritual conversation during their hospital stay were more satisfied.

Here is her posting:

Short version:

Apparently some therapists are hesitant to bring up the question of spirituality, but we see from this research that it is something that benefits patients. I have never hesitated because back in the 1980s I did a research project on Near Death Experiences, NDEs, and it profoundly help me be more confident in discussing issues of ultimate meaning. If you are not comfortable with discussing spirituality, you can enroll in Ruth’s class that she advertises above, or you can follow my lead. Do your own investigation of NDEs or some other spiritual phenomenon. Learn to meditate, practice prayer and fasting, give more money to poor people . . . in other words, make some effort.

I remember discussing the NDE project with a colleague at the university, and as soon as I committed to helping with that project, people started to show up. A client told me of an NDE he had experienced in a truck accident, this in the same week that I made the commitment. Such a report had never happened before. As soon as I decided to research NDEs, they started popping up. It was remarkable. I am certain that if you approach this matter of spirituality in a committed way, something similar will happen to you.

I am going to define spirituality as having two components. First, there is a sense of connection with the infinite, a feeling of having a glimpse of ultimate meaning. There is a feeling of God tapping you on your shoulder, whispering in your ear.

Second, there needs to be a component of triumph over self. All the disciplines of spirituality I know have some part of self-discipline, self-mastery. All describe spirituality as rising up. The up component is this connection with the infinite. The rising is because of your willingness to sacrifice, commit, or choose.

Now how does spirituality relate to customer service? Because if I am right, when we are doing customer service well, we are at our highest and best. We are serving each other, we are treating each other as if we have permanent and eternal value. We are in harmony with the deep truth of life, that all of us are astonishing beings who have mostly forgotten who we are. Maybe a deep connection, a spiritual commitment to being kind and helpful and of service to customers helps us and helps them remember. For that moment, we can almost recall who we are and what we are supposed to be about. We can connect with the infinite best when we sacrifice our selfishness to other people and help them recall their own value.