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Combat Burnout and Negativity with SHIFT: A Midwifery Works! Workshop Preview

We hope you’re as excited as we are about Midwifery Works! 2013—a major midwifery business conference coming to Tampa, FL, October 3 – 6. As a special treat, here’s an interview with one of our workshop speakers Barbara Hughes, CNM, MS, MBA, FACNM, NE-BC, a professional with more than 28 years of experience as a certified nurse-midwife.

Barbara has been active in numerous professional organizations, including ACNM, AWHONN, Lamaze International, the National Perinatal Association, and the March of Dimes. She speaks on the local and national level about women’s health care topics including clinical practice, business, and leadership. Her upcoming workshop is titled SHIFT to Positive Thoughts and Powerful Results.

Question: Tell us about SHIFT. What is it?

Answer: SHIFT is a powerful and practical tool to help individuals identify when their thoughts are focused on something negative, referred to as "below the line,"and helps them SHIFT to positive "above the line" thinking. It's based upon years of neuroscience, organizational development research, and work with clients and organizations throughout many areas of business. My half-day workshop will give midwives the tools they need to apply this knowledge to their professional and personal lives.

Q: In your workshop description, you say that SHIFT can help midwives attract what they want, maintain positive energy in the midst of negativity, have greater mental clarity, and develop deeper personal relationships. That sounds too good to be true. Have you seen this method work?

A: I have experienced it personally and have recently started using this technique with health professionals. SHIFT was developed by Cathy and Gary Hawk of Clarity International and they have been using it for over 20 years with tremendous success. Currently there are only 4 SHIFT faculty, and I am honored to be one of the first. I'm really looking forward to introducing SHIFT to our profession at the upcoming Midwifery Works! meeting.

Q: A lot of midwives struggle with burnout. How can SHIFT make a difference in their personal and professional lives?

A: The first step in SHIFT is to develop a deeper self-awareness of where your thoughts are focused. Once a negative thought is identified, one of the SHIFT tools, the Attention Guide, provides 49 positive or "above the line" words to help one SHIFT to a positive thought. Of course, SHIFT can't change the circumstances a midwife might be struggling with, but it can help us change our response.

Q: As a leader, how do you use SHIFT in your daily life and what results have come of it?

A: In today's complex world we are bombarded with negativity, from our colleagues, organizations, and beyond. Learning how to focus on the things I have the ability to impact in a positive way offers me relief from the overwhelming negativity that surrounds us. I can prepare for my day with intention by using one of the other SHIFT tools, the check-in. By increasing my self-awareness I am better prepared to navigate through the day maintaining more positivity, which is very empowering.

Q: How can SHIFT prevent newer midwives from getting pulled into negativity, especially given the barriers they face in getting established?

A: By increasing self-awareness and using the tools of SHIFT, newer midwives can develop healthy habits and boundaries in their professional role right from the start! We have the ability to change our brains by developing new neural pathways that focus on positive thoughts and let go of the negative thoughts. Learning how to SHIFT as our day begins, SHIFT when a challenge is encountered, and SHIFT to influence a positive workplace culture is a powerful combination to support individual and organizational success.

To register for Midwifery Works! 2013 and Barbara Hughes’ workshop, SHIFT to Positive Thoughts and Powerful Results, visit RSVP to the Midwifery Works! 2013 Facebook Event page to let your friends know you’ll be there and see who else is joining you.

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 9/24/2013 1:17:54 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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