Do you see me?
We are supporting NGOs, working in the Greek refugee camps with improving their de-escalation and mediation skills. While working in this environment, this question was asked by an upset young man, who felt a number in the system instead of a person. It drove him mad.
This moment illustrated the core of the challenge of our training and coaching. Human disasters do come with overwhelming big numbers and a professional response requires a systematic approach. You cannot build your approach on a single case.
As a humanitarian worker, you also have to protect yourself to be not overwhelmed by all the suffering. Yet the mass of beneficiaries exists out of individuals. Men, women and children, with dreams, hopes, passions, pain, families, fears and losses. all things that individuals have.
One of the key elements of what we do is coaching people to stay sensitive to still see the individual and to make a normal human connection in this abnormal situation. Acknowledging them is a good start to regain trust, and with that influence, to upset people as this young man.
“Yes, I still see you…”.