Ep. 71: Dr. Kimberly Harms on How To Lead Your Team Through Grief

In this episode, David sits down with Dr. Kimberly Harms, Former Grief Counselor, Civil Mediator, Author, and Speaker, to discuss how to lead your team through grief.

Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1

Dr. Kim’s Bio:
Kim Harms has been around the block in dentistry and in life. She was the first woman President of the Minnesota Dental Association and worked for 21 years as a National Spokesperson and Consumer Advisor for the American Dental Association. Dr. Harms is no stranger to grief, she lost her mother and her son to suicide and her husband to heart failure precipitated by the death of their son. She currently works with her dental attorney daughters as a professional speaker and author with a focus on conflict and grief management for dental professionals. She also works with Books for Africa and has helped to send over 200,000 books to 40 Eric Harms Memorial Libraries in Rwanda, where she has learned much from the world’s foremost experts in grief recovery.

Dr. Kim’s Links:
Website: https://thedentalmediator.com/
“Emotional Emergency Handbook” by Dr. Kimberly Harms: https://www.drkimberlyharms.com/books/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-harms-bb524666/

Key Quotes:
1. “Learn how to lead your team through grief.”
2. “Rwandans are the grief experts of the world.”
3. “Grief is different with every person.”
4. “Processing grief is the hard part.”
5. “You are enough.”
6. “Finding joy again in life does not diminish your love for the person that you lost.”
7. “Focus on the conflict. Focus on the issue. Take the people out of it.”
8. “Get the story from both sides.”
9. “Conflict that is not resolved or addressed just metastasizes.”
10. “Trust is huge.”
11. “A mediator is kept busy because of a lack of trust.”

Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“Emotional Emergency Handbook” by Dr. Kimberly Harms: https://www.drkimberlyharms.com/books/
“The Trust Edge” by David Horsager: https://amzn.to/3p7wUB6
Books for Africa: https://www.booksforafrica.org/

Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1

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Show Transcript

[david_horsager]: Welcome to the trusted leader. Show it’s David Horsager and I have a

[david_horsager]: special Gu. She’s a dear friend. It is Dr. Kimberly Harms. Thank you

[david_horsager]: so much for joining us.

[kim_harms]: Thank you for asking me.

[david_horsager]: Yes, so if you don’t know Dr. Kimberly, she was the first woman

[david_horsager]: president of the Minnesota dental Association. She is practicsing, and she’s

[david_horsager]: been director of Uh, dental facilities and organizations all around. She has

[david_horsager]: some other things we’re gonna talk about, though, And she really I, You

[david_horsager]: know, she’s written books on really grief emergencies mediation. One of her

[david_horsager]: books is Neutralize your Nightmare about kind of mediation and conflict.

[david_horsager]: We’re going to talk about that and emotional emergency handbook, Really

[david_horsager]: creating a safe environment in the midst of emergencies and big challenges

[david_horsager]: that we all face. And I think they’re very all very important for leaders.

[david_horsager]: We’re also going touch touch on. you know, Outside of you know being a

[david_horsager]: doctor and all your expertise as both a leader

[david_horsager]: and dentist and doctor, you’ve also

[david_horsager]: have some experiences. I think that can speak to all of us, and that is loss

[david_horsager]: and grief and challenge, And you know we’ve all had whether we’re losing in

[david_horsager]: a, you know, an employee or losing a A A comp. You know, a

[david_horsager]: a, a family member, right or all these things. So Um, she lost her mother

[david_horsager]: too early.

[david_horsager]: Tragically. She lost her brilliant amazing son to suicide and she lost her

[david_horsager]: husband, uh, too early, and, among other things, but she can speak to this

[david_horsager]: in a real way, so uh, once again I just wantnna. kind of set you up. There’s

[david_horsager]: so much more to who you are, Uh, Doctor Kim, But um, thanks for being here.

[kim_harms]: Oh, thank you, David.

[david_horsager]: anything y. go ahead? Yeah, Any anything else that you wouldd say sets

[david_horsager]: usrself, like we should really know this about Doctor Kim before get into

[david_horsager]: the conversation.

[kim_harms]: Well, I think i. I. I worked in a quite a bit in my profession of dentistry in my

[kim_harms]: first life, and I had a unfortunate a ridiculopathy of. I had some nerve damage

[kim_harms]: in my drilling fingers of all places, and so I had to kind of come into a second

[kim_harms]: career and my daughter, uh, Hilary, uh, both my daughters attorneys and they went

[kim_harms]: into deal law, so I’m working now for them in the area of Um. Dental transitions

[kim_harms]: transition from one purchaser one owner to another owner, and I work with offices

[kim_harms]: managing grief when they’ going to some sort of a catastrophic loss. If every

[kim_harms]: organization, uh, has uh, somebody going through a catastrophic loss at some time

[kim_harms]: or another, And if you, if you haven’t gone through one yet, you’re either going

[kim_harms]: to die first or lose somebody that you love. So this is a universal concept. In

[kim_harms]: fact, we’re kind of going through a global grief right now,

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Mhm, Mhm,

[kim_harms]: Uh with this pandemic, So I talked about grief and loss and conflict management.

[kim_harms]: Uh, within the the profession, dental, and otherwise,

[david_horsager]: I want to get into that because I, I. I, I want to end up with some um, a

[david_horsager]: line work that we both love in East Africa and we’re passionate about. but

[david_horsager]: um, let’s let’s jump into this. This. you know, we. we B. this this pandemic

[david_horsager]: this endemic now, maybe this, Uh, you know, lots of loss. lots of grief. Um,

[david_horsager]: you know we can’t get everything out of all your books out of out of this,

[david_horsager]: but I think we should talk about it because leaders need to understand this,

[david_horsager]: and yet you know what I see. The challenge for leaders at least, is they

[david_horsager]: grieving.

[david_horsager]: Theyre also

[david_horsager]: their team is grieving

[david_horsager]: and they also have pressures from the top to provide and drive the bottom

[david_horsager]: line to be around in a co. you know next quarter So Th you know there’s this

[david_horsager]: big push for certainly

[david_horsager]: humanness, and give people time off and all, and take time off and take care

[david_horsager]: of yourself. And yet they’re They’re also like, and I have to meet the The

[david_horsager]: Quarterarnings or whatever. So how can we think about that as leaders? You

[david_horsager]: know loss and grief right now. What would you be your advice?

[kim_harms]: I think one of the most important things that leaders can do right now is learn

[kim_harms]: how to lead their team through grief. Because it again. it’s a. It’s a. It’s a

[kim_harms]: pandemic of a grief right now, And

[kim_harms]: many times we believe that that the our. our goal is to accomplish a goals of

[kim_harms]: whatever our business is, And we focus on that and we kind of think the emotional

[kim_harms]: issues just take care of themselves, but they don’t. They don’t the emotional

[kim_harms]: issues that that are going on amongst our team members. The other people that

[kim_harms]: we’re working with Uh, affect their performance. Their productivity and our

[kim_harms]: ability to manage those emotional issues has a huge effect on team loyalty and

[kim_harms]: and their ability to stay with us. You know, we’ve got some some issues globally.

[kim_harms]: Uh, uh, with with employment we, we are not enough employees to to fill all the

[kim_harms]: jobs that we need them to fill, And I think

[david_horsager]: How would

[kim_harms]: one of the ways you can help them is be loyal is manage them through grief.

[david_horsager]: so? let’s get to a couple tips of. how can I actually lead my team? Or you

[david_horsager]: know help can lead them through grief?

[kim_harms]: Well, the first thing we you need to do is I, I believe you need to include

[kim_harms]: emotional emergencies, which I I call anything that’s goingnna emotionally affect

[kim_harms]: what we do we need. have a plant. just like anything else. Um, how many? How many

[kim_harms]: of you have breve in plans in your work? How many days can someone take off paid

[kim_harms]: or unta unpaid if they have a loss has to be kind of consistent. Uh. I, I really

[kim_harms]: believe that we need to talk about grief. If someone’s going through a difficult

[kim_harms]: time. we need to have a a team meeting. Maybe even before they come back to to

[kim_harms]: find out how we’re going to help them. Um, and then when they get there, ask them

[kim_harms]: how they how you can help them. You need to understand that when you, when you’re

[kim_harms]: going through grief, you might have waves of grief that come back after the after

[kim_harms]: the funeral’s over and you come back to work. you’re not all right. Typically if

[kim_harms]: it’s a catastrophic loss, you’re not all right. So you, we need to have something

[kim_harms]: within our teams where you work together to help that person get through those

[kim_harms]: times when they have a wave of grief that hits some. Uh, you have a lot of

[kim_harms]: postramatic stress that comes back and things they might be going through their

[kim_harms]: day, and all of a sudden something reminds them of their lost loved one, and Bam,

[kim_harms]: they get hit. Um. I had in our office, we had like a crying room upstairs in case

[kim_harms]: somebody uh, needed to just take a moment Uh, after a tough time and you know a

[kim_harms]: little Vizine in the room, little make up remover, Um, where you can get yourself

[kim_harms]: back together and have a plan with the team that. if that person has to take a

[kim_harms]: moment that the rest of the team kind of covers for them, but you have to plan

[david_horsager]: What do?

[kim_harms]: for equal play for those things.

[david_horsager]: Yeah? what do we? What about people that say? I mean, I’ seen leaders

[kim_harms]: Mhm.

[david_horsager]: and colleagues. Someone has a catastrophic loss.

[david_horsager]: They really,

[david_horsager]: uh, the rest of the team cares about that person, but they don’t know what

[david_horsager]: to do. they like. Should I talk to them? shouldn’t I talk to them? I’m not

[david_horsager]: an expert counselor. I feel like I would do the wrong thing. so then they

[david_horsager]: don’t say anything. What? What about the team? What? what should, or the

[david_horsager]: leader that that’s kind of of. Oh, they, a fast paced, uh tech company. Um,

[david_horsager]: you know, how do they pause enough? And what do they do to help it be okay

[david_horsager]: to, or how do they ask the right questions Or how do they be present in the

[david_horsager]: right way?

[kim_harms]: it’s interesting. C. S. Lewis has a great, ▁quote. Something to the effect that

[kim_harms]: uh, maybe we should isolate people that are grieving Uh, to a special colony like

[kim_harms]: lepers. You know, Because nobody wants to be around them. Nobody knows what to

[kim_harms]: say to them. They just they feel uncomfortable. So the first thing to to to know

[kim_harms]: is what do you say? What do you talk to? How do you? How do you talk to them?

[kim_harms]: Well, I think the first time you see someone, Certainly you need to address a

[kim_harms]: loss. Usually that’s at a funeral or a, right after the loss. During whatever Uh

[kim_harms]: officially is going on to help Uh. the grievers get through that. but when they

[kim_harms]: come back to work, the most important thing you can say to them is I am so glad

[kim_harms]: you’re here. It’s so

[david_horsager]: Hm,

[kim_harms]: good to see

[kim_harms]: you. You need to let them know that you’re glad that they’re here and then say I

[kim_harms]: know you’re going through a tough time. If there’s anything we can do to help

[kim_harms]: you. If you need a moment, just come to me. Have some sort of a signal, some sort

[kim_harms]: of a a plan that if you need a few moments, just come to me and we will help you

[kim_harms]: get through this.

[david_horsager]: what

[kim_harms]: But yeah,

[david_horsager]: did you this? Yeah, this is very G. This is great. Address it and then

[kim_harms]: Mhm,

[david_horsager]: uh, acknowledging you’,

[kim_harms]: yeah,

[david_horsager]: glad they’re back

[kim_harms]: mhm.

[david_horsager]: given. given this signaler space, how about you? I mean you, you know we’ve

[david_horsager]: been authentic. You’ve been up open about it, but your son.

[david_horsager]: you know, maybe you start with. Actually, I think we should jump to the

[david_horsager]: story of why you started books or working with books for Africa, and we, um,

[david_horsager]: some people don’t know this, but Doctor Kimberlyy was in one of our first

[david_horsager]: cohorts cohorts of certified trustd facilitators. She has her own brilliant

[david_horsager]: work, but she used some of our work even in her work in Rwanda and other

[david_horsager]: places. and um, but when you lost your son you felt like you could hardly

[david_horsager]: breathe or move or get up some days. But this kind of goes together with why

[david_horsager]: you started the work in Africa. So may we start with that and then come back

[david_horsager]: to your son, and

[kim_harms]: Mhm.

[david_horsager]: maybe some tips on how you, how you’ve made it through are making it

[kim_harms]: Yeah, I lost both my son and my mother to

[david_horsager]: Mhm.

[kim_harms]: suicide, so

[david_horsager]: H.

[kim_harms]: that is a of very. t. Any loss is traumatic, but that

[david_horsager]: Yep,

[kim_harms]: was that. just just basically, they destroyed my world when my son died and

[kim_harms]: brought back all the grief. un, uh, compensated for my mother, and so I was in a

[kim_harms]: very bad place. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to have joy my life again. I. I,

[kim_harms]: you know you can’t eat. you can’t sleep. You know all those things, you could

[kim_harms]: just hardly get through the day. but you have to go back to work right, Um, and

[kim_harms]: as I was, I’ have a dear friend who was on the board of books for Africa, and she

[kim_harms]: suggested that we uh, have a library in Rwanda, through books, Africa, a great

[kim_harms]: organization based in Minneapolis, an amazing place, and so we started.

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Mhm, And that was because of you. By the way. I’m pretty sure it was

[david_horsager]: because of you originally that we sent

[kim_harms]: Yeah, yeah, I, I. I. I,

[david_horsager]: our first printings of Trust that ships and books, Uh,

[kim_harms]: with you.

[david_horsager]: cases. Yeah,

[kim_harms]: We,

[david_horsager]: that was. That’s what reminded me of your getting certified because of Uh,

[kim_harms]: right

[david_horsager]: helping us, Um start our work there. So anyway,

[kim_harms]: it. We had a group of African leaders that came to the to uh,

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: Minnesota from it throughw books for Africa, and we gave them all a copy of

[kim_harms]: Trustta, So it was it was. Uh. Africa gets a lot of trust edge And I actually

[kim_harms]: gave the whole cer out there back. I was maybe seven or eight years ago. I can’t

[kim_harms]: remember even, but she, she said, Let’s get one one or one shipment out. and of

[kim_harms]: course I’m a dentist. So I went to the dental school and that there was a need

[kim_harms]: for law library there, so we were able to work through Thompson Roiders to get

[kim_harms]: law books. And we just kind of got this collection of seven libraries on our very

[kim_harms]: first shipment. And what I found. we went out to visit Rowanda. What I found is

[kim_harms]: they are the grief experts of the world.

[david_horsager]: M, mhm,

[kim_harms]: Ver Oneont had a genocide in nineteen ninety four. And I went there in two

[kim_harms]: thousand and eleven. So that was what. Sixteen years after the genocide, Not a

[kim_harms]: long time, and they had taken their country even in that short period of time

[kim_harms]: from a horrible place that was just completely shattered. The the or

[kim_harms]: organizations and institutions were were shattered. Um. it was just a shattered

[kim_harms]: chattered country. Uh, and

[kim_harms]: Um. In sixteen years they had built it back to a safe

[kim_harms]: beautiful place. Uh Cagalli was being built up. It was just unbelievable

[kim_harms]: progress. in sixteen years. Now what they did is they did it through. reconci.

[kim_harms]: they they. they, f, first of all for forgiveness. how could how do you forgive a

[kim_harms]: genocide?

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Mhm,

[kim_harms]: I don’t know how you do that. Um,

[david_horsager]: and you and I met you. I remember about Father Rayme, who came

[kim_harms]: yes, y.

[david_horsager]: over and it was like you got sibling against sibling, or I mean, almost like

[david_horsager]: Fa, neighbor against

[david_horsager]: neighbor Right, Just they had been neighbors. And then how do I forgive that

[kim_harms]: it’s anance neighbor,

[david_horsager]: person who then sold me out or killed me or my dad or mom? Hm,

[kim_harms]: right, Yeah, they’d killed the entire families and burnt down all the property so

[kim_harms]: that any survivors had abs ly. Nothing the and the families combined, but what

[kim_harms]: they did is they realize that they didn’t forgive and build a new country. That

[kim_harms]: their children would be going to the same thing again again and again. and if you

[kim_harms]: look in Africa, some countries that didn’t handle things like that so well,

[kim_harms]: they’re still in that shape. but veranda has built itself up to a point right now

[kim_harms]: where it’s con. It’s a safe as our. Our. Our State Department, um, uh, rated it

[kim_harms]: as safe as going to Canada. It’s a safety level one. So if you’re if, if you feel

[kim_harms]: safe going up to Canada, then you should feel safe going to Rowanda. In fact,

[kim_harms]: when when they come to the United States, they get a little worried about safety.

[kim_harms]: But so they built this amazing country up, and I realized that they were the

[kim_harms]: experts in grief, and they helped me so much manage my grief. If they could

[kim_harms]: overcome that the genocide, losing their entire families. And then I, I need to

[kim_harms]: learn how they did that, and Um, they did it through reconciliation. They did

[kim_harms]: punish the perpetrators. They were in jail for probably about twenty years. When

[kim_harms]: they came out of jail, they had to. they had to face their communities. They had

[kim_harms]: to talk to the victims. They had to try to recommen. You know, Uh, make some sort

[kim_harms]: of recompense to the victims. Uh, they have just an amazing ability to deal with

[kim_harms]: conflict and to deal with grief and I,

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Mhm,

[kim_harms]: it was such a blessing for me. I’m so grateful I got to go there, and now we have

[kim_harms]: over forty libraries, and Uh of over two hundred and forty thousand books. Some

[kim_harms]: computers and so on that are there. So we have a whole system built up now, Uh,

[kim_harms]: ara carmsmorial libraries, Throughw books for Africa,

[david_horsager]: And Eric is your son and

[kim_harms]: Your experience. Yeah,

[david_horsager]: yep. And and I think that whole process there is. you know, there was

[david_horsager]: punishment. but there was a way toward forgiveness

[kim_harms]: yeah,

[david_horsager]: and we might come back to some that. Tell about your son, tells about your

[david_horsager]: son.

[kim_harms]: well, Eric was an amazing young man amazing. he loved his family, loved his his

[kim_harms]: friends. he loved his god. Uh, he went to Saint Thomas Academy, which is a school

[kim_harms]: here in in Minnesota, and uh he, uh, he was a band director and he made band

[kim_harms]: cool. In fact, some of the football parents kind of complained a little bit

[kim_harms]: because it got. Uh. The band got a lot of of applause. You know, whenever goes up

[kim_harms]: there because he would dance, he was called the Dancing Bear and he was recruited

[kim_harms]: to go to Columbia University. So I went to Columbia loved it there. He was. he

[kim_harms]: was Uh, elected to student government. he was. He was a brilliant jazz pianist,

[kim_harms]: so he was in the jazz band. He was accepted into the jazz program there, and at

[kim_harms]: the end of his first semester he had. We was on the Um. deanslisted engineering,

[kim_harms]: and he was in love. He had just in love with this young woman and was on top of

[kim_harms]: the world and he went back to Columbia, and two weeks later

[kim_harms]: forty five minutes after his girlfriend broke up with him, which is she should

[kim_harms]: have done if she didn’t love him the same way. Um, he took his own life. Forty

[kim_harms]: five minutes at that brilliant impulsive brain that was great, a jazz piano was

[kim_harms]: not able and he didn’t have his full brain developed in the area of of of

[kim_harms]: rational thinking, So he

[david_horsager]: Mhm.

[kim_harms]: just impulsively took his own life, and it just absolutely was such a surprise.

[kim_harms]: and uh, uh, a devastation to his family,

[kim_harms]: and and all that loved him. He had a big group.

[david_horsager]: Yeah, he did an amazing young man. How did you?

[david_horsager]: How did you? What were some of the things that helped you start to de with

[david_horsager]: that hole in agony?

[kim_harms]: Well, I had I had someone tell me something once to nightight, which I think is

[kim_harms]: every parent uh, needs to hear that’s lost his child in. and you can only tell it

[kim_harms]: if you blss one yourself or you’re in that position. I had a a nephew who was

[kim_harms]: shortly after my husband. I were returning back to work and and we’re a dentist,

[kim_harms]: Y, you have to grieve, and in secret you can’t grieve when you’re

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: doing that fine work. I mean you, it. it’s a. It’s a hard thing to do and we’re

[kim_harms]: back at work and I was coming out of the office one night, and my husband was

[kim_harms]: standing there with his his cousin. His cousin, Carry and Carry had lost his

[kim_harms]: brother Janned, and about the same age at about nineteen, Ja, and had been out

[kim_harms]: drinking. His friends brought him back and left him in his car, thinking he’d

[kim_harms]: just walk in the house, But it’s Minnesota. It’s twenty below, ▁zero, and Jan

[kim_harms]: frozea death in his car outside of his parents. So and Carry was devastated by

[kim_harms]: the loss of his brother, but he felt that he also lost his parents. At that time,

[kim_harms]: he felt that his parents were no longer able to be themselves, and he, he said to

[kim_harms]: me, and he pointed his finger at me. And this is you know. I was grieving. This.

[kim_harms]: I was in the ▁zombie stage. Anyone that’s been through catastrophic loss knows

[kim_harms]: that ▁zobie stage, or you kind of walk around and you feel like

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: you’re dead inside and you’re trying to just make it through. I was in the ▁zobie

[kim_harms]: state and he looked at me and he pointed his finger at me and he said Kim. Don’t

[kim_harms]: you ever let your remaining kids feel that they are not enough?

[kim_harms]: It was like a lightning bolt and that was the beginning of my realizing that I

[kim_harms]: had to do everything

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Hm,

[kim_harms]: in my power to crawl, climb and find my way out of that horrible despair pit. And

[kim_harms]: that was

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: the beginning And it, you know, it’s a journey. It takes long. you can’t. Grief

[kim_harms]: the beginning And it, you know, it’s a journey. It takes long. you can’t. Grief

[kim_harms]: is different with every person, but that’s when I, I just, and my husband had

[kim_harms]: is different with every person, but that’s when I, I just, and my husband had

[kim_harms]: just had a liver transplant. He had liver cancer, had liver transplant. He was

[kim_harms]: just had a liver transplant. He had liver cancer, had liver transplant. He was

[kim_harms]: struggling, you know, physically and emotionally, and so I had to go and I had to

[kim_harms]: struggling, you know, physically and emotionally, and so I had to go and I had to

[kim_harms]: climb my way out of that pit and that

[kim_harms]: climb my way out of that pit and that

[david_horsager]: What were some of the? What were some of the wrongs of that ladder of

[david_horsager]: climbing out?

[kim_harms]: well, First of all, I have a strong faith and so

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: that my faith helped me get through. but I think

[kim_harms]: understanding the love for my children, the love for my husband,

[kim_harms]: knowing that they needed me,

[kim_harms]: knowing that I, I c, staying in this pit forever, W would would is a horrible

[kim_harms]: place to live. If you’ve been in that pit, I didn’t want to live there the rest

[kim_harms]: of my life, and I didn’t want the people around me to influent be influenced by

[kim_harms]: my time in the pit. I wanted

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: to crawl out of that and and sh, show that you can overcome these things. And it

[kim_harms]: it took a long time. Uh, And and there’s a I. I did become a grief counselor.

[kim_harms]: Actually, uh, uh, Surely, after that and I learned one of the things I learned.

[kim_harms]: Uh, you know they, we. We all know the the stages of grief, but there are tasks

[kim_harms]: de mourning, and I like tasks better cause. I like to grib onto tasks. The task

[kim_harms]: of warning are to accept the loss that takes a long time,

[kim_harms]: and then to uh, take a look uh at your life as it is. you know process. The grief

[kim_harms]: processing is the hard part that’s getting out of the pit process and grief, uh,

[kim_harms]: adjusting to the new world, a catastrophic lost of ider world into before and

[kim_harms]: after and you have to adjust to the new life and then find a place to put your

[kim_harms]: love one in your heart, but move forward in your life, and and be present for the

[kim_harms]: people that are there, And those tasks were, Um, a learning that was important,

[kim_harms]: too, So all of that combined, I just made it my goal to get out of the pit. I

[david_horsager]: Mhmm,

[kim_harms]: didn’t let the pit overcome me, because it will. I think if you don’t fight it,

[kim_harms]: it overcomes you, and you’re stuck down there in that pits with one nostril

[kim_harms]: sticking out of the mud trying to

[kim_harms]: get through.

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Did you have help? I mean, I think I could hear a lot of people saying

[david_horsager]: Okay, that’s great, but I am in the pit. I don’t know what to do and I don’t

[david_horsager]: feel like getting out. I mean they are so thinking about themselves like I

[david_horsager]: know my family, my husband and my wife, whoever needs you, but I, I can’t

[david_horsager]: you know they going to stay in Be whatever it is. How did you either fight

[david_horsager]: or or did you have help?

[kim_harms]: I I should. okay. Im. I’m I’m a dentist and one of our problems as dentist, as we

[kim_harms]: think we know everything you know it. it’s it’s it’s it’s It’s a a fatal flaw in

[kim_harms]: in

[david_horsager]: Mhm.

[kim_harms]: me, so I, instead of going to a grief counsel, I became a grief counselor, so I,

[kim_harms]: I. I used education to get myself out of pet. Now I had pastors in my church. I

[kim_harms]: have friends, wonderful friends. I have all the things necessary to help me, but

[kim_harms]: I want to say to those people that are under the bed that it is much better even

[kim_harms]: for you if you have no one else in your life but you, that you are enough and it

[kim_harms]: is so much better to be out of that pit, and to be above the ground and to see

[kim_harms]: the light than to be in that pit. It’s a horrible place to live, so even for

[kim_harms]: yourself, it’s important to climb out of that pit and fight to get out of the pit

[kim_harms]: and have that motivation. I know that not everyone can do it, and I know that

[kim_harms]: there are some people that are there for life. but I would just like to encourage

[kim_harms]: everyone. no matter where you are to climb. crawl, get yourself out of the pit

[kim_harms]: and to know that finding joy again in life does not diminish your love for the

[kim_harms]: person that you lost. In fact, I think that it that person. If you, if if you

[kim_harms]: love that person and that person of you, they would not want you to be in the pit

[kim_harms]: for life. So no matter who you have around you for yourself, even climb and crawl

[kim_harms]: out of that pit. It’s a terrible place to live.

[david_horsager]: So this, this is all. There is more about this in Doctor Kim’s book

[david_horsager]: Emotional emergency Handbook For how to do this at work and deal with that.

[david_horsager]: I want to jump to something else before I do anything else you would say for

[david_horsager]: just how we should address grief in the workplace. Any last tip to this

[kim_harms]: I think as to address you know, address it. Um, let the person know that you’re

[david_horsager]: part,

[kim_harms]: thinking of them. Talk to the person one on one. Even little things like Uh,

[kim_harms]: bringing him a coffee in the morning, show them that you’re thinking about them

[kim_harms]: by little deeds. You know, bringing them coffee do something nice. Um, those

[kim_harms]: things are really helpful. They just want you. They just want to know that you

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Hm,

[kim_harms]: care. Also,

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: one thing that I think people don’t re realize is we love when you tell stories

[kim_harms]: about our loved one. I loved it when people would, uh, people from the band are

[kim_harms]: ▁quizzable. Or you know whatever organization Eric was in would write these

[kim_harms]: stories about how you helped them. I love those stories and especially in a card.

[kim_harms]: writing them in a card. Sometimes the people that are grieving, don’t you? I

[kim_harms]: don’t remember much about that first year. You lose your memory a bit. I mean,

[kim_harms]: your brain’s not working. Those cards are fabulous. Write them a card and and

[kim_harms]: tell ‘ how much you care about them. A nice story about their loved one. They

[kim_harms]: just need to know you’re there.

[david_horsager]: How much care about them in a story, but even think of people in my life

[david_horsager]: that have that have passed away at a reasonable age. Eighty six, six, or or

[david_horsager]: so my grand. But I remember, I loved hearing the stories about who she was

[david_horsager]: and seeing who you know. Might you know? I’ve got some my dad’s ninety two

[david_horsager]: now, and I just um, I think, keep keeping telling the story about especially

[david_horsager]: those young lives that were gone so early that people could quickly not hear

[david_horsager]: or could could forget. So emotional emergency handbook. All of this is at

[david_horsager]: the dental mediator Dot com. Want to jump over to some insights from your

[david_horsager]: other book. We could talk about all kinds of things today, leadership and

[david_horsager]: dentistry, and Rwanda. more. we are lined on some things there, but I I do

[david_horsager]: want to talk about, because you do have a a significant expertise even in

[david_horsager]: what you’re doing now in dealing with conflict and mediation, and a lot of

[david_horsager]: O. Obviously we talk about is building trust or being trusted. Even in the

[david_horsager]: midst of certain conflict. We will, certain you know we say conflict is

[david_horsager]: inevitable, But maybe you could you know. Let’s just take this and look at

[david_horsager]: work a little bit. How? what are some tips on dealing with conflict? We all

[david_horsager]: have it. There’s conflict everywhere in these. whether it’s offices or

[david_horsager]: company or teams. What are some things you could share with us to to to help

[david_horsager]: us stay trusted in the midst of conflict.

[kim_harms]: The biggest thing right now in our country, For sure is when there is a conflict,

[kim_harms]: there is a tendency amongst people to focus on the people in the conflict and not

[kim_harms]: the issue itself. Just look at the media when there’ even a political issue.

[david_horsager]: Mhm.

[kim_harms]: Instead of of looking at the pros and cons of the issue, they start talking about

[kim_harms]: the people, and one side is good and one side is evil. This is kind of how we are

[kim_harms]: doing things more and more in the United States. I think it’s a very bad trend,

[kim_harms]: because the most important that one of the most important things in conflict

[kim_harms]: management is to focus on the conflict. Focus on the issue. Take the people out

[kim_harms]: of it, because don’t assume people have evil intentions. Just say here is a

[kim_harms]: conflict. Here’s the issue. How do we solve it? Find the common ground and work

[kim_harms]: on solving the problem. Rid of your uh feelings about the people involved. focus

[kim_harms]: on the problem.

[david_horsager]: how do you tip? By the way? getting rid of the people? I mean, wouldn’t this

[david_horsager]: be amazing in our and everything

[kim_harms]: Mhm.

[david_horsager]: else?

[david_horsager]: What about mediation you’re having to be? Play the role of mediator. What

[david_horsager]: are some of the key um parts of mediating these kind of challenging

[david_horsager]: situations you and I’ve talked about, or you’ve had you know between offices

[david_horsager]: or future, or um, um,

[david_horsager]: y, you know. uh, I’m losing the word with an as the the next next, uh, G,

[david_horsager]: passing it on to the next generation. the the Um. You know, if you, you

[david_horsager]: moving leadership to somebody else, Everybody’ thinking of it for

[kim_harms]: transition

[david_horsager]: me. But yeah, yeah, that’s that’s one way. Um.

[kim_harms]: words, too.

[david_horsager]: yeah, So what? uh? what?

[david_horsager]: how are you dealing with? How do you going to go into mediation? You know,

[david_horsager]: there’s fierce bitterness or there. you know that people are against each

[david_horsager]: other. Um.

[david_horsager]: What? what do you start with?

[kim_harms]: The first thing I I try to do is I, I get the story from both sides,

[kim_harms]: get one side,

[kim_harms]: and then I get the other side and I try to take a look at those stories and and

[kim_harms]: find out where the commonalities are. Where is a common ground? I try to get rid

[kim_harms]: of the people and focus

[david_horsager]: Mhm?

[kim_harms]: on what is the issue. What’s a common ground? How how can you benefit? How can

[kim_harms]: you benefit? and and then get them talking about the issue rather than Uh, the

[kim_harms]: people. Now sometimes you’ll find that there might be an issue that comes up.

[kim_harms]: That’s not the real issue. You know, there might be initi that comes up saying,

[kim_harms]: In office, somebody gets angry with something in the office. What they what you

[kim_harms]: might find is that that. really? that’s not the full issue. The issue is that two

[kim_harms]: months ago one person felt disrespected by somebody else

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: and conflict that is not resolved or addressed, just matastazes.

[david_horsager]: Hm,

[kim_harms]: So taking care of those conflicts when they’re little before it is a build and

[kim_harms]: build a build, and then suddenly there’s an explosion and then they have

[david_horsager]: Mhm.

[kim_harms]: to call the media, But’ common ground is listening to both sides of the story.

[kim_harms]: It’s being a third person to to con. maybe come in and and ask some questions.

[kim_harms]: Ask some questions that are.

[david_horsager]: What are your favorite? Quite? What are some of your Fa? By the way? The

[david_horsager]: word I, I always say it just jumped in my head. succession planning

[david_horsager]: succession. When I got you know succession issues. Lots of those happening.

[kim_harms]: Um.

[david_horsager]: Yeah, but um, but what? what are some questions you like to ask as a

[david_horsager]: mediator?

[kim_harms]: Well, I think, Um, and I think that the one of the best questions is Um. Why do

[kim_harms]: you think that’s happening or what is going on here? You know just those basic

[kim_harms]: basic questions is. so. Um, what? what do you want to see happen? What if? if you

[kim_harms]: could, if you could pick a resolution, what would your resolution be? And then I

[kim_harms]: would ask the other person if you could pick a resolution. what would your

[kim_harms]: resolution be? And then you know they, It might be similar,

[david_horsager]: I love that gets the. Yeah,

[kim_harms]: but they might,

[david_horsager]: It gets them solution centered about it. It gets something about the.

[david_horsager]: Instead of like I hate I, This, this is like. Well, what would I really

[david_horsager]: want? Well, maybe it’s not such a high bar. you know, Hm.

[kim_harms]: and sometimes it’s just respect. I just want her to treat me with respect that

[kim_harms]: that

[david_horsager]: yeah,

[kim_harms]: might be yet. and then, once you get over that hurdle of the lack of respect or

[kim_harms]: lack of trust, trust is trust is huge because if you, I ba,

[kim_harms]: I’m trying to think of a time that I did a mediation where two people actually

[kim_harms]: trusted each other. It’s almost like my mediations. Are there? Mediator is kept

[kim_harms]: busy because of lack of trust, because

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: people assume the worst in other people. Usually, people that trust each other

[kim_harms]: will work out a deal themselves. They

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: don’t need a mediator to come in, so that’s um. Youd put us out of business, you

[kim_harms]: know, but but I

[david_horsager]: Yeah,

[kim_harms]: uh you. yeah, but

[david_horsager]: well, there’s the Gu. There’s the cost of a lack of trust, we say, a lack of

[david_horsager]: trust in the biggest cost they have. Well, one

[kim_harms]: right.

[david_horsager]: is a mediator and one is and

[kim_harms]: that’s

[david_horsager]: that costs time and it costs money and it costs all these things. So no

[kim_harms]: right. and my daughters are lawyer. They be out of. they be out too. No, they

[david_horsager]: doubt about,

[kim_harms]: were. they work mostly in and good good law. They you know they work. They bring

[kim_harms]: people together for transitions and things like that. Um, but yeah, so I think

[kim_harms]: that you know be people that that that lack trust typically don’t need to mean or

[kim_harms]: that that have trust typically don’t need a mediator,

[david_horsager]: Well, there’s a lot more. If you go to the dental mediator Dot com, the

[david_horsager]: dental mediator Dot com, you can find out about Doctor Kim’s books.

[david_horsager]: Neutralize your nightmare. If you’re looking at conflict and mediation, you

[david_horsager]: can also find emotional emergency handbook. and if you’re a leader, you need

[david_horsager]: to know what to do. so that’s a good place to find that. Um. find out more.

[david_horsager]: I have loved our friendship and thank you for making me better. I want to

[david_horsager]: jump in a little bit here to personal, because you know, Um, I found at

[david_horsager]: least the leaders that are leading others and have a voice. and you’re

[david_horsager]: speaking on platforms all over, including all the way to Rowanda. that

[david_horsager]: they’re leading themselves in some way. Well, and certainly we’re not

[david_horsager]: perfect. But what are some? Do you have some habits or routines that you

[david_horsager]: kind of do every day Like I always do this for whether it’s for my mental

[david_horsager]: health, physical health, spiritual health, or other things. Are there some

[david_horsager]: habits that you like this? It really helps me on a daily basis as a leader.

[kim_harms]: I, for me, the most important habit in one I had to work at is intentional

[kim_harms]: listening. As a mediaor, I had to intentionally listen. That that taught me how

[kim_harms]: to do that. I, I tend to be, try to be a problem, sovereign and solve people’s

[kim_harms]: problems before they actually ask me to, so intentional listening. I, I have to

[kim_harms]: focus on that and intentionally do it.

[david_horsager]: Hm. Hm.

[david_horsager]: Love that. What’s what? What’s motivating you these days? You’ you get to

[david_horsager]: work with your daughters here in this kind of later work Chapter. And you’re

[david_horsager]: having a ball. But are there some things you? Uh, what’s what’s next for

[david_horsager]: Doctor Kimer, What are you thinking about and hoping for down the road?

[kim_harms]: Well, the thing that motivates me most. I have six grandchildren. Oh, my gosh,

[kim_harms]: life is great with grandchildren. They are the best and I think that as I look at

[kim_harms]: at how the world is going and what I’m doing. Uh, they motivate me to to just

[kim_harms]: keep on going, and and being to remain active and keep healthy, Because, Um, you

[kim_harms]: know you can’t replace me as a grandma. You replace me as a speaker, you replace

[kim_harms]: me of other things, but you can’t replace me as a ternal grandmother to those six

[kim_harms]: grandkids.

[david_horsager]: When’s your next trip back to Awanda?

[kim_harms]: Well, we’re planning one, maybe in well, March, or or June. You know, we’re

[kim_harms]: waiting for this whole uh cobat situation, Uh, to kind of calm down a little bit.

[kim_harms]: I, the last time I was there I, I, I think I took one of the last planes out. I

[kim_harms]: was there in

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: March of two thousand and twenty. Not a good time. Um, but it was great. I had a

[kim_harms]: great time in Rhwana. brought my niece. We had a wonderful time at getting out

[kim_harms]: with hard, Um, and they, and they’re actually very um, very careful. Rwanda is a

[kim_harms]: very low um. prevalence

[david_horsager]: Mhm, Mhm, Yeah, how many libraries now have you helped?

[kim_harms]: Over forty. Right

[david_horsager]: Yeah,

[kim_harms]: now we have over forty libraries. And uh, we just brought in another law library

[kim_harms]: and I’m working with the dental school and working with a number of dental

[kim_harms]: speakers to go out and give virtual courses there, which is fabulous

[david_horsager]: hm,

[kim_harms]: with the internet. You can have the Y in virtual courses. It’s amazing what you

[kim_harms]: could bring, you know

[david_horsager]: Mhm,

[kim_harms]: when you’re not even there. It’s just fabulous.

[david_horsager]: Well, I’ve I’ve I’ve written on it as you know. The, uh, the whole

[david_horsager]: rebuilding of trust and Rwanda, and I just think it’s an amazing story of

[david_horsager]: how trust is built when it when it just such tragic situation of neighbor

[david_horsager]: against neighbor, And there’s so so much of a great case study. They’ve done

[david_horsager]: imperfectly as we all are, but we could all learn something from that story

[kim_harms]: I think we should. All our leaders should go there as a

[david_horsager]: after.

[david_horsager]: Yeah,

[kim_harms]: part of their their education. To send all our leadings over there. Let them

[david_horsager]: yep,

[kim_harms]: have a little talk.

[david_horsager]: after the Geno set absolutely,

[kim_harms]: Yeah,

[david_horsager]: let’s do it well, Doctor H Kim. this has been a privilege and uh for

[david_horsager]: everybody out there that wants to know more. you know. it’s Doctor, Just D

[david_horsager]: R. Kimberlely harms dot Com or the dental mediator dot com. It’s the trusted

[david_horsager]: leadership or excuse me, it’s a trust the leader show, Doctor Kim. So I

[david_horsager]: always ask the final question. And that is who is a leader you trust And

[david_horsager]: why?

[kim_harms]: well, Billy Graham, I mean,

[david_horsager]: H.

[kim_harms]: he walked the walk, talk, the talk, walk the walk. He was just an amazing leader

[kim_harms]: and I, I.

[kim_harms]: I just trust him more than

[david_horsager]: Yeah,

[kim_harms]: anybody,

[david_horsager]: thank you. it’s been a treat to be back together. This has been the trusted

[david_horsager]: leadership show. I’m having trouble. I’m goingnna have to have you cut that

[david_horsager]: Kent. He’s got to cut all this at the end. I don’t know why I’m saying

[david_horsager]: leadership all the time. He’ll cut this up. Okay, I’m going to go back to

[david_horsager]: it. Hey, it has been a treat to be back together, Doctor Kim. This has Ben,

[david_horsager]: the trusted leader show until next time. Stay trusted.

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