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The Wayne Township Trustee Office mission is to provide prompt, necessary relief to eligible citizens and residents of our community. We are dedicated to the important role of providing temporary emergency assistance to those whose personal efforts have not enabled them to meet life's challenges on their own. Respect and service are key elements to serving our clients.

With that being said, it is important to me to develop a staff that is highly proficient at accomplishing our mission. Everyone benefits from an environment where respect and service are active. In order to improve our performance, I invited John Beams from the Center of Nonviolence, Inc. to provide an intense training program on personal issues and biases that could potentially impact the service that we provide to our clients.

Three sessions were held on the topic of "Anger Management" and the effects in the workplace. Very early in the presentation we were given a review of providing quality customer service in a respectful, service-oriented, and productive environment, even under the most difficult circumstances.

Throughout the sessions, each of us was given the opportunity to take a deeper look into key elements of our organization's report card on respect and service. John led our staff in a brainstorm activity that challenged us to take customer service at Wayne Township Trustee Office to another level.

This exercise was presented from the client's perspective. I closed my eyes and began to think of a person receiving services from Wayne Township Trustee Office. I became that person for two minutes. I began to think like the client. I began to feel what the clients may be feeling when they come to seek assistance. Then I paused and became an advocate for that person. The question was asked, "As a professional working with people in need, are you in a position to alleviate suffering, or increase the suffering of the people in need?"

John delivered revelation delicately and effectively. His expertise was like that of a surgeon as he effectively dissected our responses; and lead us into a discussion that helped each of us to be mindful and aware of the humanity of people in need. Everyone regardless of their circumstances should be treated with respect and dignity. That is our ultimate goal at The Township.

The discussion topic of Anger Management, included issues of respect, dignity, attitude and service. All elements were pertinent to evaluating our attitudes and personal biases that could potentially impact the services that we provide. We all know what anger is, and we've all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. We all understood innately that uncontrolled anger can have negative effects. Yes, anger is a completely normal, human emotion, but when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—at work and in the overall quality of your life.

John continued his instruction and we learned that you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, by taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and allow the feelings to subside.

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them. However, you can learn to control your reactions. I am encouraged and inspired to strive towards what is important, and that is to provide excellent service to our clients at all times. Stay tuned for Part II.

Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
www.waynetownship.org


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