Quality Supports People Need

  • What We Do

    IHS Services, Inc. is an Ohio-based company that provides support services to people of all ages in our community. We provide: I/O Waiver Services, Level 1 Waiver Services, Supported Living Services, Passport Services, and Private Pay Services.

  • Our Mission Statement

    IHS Services, Inc. is dedicated to facilitating a high quality of support services to enable individuals to make life choices through living, working, and community options.

  • Philosophy

    The philosophy of IHS Services, Inc. holds to the basic tenet that every human being has the right and freedom to live as independently as their capabilities allow. With this thought in mind, individuals require many kinds of assistance in their homes. IHS is committed to serving the individual in the least intrusive manner as […]

  • Management Philosophy

    IHS Services, Inc. finds that the Chain of Support is the most effective method of management for our agency. This emphasizes the team approach, which is at the heart of everything IHS does. Within this chain of support the IHS team is able to provide the varying expertise that each member of the team has […]

What Are Your Values?

How would you go about identifying your values? First, we need to look at what values are. Values are the things that are essential to you being who you are. Although we do not have one hundred percent agreement on where values come from and how they are formed in each of us, we do know that our lives are more satisfying when our actions are consistent with and a reflection of our values.

littlegirlinfieldAs infants and very young children, we receive our values directly from our environment–the people, culture and other influences that impact our lives on a daily basis. This is the time in our lives when we often don’t recognize the separateness of us and others. We start to experience pleasure and pain and form patterns of behavior in response to whether we receive mostly pleasure or mostly pain.

Once we reach the age where we recognize there is a difference between us and the world around us, we begin adopting values by imitating the behavior of the people in our lives. We quickly learn what things we do result in pleasure. We repeat these. We learn to avoid the things that bring us pain. Sometime during this period in my life I spoke up in a class and received recognition and affirmation. I liked this, and I began speaking up in class and other group settings. Interaction with others began to be remembered as a pleasurable experience and became one of the values in my life.

As we get older and ideas and philosophies become more and more a part of our lives, we begin choosing values consistent with our beliefs. These carry over into our relationships as the social aspect of our life plays a more important part in determining who we are. As an example from my life, it was at this stage of my life that my faith became the core value of my life. It began to influence more and more of the decisions that impacted my life. It came to be the defining aspect of my life.

Another way of determining your values is to answer questions centering around happiness. What things make you happy? Who are the phappychildeople in your life that you would identify as happy? Why do you view these people as happy? A lot of happiness has to do with how we live in relation to our values.

Sometimes things cause us to question our values or to act in opposition to them. Things such as health crises, death of a loved one, drastic change in our financial security can prompt us to act outside of our values. Anger is one of the emotions that can drive us to act in opposition to our values. Greed, jealousy, envy and other emotions can have the same effect.

How healthy is your life in terms of being in line with your values? A simple examination of that question and the way you answer it can go a long way toward bringing you happiness, contentment and a sense of fulfillment. So, what are your values? How consistently are you living your life in harmony with your values?

What is one simple thing you could do today to start living more in line with one or more of your values?

-David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

Is Anybody Really Listening?

Child using SmartphoneOne of the most surprising things to me is the fact that we can be connected by technology to nearly everyone in the world and still be alone. Someone commented recently on the decreasing tendency to make eye contact today. We are, it seems,becoming more and more a global village populated with isolated people. Is there anything we can do to address this concern? Yes, and it is one of the most effective communication skills there are.

Think about a time you felt absolutely alone and isolated, even if you were surrounded by other people. Now, think about a time you experienced being totally understood, accepted and appreciated, even if there was only one other person present. In fact, concentrate on the person or persons responsible for the positive experience.

Simply put, did that person who made the experience so positive demonstrate extraordinary interest in you and what was going on your life? We never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

That ability to keep the focus totally on another person is the main characteristic of someone who is adept at what is called empathic listening.

ConversationIt is both flattering and affirming to be around someone who is able to totally focus on us and what we are saying. Our normal tendencies in these situations are to listen until something triggers a story or memory of ours. We get sidetracked by sharing these stories with the other person in the belief that they will help them somehow.

The degree to which we are effective as an empathic listener is the degree to which we can avoid that behavior. Truly effective empathic listeners steer completely away from their own agenda and keep the conversation totally on the agenda being presented by the other person.

Our natural ability to do this varies from person to person. Most of us can be trained to be empathic listeners. We first have to decide this is something we want to do. We must decide the benefit of being this type of listener is worth the effort it takes to learn and practice the skills involved.

In deciding if this skill is something you want to cultivate, go back to thinking of those persons mentioned earlier, the one who had an example and a story for everything you shared and the one who seemed totally focused on you. Was there enough value in the second person to make you decide to become that type of listener.

Empathic listening is simple, but it is not easy. It sometimes takes every bit of concentration to ignore the stories, illustrations and anecdotes that keep coming to mind when listening to someone else. There is some learning involved and a great deal of trial and error. The benefits can be huge, but you may not see them immediately. Really listening to another person just might enable them to make a discovery or breakthrough in their lives.

The person you are listening to in this way will almost certainly find you a very interesting person. You will also learn a lot by focusing totally on someone else. If these sound like things that you would find interesting, then empathic listening might be a skill you would like to learn or develop further.

-David C. Bloom
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.