Embracing Civility

The REAL Healthcare Reform!

Tag: 8th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Is it Possible to Be Pro-Bullying?

October is National Anti-Bullying Month, but anti-bullying campaigns are not limited to just this month.  It’s respectable and noble to be “anti-bullying” these days.  I dare say it’s even trendy. The opposite, pro-bullying, just doesn’t exist. At least no one will admit it.

So why are there still bullies? If we are all so emphatically against it . . . and no one is for it, how can it persist, especially in healthcare?

The fact is that the pro-bullies are the bullies themselves. Bullies desperately try to hold on to their bullying ways because without bullying, they have no power. Or so they think. You see, a bully usually acts out as a means to gain or retain power. Bullying usually comes from a person in a position of power (real or imagined) and involves an abuse or misuse of this power.

Do you work with a “pro-bullying” person? Is there a possibility that you are “pro-bullying” without even knowing it? Take this quick “self-awareness” quiz. Self-awareness is when you realize that, although you are not the center of the universe, everything you say and do can have an impact on others. Bullies tend to act out in a way that demonstrates a lack of self-awareness.

Imagine this conversation between a workplace bully and her target.

Target: It seems like you are just waiting for me to do something wrong so that you can criticize me.

Bully: That’s not true. I’m just trying to make sure you are doing things safely. And it’s not criticism. I’m trying to show you how to do things the right way.

Target: But, I’m doing things the way I was taught and I AM safe.

Bully: Well, maybe you were taught wrong.

Target: Fine, if you are trying to teach me, then can you please do it in private? I don’t think it’s good for the company’s reputation when you yell at me in front of patients and our co-workers.

Bully: I wish I had time to take a break and explain your mistakes to you every time you make one. But, I am busy actually working.

Target: I heard you tell our Supervisor that I was responsible for the spill that caused Mrs. G to fall the other day. You know that’s not true. Are you trying to get me fired?

Bully: All I know is I didn’t do it and you were the only other person in that area that day. It must have been you. I’m just doing my best to keep the patients safe.

This “bully” does not see herself as a bully. She has no self-awareness of the impact of her words and actions on herself, her workplace and her co-workers. She sees herself as smarter, better and faster than everyone else. She has an inflated sense of her own worth and importance in the workplace. She thinks her “way” of doing things is the best or only way. She believes that causing a co-worker to look bad makes herself look good. Unfortunately, this is the case with most bullies.

Bullies have their own unspoken pro-bullying campaign going on. Can Pro-Bullies be turned around? You bet! Bullying is a habit . . . and habits can change. It starts with self-awareness.

If you have one or more “Pro-Bullies” in your workplace, download this printable version of the Self-Awareness quiz and give it to your supervisor for distribution. If you are the supervisor, consider putting copies of the quiz in with paychecks or other announcements. Leave a pile in the break room. Pin it up in the locker room.

If you want to take it a step further, consider implementing a full scale civility training program like the one that goes along with the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform.”

Tell us what you did or are doing to transform the pro-bullies in your workplace!

What’s Your Fire Ant Personality?

I was ambushed by an angry mob of ferocious fire ants over the weekend. And, by “ambushed” I mean I suffered three tiny, but excruciating bites. And by “angry mob” I mean I stepped into their home and they failed to welcome me with tea and cookies!

As I scratched, iced and cortisone’d my assaulted ankles I decided I should probably do a Google search to see if I needed to worry about any other symptoms or complications. Turns out—no! I didn’t seem to be allergic and I didn’t suffer enough bites to warrant a trip to the ER! Phew!

Then I stumbled on a study published a few years ago that made me think a little differently about the angry beasts. It seems they have some pretty interesting and distinct personalities!

  • About one third of the colony will play dead during an attack (from a human foot or another colony of fire ants).
  • Another third will run away.
  • The final group will stay and fight to the death. (These are the chumps that got me!)

The first group is made up of the youngest ants. After an attack they can be found curled up just like a dead ant. Then moments later they uncurl and walk away.

Middle aged ants tend to flee, which scientist think may be a tactic to protect the queen.

The eldest ants are aggressive and attack furiously. One researcher points out, “All worker ants are females, and so it’s the cranky old ladies who are the ones fighting to the death.”

Looking at the structure of the fire ant colony reminded me a little bit of the social structures found in most healthcare workplaces. It resembles how different groups deal with the pervasive culture of incivility.

New graduates curl up and play dead when attacked. They may be unsure of how to respond or may fear the consequences that may come from defending themselves.

The more experienced workers tend to cope by ignoring the problem or retreating.

You can draw your own conclusions about the third group!

The interesting thing about the comparison though is that the fire ants act this way out of a primal instinct to protect their home and their family (aka colony) from danger. That makes sense. They are tiny little creatures trying to survive in a giant’s land. But, why do we do it?

Think about the fire ants the next time you are at work. Do you play dead, retreat or fight to the death? And, why? If you play dead, you’re giving the aggressor the confirmation he or she needs to feel powerful. If you ignore the problem or retreat, you may inadvertently perpetuate the problem by “protecting the queen.”

If you’re the one on the attack, think about what you are working so hard to defend. I can assure you, it’s not as important as your home or your entire family (like it is for the fire ants).

 

It’s Here! Civility Training for Your Organization!

It’s time to order your organization’s new Civility Training Program!  We are proud to offer the only healthcare-specific civility training program designed to meet the unique needs of the healthcare environment.

Based on our popular book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform,” this program is a complete turnkey solution that contains everything you need to get a civility training program up and running with minimal effort.

Training packages are available for as few as 12 learners and come complete with a copy of The REAL Healthcare Reform for each learner and an Instructor’s Manual for the educator.

The Instructor’s Manual is full of engaging classroom activities, thought-provoking discussion questions, convenient PowerPoint presentations, tips for improving participation and a CD with master copies of all the handouts and presentations. (Read a sample chapter!)

The best part is that the program materials are appropriate for every individual in your healthcare organization, clinical and non-clinical alike. Administrators, managers, nurses, aides, secretaries, and everyone in between, will find the program easy to use and understand. In addition, the program provides six hours of inservice credit for all Certified Nursing Assistants.

Healthcare organizations who provide civility training will find that it:

1. Meets Joint Commission’s recommendations.  This program meets the Joint Commission’s recommendation to provide training that reduces “behaviors that undermine a culture of safety,” particularly intimidating and disruptive behaviors among staff members.

2. Reduces costly medical errors. Incivility ruins communication among the healthcare team and poor communication is a direct threat to patient safety. Civility training decreases dangerous and potentially deadly medical errors by improving teamwork and communication.

3. Increases employee retention. A staggering number of healthcare employees report having quit a job because of incivility. Civility Training improves employee retention at every level, saving organizations the precious time and money involved in hiring and training new employees.

4. Cuts down on “call-outs” and absenteeism. Working in a culture of incivility leads to more absenteeism.  As many as 47% of healthcare employees report spending less time at work because of incivility. Civility training creates an atmosphere that energizes and inspires those who are in it. Employees who are energized and inspired will look forward to coming to work, thus reducing the rate of absenteeism.

5. Eliminates conflict and drama. Incivility leads to conflict and conflict = DRAMA! Healthcare professionals who embrace civility are less likely to burn out, bully or “eat their young!” This means less conflict and drama in the workplace!

6. Improves patient satisfaction and enhances the organizations reputation. Disgruntled, dissatisfied and disengaged employees don’t provide quality care to the patients they serve.  This leads to a decrease in patient satisfaction. Patients who are dissatisfied with the care they receive share their negative experience with others in the community.  Healthcare organizations that embrace civility enjoy improved patient satisfaction . . . and satisfied patients who speak well of the organization in the community enhance that organization’s reputation.

The benefits of using THIS Civility Training Program include:

1. The hard part is DONE!  Our Civility Training Program will save you time, effort and money.  You don’t have to create the program yourself.  We did that for you.  And you won’t have to hire an expensive “expert” trainer to come into your facility to deliver the training. The Instructor’s Guide will show you how to seamlessly deliver the content to healthcare professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and settings with a wide range of learning styles.

2. Two simple products give you everything you need!  Our program consists of a workbook style booklet that goes hand-in-hand with the companion Instructor’s Manual. The Instructor’s Manual comes with a CD loaded with additional worksheets, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations. These two products contain everything you need to conduct your civility training.

3. It’s easy to customize the program to meet your specific needs! You can choose to arrange a full day “seminar” to cover all of the material in one day.  Or, you might like to break the content into chunks and deliver it over several shorter sessions.  This option is great for shift workers.  You can hold a morning session for one shift and an afternoon or evening session for other shifts.

4 There is a pricing option for every budget. When you are ready to order, call In the Know at (877) 809-5515 to choose the package that’s right for you. (See bulk discount pricing below.)

5. The program pays for itself. Incivility steals from your entire organization. Organizations like yours can end up paying dearly for incivility with their profit margins. In the Know’s Civility Training program will improve patient care, decrease costly medical errors and will inspire and energize your team. Best of all, it will decrease employee turnover at every level, saving you the time and money involved in hiring and training new employees.

To learn more about this new Civility Training Program, please call 877-809-5515. We are here to answer all of your questions!

Civility Training Program Package Options

Online ordering is currently not available for these packages,
so please call 877-809-5515 to place your order.

Number of Learners

Qty Discount Price Each Instructor’s Manual Your Cost
12 50% 9.97 69.99  $189.59
24 55% 8.97 69.95  $285.23
50 60% 7.98 34.98  $433.98
100 65% 6.98 34.98 $732.98
150 70% 5.98 Free $897.00
300 75% 4.98 Free $1,494.00

 

The Sinister Side of Incivility

We talk a lot about incivility in the healthcare workplace. It’s that insidious, irritating and distracting eye rolling, sarcasm, gossip and belittling we all have either witnessed or experienced. But there is a more serious side of incivility that goes beyond these minor annoyances. And that’s BULLYING.

Bullying is a much more sinister form of incivility that can have devastating emotional effects on workers, costly financial consequences for employers and dangerous or even deadly outcomes for patients.

Are you being bullied at work? If so, get help now!

Here is a helpful graphic that is full of terrific advice
from the folks at Career Journey in the UK.

Source: Career Journey

The Word ‘Bully’ Causes a Collective Clam-up

workplace bullying, incivility, workplace incivility, civility training, adult bully, bullyingWhat’s the best way to get people to STOP discussing the problem of workplace bullying? Just use the word ‘bully.’

This year’s 8th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment presented many new studies on the definition, the extensiveness and the consequences of bullying in the workplace. However, an unintended discovery emerged amongst the research.

As it turns out, many of the scholars who study workplace bullying found that they routinely came up empty handed when they tried to interview employees about this taboo topic. It seems that the word ‘bully’ causes people to clam-up.

It’s not clear why people are reluctant to discuss ‘bullying.’  Perhaps it causes fear in those who have experienced or witnessed bullying. Maybe it just makes people uncomfortable. Maybe it leads the bullies to become resentful, defensive or paranoid.  Whatever the reason, it does no good to close the door on the conversation.

This realization led researchers down a completely novel path.  Instead of asking workers about ‘bullying,’ they asked their subjects to describe ‘incivility’—and it worked! Researchers that used the word ‘bully’ found employees that were reluctant to discuss or even acknowledge the problem, while those that used the term ‘incivility’ got employees to open up.

What does this mean for organizations that battle the problem of workplace bullying?

We already know you can’t change problem behaviors or reverse a toxic culture unless you get it out in the open and talk about it. And, now we know that the best way to get people to talk about it is to substitute the word ‘bully’ with the term ‘incivility.’ Sounds simple enough, right?

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that bullying is still a major issue in the workplace that can have devastating emotional effects on workers and costly financial consequences for employers. However, to reframe it (and keep the conversation open) ‘bullying’ can be categorized under the larger umbrella of issues related to incivility. Incivility includes:

– Using demeaning or disparaging language, gestures or behaviors, such as eye rolling and sarcasm.

– Participating in gossip or slander.

– Using fear or power to intimidate others.

– Intentionally sabotaging others.

– Bullying or using misguided power to control others.

– Putting offensive language in writing, such as in email or Facebook posts.

– Participating in “hate-ism” or targeting people based on rank, age, gender, race or sexual orientation.

What do you think? Can changing one word help change the culture in your workplace? Let us know your thoughts.  We love hearing from you.

 

Resources:
New Method Gets Staff to Discuss Workplace Bullying, by Sybille Hildebrandt
The 8th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment -Future Challenges, Book of Proceedings

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