Embracing Civility

The REAL Healthcare Reform!

Tag: getting along with co-workers (page 1 of 2)

8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Co-Worker

You come across all kinds of different people in your job!  And different people have different personalities!

Your “personality” is a combination of all your mannerisms, quirks and behavior patterns that make up your character. It’s what makes you “You!”  How you see the world, your attitude, thoughts, and feelings are all part of your personality. 

Personality is usually formed at an early age.  We take cues from our family, friends, teachers and other influential people.  We try out different attitudes and behaviors and we stick with what works!

  • People with healthy personalities are able to cope with normal stresses and have no trouble communicating their needs and forming relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.
  • People who tend to be “difficult” when faced with stress may have trouble communicating their needs, forming relationships, or getting what they want out if life.

Getting along with all kinds of people (with a variety of different personalities) is part of your job.  That means, whether you like it or not, you have to find a way to handle people with difficult personalities.

HERE’S THE HARD TRUTH: No matter how hard you try, you will NEVER change other people!

The key to dealing with difficult people is changing the way you react to the situation!  Your attitude and communication skills will make all the difference!

Here are 8 things you can do when faced with a difficult person at work:

  1. Keep your cool. Whether your co-worker is yelling, complaining, criticizing or blaming, just  stand still, looking directly at the person…and wait.  This gives the person a chance to get all their anger out.
  2. Don’t be the “floor show.” If a co-worker wants to squabble in front of the team, calmly say, “I want to hear everything you have to say, but not here where it might disturb others.  Let’s go somewhere private.”
  3. Take ten.  Remember that old “rule” about counting to ten?  It really does work.  If you’re having trouble with #1 (keeping your cool), remove yourself from the situation, breathe slowly and count to ten.  When you’re ready, go back and handle the situation.
  4. Be the boss. Don’t allow other people to control your moods. This gives others entirely too much power over you.  So, if you’re in a good mood, don’t let someone else’s grouchy attitude bring you down.
  5. Focus on actions. When dealing with a difficult person, focus on the particular behaviors you don’t like…rather than just labeling the person.  For example, instead of saying, “You’re always so rude” try saying, “I feel hurt when you ignore me.”
  6. Be your own cheerleader. The next time you have to work with a difficult person, give yourself a little “pep talk.”  Tell yourself, “I’m ready for this.  I can handle whatever happens today.  I will not get upset, no matter what.”
  7. Play it back in your head. If you saw a videotape of yourself from a recent confrontation with a difficult person, would you be embarrassed by your own behavior?  If so, how would you like to see yourself behave?
  8. Save your strength. Don’t waste your energy trying to change people who behave in a difficult manner.  Instead, work on changing the way you react to their behavior.

HEY TRAINERS AND EDUCATORS! Here’s an activity from the Instructor’s Manual for “The REAL Healthcare Reform Civility Training Program.  Use this activity to practice ways to resolve common work related conflicts.

Download the Activity!

When Sympathy is Not Enough . . .

All of us at Embracing Civility are honored to have Corey Anne Rotella, CNA, lend her very special voice to our blog as a regular contributor. Corey has worked on the frontlines of long term care since 2008. As she states, “Sometimes, you pick a career and sometimes a career picks you. In my case, the latter is true.”  (You can read more about Corey below.)

Here, Corey shares her thoughts on the importance of empathy in healthcare:

judy garland2Even before becoming a nursing assistant, I considered myself to be a sympathetic person, capable of feeling great sorrow for those in less fortunate circumstances. I would think, “Those poor homeless, sick, or emotionally disturbed people. How very sorry I feel for them!” Such feelings of sympathy tugged at my heart—but not for long. They moved quickly to the back burner, replaced by the routine of my own daily life.

The hard truth is that those fleeting moments of sorrow were really about ME. I had no idea what the people in those situations were going through, emotionally, mentally or physically. I only knew that it was far worse than anything that was happening to me. I realized that, in my sympathy, I was wishing I could pull them up to my level–without having any real understanding of their current struggles.

That’s the trouble with sympathy…
it’s all about the sympathizer.
That’s why the feelings fade.

It’s like those memes you see on Facebook: “Can I get a thousand likes for this child with cancer?” Or, “Repost this picture of an injured animal; otherwise you support animal abuse!”

Messages like these fly through the internet at a dizzying pace, forgotten in days, if not hours, and replaced with something else that MUST BE RE-POSTED. While it is a nice to know that people do care about others, this “sympathy” does nothing to enact lasting change.

Sympathy is a good beginning, but it doesn’t run deeply enough to foster the kind of understanding that we can use to ultimately heal one another. That’s why, in healthcare, sympathy by itself is a useless emotion! In this field, we have to meet people where they are rather than attempt to pull them “up” to where we are. To accomplish this, we need empathy.

Empathy is the ability to walk in another’s shoes. It is a skill, and like any skill, it requires both thought and practice. It takes time to develop but the value of empathy in every walk of life cannot be overstated.

But how can a young, healthy person possibly understand what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s or cancer? How do you walk in the shoes of someone living with mental illness or who is facing a terminal illness?

The most honest answer is that we can’t. Not exactly. But we CAN relate. Every one of us brings our own unique set of experiences to each situation. For example, I don’t know what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s disease, but I do know what it is like to feel as if I am not valued. I do know what it’s like to feel scared. I do know what it’s like to need help and not know where to turn. Someone living with Alzheimer’s is probably feeling all of those emotions.

I am able to use my own experiences to identify and relate to their troubles. I can apply what helped me through my difficulties to help them with theirs. So, where sympathy is passive (you feel it and move on), empathy is active, creative and helpful.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to everyone’s problem, but the ability to genuinely empathize with others opens the door to solutions.

Empathy is equally important when engaging with co-workers.

One of my favorite parts of working in healthcare is the diversity. We interact with people from a variety of educational, cultural and economic backgrounds—and we all bring something different to the table.

Things run smoothest when we can all relate to and understand each other without prejudging or making assumptions. Unfortunately, prejudging and making assumptions about others is prevalent in the healthcare field, and patients suffer because of it.

Look around at your team. Can you be more helpful and understanding to the new girl who speaks English as a second language? What about the older nurse who is burned out and crabby? Can you imagine the pressure that doctor feels? And someone in billing just lost her husband to cancer.

It’s not enough just to feel sorry for these people. EMPATHY is the only thing that helps. Empathy creates bridges and bonds. It helps people feel safe. It fosters an environment where everyone feels supported and valued.

Whether you work in housekeeping or perform brain surgery, empathy is a skill everyone can improve upon! We must all remember that (regardless of our differences) we have all experienced the same emotions and we are all working towards the same goals. If we can do this, then we can achieve a more productive, healthier, and happier work environment.


Here’s more about Corey Anne Rotella, in her own words:

Corey2“At first, I worked in the housekeeping department at an assisted living facility until I could afford to take the state test. Then I moved up to CNA. I also have my Medication Aid certification, but my heart is on the floor, where I can interact, observe and care for my residents.  My priority is taking time with my residents so that they know they are valued as human beings.  At the end of the day, don’t we all need to know that?

What I love most about my job as a CNA is that every single lesson I learn at work can be applied in all areas of my life.  A lifelong chronicler, I began to fuse my two passions and write about my work experiences, my perceptions and the issues that we all face in the healthcare system–patients and workers alike.

Your Next Staff Reward Just Got More Affordable!

giftLooking for an innovative way to reward and inspire your team? It’s probably safe to assume they have enough pens, key chains, water bottles and canvas tote bags!

Before you order your next trinket or doodad, ask yourself if any of those giveaways ever really made a change. For example:

– Did your customized water bottles ever reduce costly medical errors?

– Did the pens and key chains increase employee retention?

– Did the canvas tote bags improve client satisfaction or enhance your organization’s reputation?

Chances are good that your answers are “No, no and no!” So, why keep doing it?

Instead of the typical gimmicks and giveaways, make your incentive dollars count!  Give a gift that shows just how much you value your employees, your clients and your organization.

Head over to In the Know for Today’s Deal of the Day!!!

TODAY ONLY, you can get an amazing deal on 24 copies of “The REAL Healthcare Reform: How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career” to give as your next incentive gift!

By giving “The REAL Healthcare Reform” to your team, you will

  • Encourage civility,
  • Promote healthy teamwork,
  • Enhance your team’s communication,
  • Decrease your turnover rate,
  • Improve client care, and
  • Reduce costly medical errors.

That’s a valuable return you won’t get by giving t-shirts or tote bags!

As the old birds sing . . .

birdI’m always fascinated by the “words of wisdom” that come from other cultures. For instance, in Italy they say “Cercare il pelo nell’ uovo,” which means to “look for the hair in the egg,” or in other words, to find fault or nit-pick!

In Spanish, I’m drawn to “Poco a poco se anda lejos.” This translates to “Little by little, one goes far.”

And now, thanks to Linda Leekley, my new favorite Norwegian expression is “Some dei gamle sungo, so kveda dei unge.” In her latest blog post over at In the Know, Linda translates it to “As the old birds sing, so do the young ones tweet.”

And as it turns out, it’s a good lesson for some of us “Old Bird” nurses!

Linda writes: 

Blog Quote from Linda Leekley at In the Know.

Thanks for the great lesson, Linda! 

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

 

Are You Spreading Specific and Measurable Sunshine?

“A compliment is verbal sunshine” 

~ Robert Orben

Our sister blog, nurse-aide.com challenges us all to be more than just generous with our compliments. Linda Leekley, BS RN believes we need to make compliments really count by carefully crafting them to be specific and measurable! She writes:

Read the entire post here!

Now you try it! Set a goal for yourself to give at least one specific and measurable compliment to someone who deserves it every day! Check back and let us know how it works! We love to hear your success stories!

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

Nurse Managers: Ditch the Trinkets, Trophies and Doodads!

Looking for an innovative way to reward and inspire your team? It’s probably safe to assume they have enough pens, key chains, water bottles and canvas tote bags!

Before you order your next trinket or chachki, ask yourself if any of those giveaways ever really made a change. For example:

– Did your customized water bottles ever reduce costly medical errors?

– Did the pens and key chains increase employee retention?

– Did the canvas tote bags improve client satisfaction or enhance your organization’s reputation?

The Real Healthcare ReformChances are good that your answers are “No, no and no!” So, why keep doing it?

Instead of the typical gimmicks and giveaways, make your incentive dollars count!  Give a gift that shows just how much you value your employees, your clients and your organization.

Give the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform: How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career” as your next incentive gift!

By giving “The REAL Healthcare Reform” to your team, you will

    • Encourage civility,
    • Promote healthy teamwork,
    • Enhance your team’s communication,
    • Decrease your turnover rate,
    • Improve client care, and
    • Reduce costly medical errors.

That’s a valuable return you won’t get by giving t-shirts or tote bags!

With special bulk pricing in place, you can put of a copy of “The REAL Healthcare Reform” into the hands of every member of your organization for as little as $4.98 each. Here are your options:

Quantity
of Books

Qty
Discount

Price
Each

Your
Cost

12

50%

9.97

$119.64

24

55%

8.97

$215.28

50

60%

7.98

$399.00

100

65%

6.98

$698.00

150

70%

5.98

$897.00

300

75%

4.98

$1,494.00


List Price:  Book / Instructor’s Manual
$19.95 ea. /  $125.00 ea.

Click here to learn more about
“The REAL Healthcare Reform” and read a sample chapter!

 

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