Embracing Civility

The REAL Healthcare Reform!

Tag: relationships at work (page 1 of 3)

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!

Drill Down to Basics

basic-needs
I heard the yelling long before I saw the resident and her Aide struggling their way to the dining room.

I was sitting in a small med room just off the dining room in the locked Memory Care unit of an Assisted Living Facility.

The Aide seemed to have everything under control, so I waited and listened.

The resident was agitated.  The Aide spoke in a soothing voice.

The resident started ripping off her clothes.  The Aide gently re-routed her to a bathroom for privacy.

The resident screamed profanities from the bathroom.  The Aide waited patiently with her.

The resident tried to hit the Aide.  The Aide stood at the door and asked her co-worker to “bring the tray.”

A breakfast tray was handed off to the bathroom.

I could hear the Aide calmly say through the resident’s shrieks and screams, “Here’s your bacon.  You love bacon.”  And, “Oooh, you have a biscuit this morning.  Wanna try a bite?”

The cursing and shouting slowed, and then stopped.

A few minutes later, a quiet (and fully dressed) resident and her Aide emerged from the bathroom and sat down at a table to finish breakfast.

When the episode was over, I couldn’t help but think about this commercial!

In the old days, this type of resident behavior may have resulted in some sort of restraint.  Today, most healthcare environments are restraint-free.  That means we need to have more creative solutions!

In this case, the Aide used a method I call, “Drilling Down to Basics.”  The idea is that when a resident becomes agitated or combative, there’s a good chance that one of his or her “basic needs” is not being met.  The basic needs are hungry, thirsty, tired, lonely or in some sort of pain.  So the caregiver identifies the basic need that is not being met and meets it!

In this case, the resident was hungry.

As the episode resolved, the mood in the room returned to normal and everyone went about their business.

But that’s when I started thinking about how this may relate to incivility and dealing with difficult co-workers or your own difficult behaviors.

The resident in this scenario had Alzheimer’s disease which made it nearly impossible for her to express her needs.  People without AD can’t use that excuse!  But it’s possible that the same dynamic is in play.

I can’t speak for other people, but I know for a fact:

  • I’m grumpier when I’m hungry. 
  • I’m shorter-tempered when I’m tired. 
  • And I can be downright mean when I’m in pain. 

And to make matters worse, it’s difficult be objective about yourself and connect these behaviors to your own basic needs that are not being met.

So here’s my challenge to you:

The next time someone is being rude, mean or raging-on irrationally, remember the Aide in the Memory Care unit.  Stay calm.  Speak kindly and gently.  Remain patient.  Then try to get to the root of the problem.

Offer to get the person a snack.  Suggest they take a break, if possible.  Ask her if she’s feeling okay.  There’s a good chance one of these suggestions will hit her right where she needs it.

If you find yourself being rude or irrational, be your own Aide.  Step back and assess your own basic needs.  Take care of yourself.

pitcher2

Survey Results: A Disturbing Trend

shockedOkay, remember that survey we started a few weeks ago dealing with bad bosses? Well, after weeding through hundreds of responses, we narrowed down a disturbing trend.

Here are the results:

I have (or had) a bad boss . . .
44% said Right now <~~~ Not too shocking.
31% said At my last job
25 % said A while ago
0% said Never

The problem with this supervisor is (or was) his (or her) . . .
31% said Incompetence <~~~ An expected response.
25% said Mean or thoughtless comments
19% said Lack of professionalism
13% said Other
6% said Absence (never around when needed)
6% had No response

What I did (or will do) about it . . .
38% said Talk to my Supervisor’s boss <~~~ Completely normal action to take.
19% said Talk to my Supervisor
13% said Talk to my co-workers
13% said Look for another job
13% said Quit
4% said Nothing

Did your actions solve the problem?
99.35% said No <~~~ Wait. What? Now this is DISTURBING!
Less than 1% said Yes

Nearly no one felt like their actions solved the problem. That’s just discouraging and . . . um . . . depressing.

When I realized where the results were going, I started to scour the web looking for experts who gave “the best advice” for handling a bad boss.

I found experts who said, “just quit.” But how does that solve the problem? It just leaves the bad boss in place to torment others.

I found experts who said, “You must go to HR.” Really? And that solves what?

I looked in our own book and found the section titled When It’s Not You It’s Your Supervisor, which I posted along with the survey. It’s good advice, but I kept looking.

shocked2Then, I found something that KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF!

Alice, a CNA who writes for a blog called CNA Edge gave this advice in a recent post:

“. . . there is a freedom in having poor leadership. It means we either learn how to become leaders ourselves or we let the system beat us down.  We learn to not just survive in these impossible situations, but thrive. We excel, when they treat us as disposable, we rise above the sniping and backbiting and keep moving forward.”

“If enough of us do this, consistently and not just when it’s easy, we will become an asset that anyone with any sense will be loath to lose. And we will be doing this on our own terms for our own reasons. We will lead by example. If we do that, eventually we will have a voice that people will not be able to ignore.”

I love Alice’s advice because it reminds us that the only thing we are REALLY in charge of is ourselves. It’s probably safe to assume that NOTHING is going to change your bad boss until he or she is ready to change.  But you can change the way you deal with the crappy situation!

Can you take Alice’s advice and find the
“freedom” that comes with having poor leadership?

Will you step up and take the lead?

How can you be the best example of leadership
when the actual leaders are blowing it?

It’s a BIG Deal!

dealThe Deal of the Day is here again!
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a Complete Civility Training Program
for up to 24 participants!

THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES:

24 copies of the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform” (read sample pages).

1 copy of the Companion Instructor’s Manual (read sample pages). The Instructor’s Manual includes:

  • Engaging classroom activities.
  • Enlightening PowerPoint presentations.
  • Thought provoking discussion questions.
  • Simple tips for improving participation in discussions.
  • Presentation tips to keep your organized and energized.
  • Fun and challenging “5 minute quizzes” to test your learners’ knowledge following each lesson.
  • Master copies of all the handouts, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations on CD.

This deal is too good to pass up!  Click her to ORDER NOW!  The deal ends at midnight tonight.

Hating Your Job? Are You the Workplace Grouch?

“So, how was your day?” is a question you may be asked, well, every day. Do you answer honestly? Do you gloss over the stressful moments and face-palms? Or do you answer by focusing almost entirely on them? Maybe you just respond with something like “It’s good, now that it’s over.”

The vast majority of workers are not satisfied with their jobs. This is not necessarily a matter of the grass being greener somewhere -anywhere- else. The overwhelming issue contributing to dissatisfaction is not usually compensation, job duties, career opportunities, or even hours worked.

Taken alone, devoid of all the aggravating accoutrements, you might actually enjoy the job you hold. After all, didn’t you seek out and actively pursue this position? Remember how great the first few days on the job felt? You probably felt proud of yourself for landing that first interview, then beating out the competition and telling all your family and friends about how the hiring manager loved your resume/work ethic/test score/shoes.

Well, what happened? Fast forward five years: you’ve been slogging it out for what seems like a lifetime and dread walking in the door every morning. You snatch glimpses of the clock at work and sigh when only a few minutes pass between glances. No amount of will or wishing makes it tick any faster.

In many cases you can blame it on the workload, low pay, lack of promotion potential, and weak coffee in the break-room. But do those things really make you loathe your job? Lots of people love their low paying jobs. Lots of people work hard in dead end jobs. Lots of people suffer weak coffee. I’m not sure that’s why the workforce is not satisfied.

But there’s another big one: what about your workplace environment? Your coworkers, your customers, your bosses. How do they make you feel? Do you look forward to seeing them every day? If you’re like most, you have a work friend or two, and most everyone else you can stand, at least for a while. But there’s always one or two unkind folks that just drag the whole place down. Or what about that spiteful customer that just loves to watch you squirm? Doesn’t that make you just want to throw whatever’s in your arms straight to the ground and stomp out for good?

I submit thus the reason why you hate your job. Negativity has struck, at least in your own head, but maybe even the entire workplace is infected with it (kind of like the stomach bug passed around at the last Christmas party).  Maybe (probably), you and everyone around you already know this. So, what’s the big deal? Isn’t everyone negative at work? That may seem to be a legitimate excuse. Everyone hates their job, so why shouldn’t I? Guess what? You are part of the problem!

funny_cartoon_new_year_resolutions_calvin_and_hobbes

Well, here’s your dose of antidote to the poison that ails you. Civility. Yes, civility. What is it? And should it matter in the slightest? Most people equate it to being polite and meek. Something expected of you as a child. But that is not really accurate- it is a mature and self-respecting state of being. Here are a few other things it isn’t: a desire to create a faux pleasant atmosphere at your own expense. Civility is not about letting aggressive people stand on your exposed soft parts.

A couple more things that it is: self-control, self-reflection, maturity, taking responsibility for yourself, managing your export. Export in this sense means the manner in which you present yourself, speak to others and non-verbally communicate. Imagine how much better you would feel if you controlled the environment around you, especially pertaining to those negative people that bring you down. They’ve turned you to the dark side! Get back on track by retaking the initiative and choosing your own path.

I don’t have a personally relatable anecdote for each and every person out there who needs to learn or become reacquainted with civility. But I have a guide for you, and a good one at that. It’s called Get the Grouch Out! How Embracing Civility Can Banish Bad Behaviors and Create a More Respectful and Productive Workplace.

grouch_frontcover

Here are some of the things you should be able to internalize and practice by reading this guidebook:

  • Learn to self-reflect and self-manage.
  • Focus on your integrity.
  • Recognize how you present yourself to others.
  • Control your negative moods.
  • Deal with difficult people.
  • Maintain professional relationships.
  • Communicate properly with a team.
  • Fix structural workplace problems from within.

As a whole, the guide will show you that to empower yourself with personal control is to be in a civil state of being. It shows that adhering to a method of personal control and owning your own path to happiness and success is a gift everyone can and should give to themselves right now. Go get it for yourself now on Kindle, and take your workplace back!

Survey: Tell Us about Your Bad Boss!

bad bossAt some point, just about everyone experiences
the agony of a bad boss.

But what do you do about it? Sometimes it helps
to know what others do in the same situation.

Take this short survey.
It’s completely anonymous!
We’ll gather answers and post results in about a week!

While you wait for results . . .

If you’re dealing with a difficult supervisor right now, there are a few things you can try to make the situation a little less frustrating.  Here’s an except from The REAL Healthcare Reform:

When It’s Not You…It’s Your Supervisor!

Resolving problems with a “boss” can be tricky, especially if that person has the power to make your job difficult (or make it go away). 

Here are some tips for getting along with your supervisor, even if you don’t always see eye to eye:

  • Review the expectations.  Make sure that your priorities match what your supervisor expects of you.  You’ll never measure up to your supervisor’s expectations if you don’t know what they are!
  • Remain professional.  Remember that you are there to provide care to your        patients—not to make friends.  As a professional, your goal is to get the job done and carry out your supervisor’s instructions.
  • Don’t expect to change others.  If you work for a “difficult” supervisor, there is probably nothing you can do to change his or her behavior.  The only thing you can control is your own attitude about that person.
  • Take a deep breath.  If a supervisor criticizes your performance, take a deep breath and look at the situation objectively.  Did you really do your best?  Keep in mind that constructive criticism gives us an opportunity to learn and grow professionally.
  • Keep emotions out of it.  If a supervisor confronts you about something, remain calm.  If you let yourself react emotionally, the situation can turn into a “war” where you and your supervisor are fighting about who is right.  Instead, simply say, “I understand.  Thank you for the information.”  Or, try asking for advice and ideas about how your work can be improved.
  • Be careful about complaining.  It may be tempting to complain about your supervisor to your co-workers.  But, be careful!  You may wind up being labeled as a chronic complainer instead of a team player—and your negative comments about your supervisor may get back to him or her and can be used against you.

What’s your solution? Feel free to tell us your
“bad boss” story in the comments below!

Today ONLY!

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Today only, get a Complete Civility Training Program for up to 24 learners
for under $10 per person

This package was custom designed for organizations with 24 or fewer employees.  You’ll get 24 copies of the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform” (read sample pages), and 1 copy of the Companion Instructor’s Manual (read sample pages).

Get more details and order HERE today!

Don’t delay! This deal expires at midnight tonight!

 

“OMG, She’s Driving Me NUTS!” 8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Co-Worker

difficult

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. If someone is yelling at you, crying or complaining loudly, try standing still, looking directly at the person…and waiting.  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, you might also try saying, “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.  The next time you feel angry or upset with a coworker, breathe slowly and count to ten—before you speak.  You’ll feel better about the way you handle the situation.
  4. Be the boss. Don’t allow other people to control your moods.  If you do, you are giving them tremendous 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!

 

How Do You Handle Criticism?

I recently watched this video series from Jimmy Kimmel where celebrities read the “Mean Tweets” that people post about them on Twitter.

Everyone’s a critic these days!  Our ultra-connected, mostly-anonymous online lives allow us to criticize products we buy on Amazon or to “review” services like restaurants on Yelp.  Every day, millions of us go online to publicly criticize movies, books, gardeners, restaurants, doctors, dentists, actors, day cares and even public schools.

Here’s a funny series where children’s book authors read their 1 star reviews from Amazon!

You can look up “reviews” on anything.  Go ahead try it!  It doesn’t even have to be something you spend money on.  For instance, you can look up “reviews” on public parks near your home and, believe it or not, you’ll find someone who has a complaint!

Chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’re not a celebrity!  But, on a smaller (and less public scale) you still have to deal with criticism and complaints from clients, co-workers, supervisors and maybe even your own family.

So what’s the best way to respond to a complaint? Or more importantly, how do you respond with civility when the complaint does not contain one shred of civility toward you?

By chance, or luck, or fate, whatever you call it. I received an email this morning from “The Universe,” (I subscribe to the website, Notes from the Universe!) and here is what it said:

Stacey, the trouble with troublesome people is that they often have much to teach to those they trouble.

Love ’em all,
The Universe

Well, that works! I can do that.  Can you?

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!

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