Embracing Civility

The REAL Healthcare Reform!

Tag: workplace incivility (page 1 of 4)

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: 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!

Are You Fed Up?

If you are fed up with incivility in your healthcare workplace, watch this:

http://youtu.be/MJaxQNsRCUI&rel=0

Today ONLY!

discount

ITK is at it again! Check out their Deal of the Day!

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!

 

UNLESS . . .

unless

In the legendary words of the Once-ler from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax,

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.

The healthcare industry needs YOU to reverse the culture of incivility.  It all starts with you!

“Working in the healthcare environment is unlike any other professional situation.   The medical field is stressful, fast paced, competitive, highly technical and constantly evolving.  And, because human lives are at stake, those of us in healthcare shoulder a heavy responsibility.

When all of these factors combine, workers tend to feel powerless, stressed out, depressed and even angry.

People who feel powerless and angry are more likely to assert misguided power by abusing others.  That’s one reason why many healthcare environments are plagued by hostility, gossip, bullying and unhealthy competition—leading to a widespread culture of incivility.

We believe that the “shortage” of healthcare workers may, in fact, just be a shortage of workers willing to work under these conditions—and we want to inspire you to make some changes.”

Excerpt from The REAL Healthcare Reform:
How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout
and Revive You Healthcare Career

So, if you feel burned out, beaten up, disrespected or just plain discouraged about your job in healthcare, it’s time to read . . .

How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career

The REAL Healthcare Reform: How Embracing Civility Can Beat Back Burnout and Revive Your Healthcare Career

 

And will you succeed Dr Seuss quote

 

Scrubs Magazine Explores Toxic Nursing Relationships

The Fall 2013 issue of Scrubs Magazine began investigating the growing problem of incivility in the healthcare workplace.  We were interviewed and our Self Awareness Quiz was included in an article called “Build Emotional Resistance.”

We’re happy to see Scrubs Magazine is taking it even further!  The Spring 2014 issue covered examples of toxic relationships. And now, their website has even more for you to chew on!

5 articles you can’t miss on toxic nursing (via http://scrubsmag.com/)

Feeling like someone at work is out to get you? Dealing more with politics than your patients? Are you a new nurse who can’t get anything right…at least, if your coworkers are to be believed? You might be in a toxic work environment. In the Spring…

Continue reading

“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!

 

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!

The Deal of the Day at ITK!

CTP package

If you’ve been waiting for our complete Civility Training Program to go on sale, then today is your day! Head over to ITK for the deal-of-the-day on the Civility Training Program for 12 Learners.

The package was custom designed for organizations with 12 or fewer employees.  You’ll get 12 copies of the book, “The REAL Healthcare Reform” (read sample pages), and 1 copy of the Companion Instructor’s Manual (read sample pages).

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

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