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Bullies Go Home! Part 1

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Bullying is a much talked about subject but most of us still relate it to the schoolyard bully. The typical poking fun or name-calling that occurs as we grow into adulthood.

Workplace bullying can be much more inclusive. It can take on a wide range of definitions and of course as we get smarter, the more creative the bully becomes.

“Unlike the typical forms of school bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace is in the majority of cases reported as having been perpetrated by management and takes a wide variety of forms. Bullying can be covert or overt.” Source.

Nearly 49% of all American workers report that they have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker. The effects of bullying can be numerous and all-encompassing. It can affect not only the individual, but all those that surround him/her.

So I ask you – WHY do bullies exist?

More on bully strategies in Part 2.

The Golden Key

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I had never aspired to be a Nurse Manager because I felt it was a no-win position. Had seen co-workers move ‘up’ to this position and change. Everyone seemed to stop liking them as they turned cranky…sqeezed tightly between the bedside nurse as advocate and upper management who had pre-existing agendas.

Funny how we view things before having lived similar experiences. Most in healthcare are thrust into these roles without any support – whether PD, mentorship, or experience outside of “the institution”.

Don’t wait for your organization to hand you the golden key. Read, ask questions, then read some more. Do some volunteer work around your own unit, your child’s school, or another local organization where expectations are not as great or time-sensitive. This work will eventually pay off in spades!

Let us never be betrayed into saying we have finished our education; because that would mean we had stopped growing. – Julia H. Gulliver

Dreams of Nursing

December 19, 2011 1 comment

I never knew I was an entrepreneur…and I certainly never dreamt of being both a nurse and entrepreneur!

Looking back, it is much more clear to me but during my 20s, I was so lost – could never seem to find my “niche”. I generally lasted only a couple of years at any one place – med-surg, then CCU, then Addictions, then NNICU, then Flight Nursing, then Education…ahhh. I actually loved all of them but I didn’t know why I got that itch to move on after only a few years.

I was 12 years old when I applied to be a volunteer at our local hospital..always knew I wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, they told me I had to be 13. My birthday was in November and I had applied the summer before by teen years began. After being rejected, I decided stubbornly to type a letter to the Director asking her to please make an exception.

She said YES! I had a fabulous 3 summers volunteering with the elderly and hearing-impaired children…and the first time I got what I wanted (outside of pitching a fit to torchor my parents).

Coming full circle and after all of those years moving around, I finally found my “niche” and the reason I chose Nursing in the first place…to learn something new every day and the flexibility of CHOICE.

Courage to Fail

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Mistakes….we all make them and some live for them – I do!

My ex-CEO who is a wise and white-haired man shared something with me that I have never forgotten. He said, “I knew that I had done my job well as a father when my daughter experienced her first failure”. I didn’t initially understand what he was getting at until he qualified it with, “It was then I knew she had the courage to fail…and that is one of the greatest gifts a parent can pass along to his or her child”.

It really changed my perspective towards my own mistakes (my folks should be REALLY proud) and the mistakes my children will eventually make.

Thanks Old Man:)

Leader? Manager?

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

What does it really mean to be a leader? After many years of not paying attention to what this word truly meant, I’ve realized that being a leader or becoming one is one of the toughest things to do.

A leader is someone that everyone wants to follow – because they have a clear vision and know how to communicate it. Leaders make us feel secure, they renew our energy, and they LISTEN. Although they may not always take action, or even be in the position to take action, they still acknowledge.

A manager is not necessarily a leader and a leader is not necessarily in a management role. That is an important distinction to make. You can be on the lowest ‘rung’ of any organizational ladder and still be an effective leader. Even in my children’s cliques, a leader can always be identified. We heard a lot about self-actualization in nursing school and indeed, that is critical to becoming a leader. One has to eliminate ego, be a good listener, and be non-judgemental. You have to be self-assured and comfortable in your own skin.

Generally, this is only achieved as a child or teen (because they are too ignorant to know that they don’t know everything), which is why peer pressure is so huge in this population. The other, is after life experience. Some get this sooner than others and some will never get it.

Bottom line, the sign of a good leader is the person who has many willing followers. When you look behind you, are there people there?

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