Lousy Lettuce, a Rare Steak, and the Absence of Purpose

restaurantYesterday was my birthday. It was a little disappointing.

As is customary, my wife and I and our two children planned to enjoy dinner out at a local restaurant. I looked forward to it all week, as I do most of the cooking in our house. A good meal at a nice restaurant that I neither have to prepare or clean up is certainly a nice birthday gift.

When our salads were brought to the table, I sighed. Underneath the fresh tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and oversized croutons was a bed of greens, many of which were black and slimy around the edges. “My lettuce is rotten,” I told my wife. “Check your salad.” Unfortunately, her salad was also in bad shape. Continue reading

How to Improve ANY Part of your Healthcare Team’s Performance

String-around-fingerThink back to your first week at your current job. Did you go through an orientation program? Did your new boss go over information and materials with you? Did you shadow someone who reviewed processes and procedures or do’s and don’ts?

How much of that information can you actively recall? Repeat?

Not much, I’d wager.

Turns out that even the most dedicated, educated, focused among us are limited in our capacity to retain information. Your healthcare team is no different. While dealing with the countless tasks, challenges, and responsibilities of each day, they focus primarily on what is directly in front of them and rely on knowledge and habits that have been ingrained over time. They are, after all, human. This is why leaders who want teams to reach and maintain a high level of performance find creative ways to reinforce new or desired behavior over and over again. These ever-changing refreshers dot the landscape of the workplace and are encountered repeatedly by employees.

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Is Your Healthcare Team Warm Enough?

Healthcare teamworkTamika rushes into the clinic. She’s late. 32 minutes late, to be precise. As she arrives she meets the eyes of the Medical Receptionist, who glances at her disapprovingly. Darting into the back, she pulls off her gloves and hurriedly hangs her coat in her locker.

Her manager, Kate, is suddenly there. “You’re late” she declares.  Continue reading