Are You Brave Enough as a Leader?

braveryThis weekend my daughter (who is almost 5) asked me a thoughtful question at dinner.

“Daddy, what is bravery?”

Several thoughts flashed through my mind in an instant. I wanted to give her an answer simplistic enough for her to understand but accurate enough to address the complexity of her question.

Bravery is when you’re not afraid, I thought, then immediately rejected that answer. “Bravery isn’t the absence of fear!,” my mind yelled. “Most people who have to be brave admit to also being quite scared at the same time!”

I decided at that moment to use a definition of the word courage I’d heard years earlier. Continue reading

Dealing with an Abrasive Doc

shouting doctorOnce I month I visit a local physicians practice group for 2 hours of leadership training and real-time performance management coaching. At one of these sessions, a Practice Manager asked me about a frustrating situation with a doctor, one that is, unfortunately, all too common.

”What do I do with a doc that constantly goes crazy on us?”

He described a physician who has angry, confrontational reactions to any and all hiccups, delays, questions, or problems that arise during the course of the day. Large, small, or common, it doesn’t matter. These violent outbursts are regular, predictable, and are directed toward the staff much of the time. This behavior has resulted in a constant quest, by the staff, to avoid this man at all costs. They all dread the days when they are scheduled to work under him.

So what’s a leader to do? Here are 5 strategies to Deal with an Abrasive Doc: Continue reading

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

Resilience: A 2 Year Old Knows How

Miles

Miles had a rough morning.

This morning was like any other: my wife and I each getting ready for work while feeding and dressing the kids and gathering all the lunches and supplies necessary to get us all out the door on time and prepared for the day.  Then…a monkey-wrench:

My 2 year old son ralphed all over the living room floor.

If you have kids then you know we simultaneously experienced profound sympathy for our poor little guy, the “oh-crap-we-don’t-have-time-for-this” shifting of priorities, and of course the minor gross out that accompanies a milk-and-cereal upchuck.   Continue reading

Enough! Stop Labeling Your Difficult People.

labeling peopleThe Negotiator.

The Complainer.

The Know-it-Alls, Whiners, and Fit-Throwers.

It seems, in an effort to simplify how to deal with challenging customers, co-workers, or employees, we are regularly encouraged to apply labels to various “difficult personality types.” At least once a day my Twitter feed includes a link to a blog post or management article trumpeting the “7 Difficult Personalities & How to Deal With Them.” Entire training programs have been built around helping participants recognize and understand a set of descriptive categories so they can then pick a corresponding coping strategy. Continue reading