I love being a leader, encouraging my staff to take the next step, to elevate their performance so they can gain higher job satisfaction and commitment. I have witnessed positive change in many of my staff members, and many of them are branching out, pursuing higher education or outside trainings that can improve their skills. But even when I think things are going perfectly, a member of my staff will do something that leaves me befuddled!
Healthcare has regulations for everything, and each of my teams knows what regulations they are required to follow. So imagine my surprise when I entered one of my departments and witnessed one of my staff breaking one of these rules. The infraction was really very small; it wouldn’t have caused harm, but could have posed a safety issue for either co-workers or customers. But the thing that surprised me the most was that this staff member was so ballsy to openly defy a basic practice right out in the open, for everyone to see. When she saw me, she was immediately contrite, knowing full well she was wrong. Yet instead of addressing the issue, she pretended that it didn’t happen. When I approached her, she tried to deflect to another subject. So I played along, we engaged in small talk. As the conversation was wrapping up, I confronted her on the infraction. She admitted that she was wrong, but didn’t demonstrate any remorse. I challenged her lack of concern, stating that her behavior posed a safety issue to her peers and our customers. She responded in a positive way, that she understood, but her attitude and body language told me she was not at all apologetic. I gave my directives to her about expectations of behavior, she consented to the directives, and we parted ways.
I realize that I am not alone in that I don’t like to reprimand staff; my preference is to encourage appropriate performance through positive interactions. That is not to say I am soft. I am a strong, outspoken individual, and when pushed will exert my will to gain the results I need. I really dislike being pushed to this point, and as I said, I was amazed that this staff member committed the infraction in the first place. It has been a few weeks since this incident occurred, and everything is going fine. Positive and negative experiences truly help us shape the leaders we are going to be. While I know this to be true, I am still in awe of human nature, and the behaviors that are demonstrated even when we know better.
Thanks for reading, I welcome your feedback!