Reconnecting with community, calling, and what nourishes us
What’s on my mind this week:
I talk a lot about the power of listening as a leadership skill, and I believe in listening!
But, at some point listening must be met with action. I met with a large group of nurse managers last week. They shared that they have talked and been listened to. They’ve listened to their teams of nurses. Their senior leadership has shown up and been present when things have been tough. And they are sick and tired of talking and being heard.
And no, those doing the listening are not just giving lip service to say they care. They really do, deeply. But the leaders doing the listening do not see themselves as having the power to intervene to create change.
So, what did these nurse managers want?
- More staff?
- Fewer tasks?
- Better communication with other departments?
Yes, to all these things, but above all, they asked for physical safety.
They asked that violence not be tolerated in their clinics. They asked that their physical space be secured. And they asked that disciplines work together to respond to problematic patient behaviors.
They were both tearful and angry and they had had enough!
Clearly more talking is not going to help them feel safe. It is time for action.
This conversation demonstrated the importance of ensuring that leaders at every level of a healthcare organization are engaged and motivated to play their part in responding to this type of challenge. Action needs to come from leadership across all levels of this organization: frontline supervisors, mid-senior leadership, and the executive team.
This requires changes in clinic policies, how expectations are communicated to patients and employees, boundary setting and enforcement, all the way up to physical safety and security considerations.
Leadership is courage in action. And leadership requires all hands to be on deck. Change happens when everyone commits to the process.
Take a moment to consider what you can do:
- What actions could you take to better support the team around you?
- How could you empower your colleagues or supervisees to respond more effectively to challenging circumstances?
- What systemic supports are missing from your situation?
What’s new on Menders?
Menders episode 21 is out now and it is a treat!
I sat down with Adele Wang and while we had intended to think through the mind-body impacts of stress and burnout, we found ourselves deep in conversation about calling and what nourishes us as humans and healers. I loved this conversation and am still reverberating with Adele’s ideas.
Adele shared how she works with healthcare providers to help them move from what they know to what they feel, by working with them to reconnect with their body’s deep knowing. Her work allows clinicians at risk of burnout to reconnect with themselves. And from this place of self-honoring, they have a choice about how to re-engage with their work as a healer, whether that is in the traditional system or outside it.
Listen to find out:
· How her work in a small intimate integrative health clinic taught her to see that healthcare can be provided differently.
· Why we both see community as the secret for both patients and clinicians.
· And how she draws on what gives her clients pleasure in their non-work lives to help reinvigorate their connection to their calling as healers.
I hope this conversation inspires you to take some time to consider, what you enjoy that has nothing to do with healthcare?
Take some time to answer this question and then reconnect with your work when you’re ready.
My favorite quotable moments from this episode!
“The missing element: you have no community and neither do your patients…”
Adele Wang (Menders, episode 21)
“It’s not just one person going to see the patient, it’s a team. It’s a community channeled through you.”
Adele Wang (Menders, episode 21)
SAVE THE DATE!
Wednesday, September 21st at 1200 PST, I will be hosting a brand-new (FREE) masterclass!
I will teach you how to move from survival mode to sustainability as you learn to reorient your organization to prioritize easeful relationships and effective communication between leadership and frontline staff. You will learn a framework to create a sustainable culture of well-being in your healthcare organization.