I’ve posted in the past on accountability strategies, communication techniques, and building team relationships, all of which can improve the workplace. Recently I ran across the term “positive pushback”—easy to remember thanks to those alliterative “p” words—and felt that the technique might be helpful in those potential conflict situations that arise from time to time.
The promise of positive pushback is that you can communicate your concerns in an unequivocally strong and clear manner that doesn’t damage your professional relationships. No yelling and certainly no retreating to an unassertive approach.
According to Susanne Gaddis, the Communications Doctor:
A “positive pushback” is the ability to deliver an appropriately assertive response to a potentially negative and/or harmful situation. A positive pushback is executed by looking someone straight in the eye, and saying with an even, non-stressed tone what you want or need. (If you want to be really assertive include the word “I,” such as “I really need for you to stop and review this now…”)
What resources do you need to use positive pushback? Self-esteem, self-confidence, and an ability to convey urgency without “emoting” your emotions. I highly recommend that you read this blog post from Susanne Gaddis, to see if this is a tool that you can add to your collection. As with all the “soft skills,” practice makes perfect.
If you try the techniques, please post a comment here to let us know how it worked out for you!
With thanks to Susanne Gaddis, PhD, CSP and CEO of The Communications Doctor, is an acknowledged communications expert who has taught the art of effective and positive communication since 1989.
I learn from every book I work on, but this latest one on accountability strategies really hit home. I now realize that when I say “I’ll try” to do something by a particular date, I haven’t truly committed to being accountable for the deadline. And when I hear the same words from someone else, I no longer take “I’ll try” to mean the commitment all managers want to hear from an engaged staff: the definitive YES.
I’ll try is what I say when I don’t really see how I’ll be able to make the commitment, but don’t stop to think about what’s in the way. Do I lack the resources, the bandwidth, or (worse) the interest? Am I just allergic to saying a simple “no” when I can’t squeeze the proverbial 10 pounds of sugar into a five pound bag?
As a manager whose goal is positive outcomes from an engaged staff, you need to train your ear to “hear” the difference between words that indicate accountability and those that fall short. Your staff can do the same, and when you’re all hearing and speaking the language of accountability, good things will happen.
To find out more about building accountability in your staff, go to the web page for the team-training handbook, Team-Building Handbook: Accountability Strategies for Nurses. For ideas on how to develop a culture of accountability starting with yourself, visit the web page for Accountability in Nursing: Six Strategies to Build and Maintain a Culture of Commitment.
Both are from Eileen Lavin Dohmann, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
This week I have the pleasure of reading the incredible responses we received to our Nurses Week 2015 survey. So many of you shared your insights, challenges, and hopes for the coming year—thank you! We’ll be emailing the winners of copies of Kathleen Bartholomew’s Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships in the next couple of days. Keep your eyes peeled for our email.
Your generous responses help us understand your needs and aspirations, and we will try to return the favor by covering those important topics in this blog and in our upcoming books, webinars, and e-learning. For starters, I’ve revived a popular post from the past that deals with retention, identified by many of you as a top priority. Let me know if you recognize any of the 20 bad habits in yourself!
Retain staff by breaking these 20 bad habits
Peter Druker, often called the Father of Modern Management, made the following observation, “We spend a lot of time teaching managers what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching them what to stop. Half the leaders I’ve met don’t need to learn what to do–they need to learn what to stop.” We simply need to [more]
First, a couple of brief items:
Better Meetings, Better Outcomes: You can download the PDF I promised a few days ago, “What am I doing here? Tips for being accountable in meetings,” here.
Nursing Survey Ends 5/27: Our 2015 nursing survey is still open if you want to share your thoughts and (not incidentally) participate in our drawing for Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships. Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hcpronurses2015
Next, my confession.
I’ll admit it, I peeked—I couldn’t resist the temptation to look at the results of our ongoing 2015 nursing survey to find out the biggest issues facing nurses today.
Would you be surprised if I mentioned that time (not enough of it) is as common a concern today as it was in the 2013 survey? To relieve some of your pain, I’ll share some great tips from Sharon Cox, [more]
We’ve all been in meetings where everyone nodded and appeared to agree to something, but a few months later, nothing had changed. Why does that happen?
Because all they’ve agreed to is that they’ve come up with a good idea.
No one committed to a specific plan to make that good idea happen. The meeting organizer most likely didn’t set proper expectations and didn’t ask for specific, measurable commitments. The people attended the meeting, but didn’t have enough context to actively participate. They didn’t have the tools to make a commitment to action, and to hold themselves accountable for real results in a few weeks or a few months.
Great meetings that result in action, improvement, or resolutions are a joy to attend.
The next time you’re invited to a meeting, follow these suggestions so you’re prepared to be engaged and contribute rather than sitting for an hour as a passive participant. If the invitation didn’t explain the purpose of the meeting, if it included only a sketchy agenda, or if it didn’t include one at all, ask the organizer the questions in the following table prior to or early in the meeting.
Try using these questions to create a structure for great meetings that result in a better understanding, clarity of purpose, and positive outcomes.
Note: I’ll have the table as a download for you in a few days. Look for a link in a future blog post to share the tips with your colleagues!
Excerpted from Team-Building Handbook: Accountability Strategies for Nurses and Accountability in Nursing, both by Eileen Lavin Dohmann, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, and published by HCPro.
HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions.
Join renowned critical thinking expert Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, for a 90-minute webcast for nurse managers, educators, and nursing professional development specialists about strengthening nursing staff’s critical-thinking skills.
This program provides practical strategies for developing critical-thinking skills in novice and experienced nurses. It discusses how to foster an ongoing program that emphasizes critical-thinking skills and how improved critical thinking can impact patient outcomes.
To access this FREE webcast, enter discount code EW323823 at checkout.
And be sure not to miss…
Yesterday’s post has links to a 20% discount code on all nursing products, a BOGO on books and handbooks, and other activities of interest…
Our mission is to provide you with essential tools, articles, tips, and books to support your practice… and we want you to tell us what you need. What kind of challenges do you face? What subjects excite you? Please take a few minutes to answer our 10 question survey, and give us your wish list!
To thank you for participating in our Nurses Week survey, you also
have an opportunity to win a copy of Kathleen Bartholomew’s
Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships.
Just complete the survey between now and midnight on May 27, 2015, and provide your contact information on the last page.
Click on the link below to begin the survey:
All of your answers are confidential and anonymous, and your contact info will only be used to let you know if you won a handbook. If you have questions related to the survey, please contact email@example.com.
⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: You can still use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post.
The stories in The Boston Globe annual “Patients Salute Their Nurses” piece offer an inspiring and humbling testament to all the nursing profession can be.
In 400 thank-you letters from grateful patients, family members, and colleagues, Boston’s nurses received personal acknowledgment and messages of love inspired by their deep commitment to the profession and their patients.
Here are snippets from some of my favorite letters:
Diane goes above and beyond, treating me with dignity and respect, even calling me weekly to check on my weight and well-being. Like a friendly drill sergeant, she reminds me to keep my weight down and to pay attention to what I eat.
Joe provided intense, meticulous, and sensitive care not only to Mike, but also to his extended family. Joe’s quiet and steady presence gave us hope and strength when we needed it most. Mike did not make it through the night, but the blow of his passing was softened by the gift of time that Joe made possible.
HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions, but we don’t want to wait until Wednesday to start the celebration!
Starting today, you can use our special Nurses Week discount code to save on any and all nursing books, videos, and webinars… Just use discount code NRSWK2015 at checkout to receive 20% off your selections.
——OTHER RECENT POSTS——
⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: A thank you to our favorite nurses, from Boston. Here’s the post.
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