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Positive Pushback for Nurses

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.pushback2

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.

Nurses: Say This, Not That

Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
—Gloria Steinem

In a recent post, I promised a free tool adapted from The Image of Nursing.
If you’d like to download SAY THIS, NOT THAT: An Empowerment Glossary for
Nurses,
you’ll find it here. And while you’re waiting for the download, try this: 

If you hear yourself saying:

No one notices my contributions  

Say this instead:

I’d like to share with you how I’ve handled this situation

 

The Image of Nursing: Speak Up!

In a comment on one of my posts last week, Stefani suggested (strongly) that to improve the image of nursing, we need to speak up. I’m reposting her comment below to draw your attention to it.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about why nurses might not speak up when, by staying silent (out of fear?), their personal self-esteem takes a hit and—more importantly—care standards aren’t maintained. Have you developed techniques that help you overcome fear of confrontation so that you can truly speak up?

Speak Up image

Here are a few resources related to speaking up:

  1.  A terrific article from Susan Gaddis, PhD: Positive, Assertive “Pushback” for Nurses
  2.  A table you will be able to download from our reading room in a few days: Say This, Not That: An Empowerment Glossary for Nurses. Look for it on or before 3/19/15.
  3.  Books written by Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, including Speak Your Truth and Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-Physician Communications.

Improving the image of nursing

Every nurse can play a part in elevating the public perception of the nursing profession. The table below shows you how email, evidence-based research, reasonable work schedules, a diverse workforce, preceptorships, interprofessional communication skills, and name tags can promote the professional image of nursing. This table was adapted from the HCPro book, The Image of Nursing, by Shelley Cohen, RN, MS, CEN and Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN.

 imageof nursing table 2