Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

This week, we are presenting to some and introducing to others, our guest blogger, Becky Peroz, CPPM. Becky comes to us from Australia and specializes in writing and delivery of learning and development workshops. Becky is also a contributor of “The Female Leader” as well as contributor to “”Inspirational Women Magazine.”

Book_CoverEver have one of those days that make you want to scream? Everyone and everything in the world just goes wrong and you wonder if being alive is worth it? And coffee just doesn’t help.

I am having one of those days (weeks) right now. I have to move due to the house we are in being put on the market for sale. My husband works away, so I have to coordinate between him, the new real estate and the timetable we have in place. I have chemotherapy treatment for my arthritic condition due in that time frame as well. I have a friend who is undergoing radiation for cancer and requires treatment everyday for 6 weeks staying with me as she lives remote and needs to be close to her treating hospital while this happens. I have a lawsuit against former employers because they haven’t paid me for 2 months work, just because they don’t want to. And I have a trip to America planned that I need to prepare for as I will be presenting at a conference while I am there as well as signing some books – “The Female Leader” being one of them.

There are ups and downs in our lives at all times. Its called being alive. But like my scenario above, it can all just get way too much to handle and we fall in a heap emotionally. I have been tempted to pull my hair out while screaming in the last few days, but then I would have to schedule a visit to my hairdresser amongst the rest of my commitments!

How do I deal with all of this? One chunk at a time. As women, we tend to lump everything together and then have a melt down from overwhelm about what is happening in our lives and think the sky might be falling as well. We cry when we feel anger. We feel anger instead of crying and releasing the emotion. We then feel worse about ourselves because we are not coping with what is happening. We are pretty hard on ourselves when things don’t go to plan and it all gets too much for us to deal with.

My chapter in “The Female Leader” is all about dealing with this place that we are all familiar with. It is called “The Secret Language of Men.” It is not really a secret, but having worked with men for 25 years, it is something they do very well, and we ladies, not so much. I wanted to share it with as many women as I can as I believe it’s one of the most useful habits we can learn.

I use it all the time, especially right now! It is about breaking down each piece of our life and looking at what we can control and what we can’t, without the emotion attached to it. It is about measuring how big the deal really is and applying some practical questions around what we are going to do for each chunk. It is about taking away the overwhelm that is all consuming and emotionally draining. I hope it helps you the way it helps me cope with what life throws at me every day.

Contact Becky:

Becky Paroz CPPM

Telephone: +61410668826

Email: queenbps@tpg.com.au

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Becky Paroz has nearly 25 years experience in engineering and construction and has been a qualified Project Manager for over 5 years. She has demonstrated her leadership skills through her involvement in graduate training programs and in house workshops for many of her employers. Her formal training as a performance coach allows her to generate learning outcomes that create lasting change. She has been involved in public speaking since one of her managers put her in front of 600 men and told her she had 20 minutes to teach them how to do their job properly. Receiving a standing ovation at that presentation set her up for a lifetime addiction to receiving applause.

Becky is a regular speaker at state and national industry conferences for many years now. Becky’s company Queen B Project Systems offers the development and integration of culture and systems for the construction industry. Becky’s other company APMMA™ (Australian Project Management Mentors and Associates) delivers workshops that transcends lessons learnt and focuses on the improvement of the human capital aspects of project management. APMMA™ won the QLD Project Management Achievement Award (Community Service) in 2012 for her volunteer work in the creation, execution and delivery of the IPMA Young Crew global workshop (2011).

Becky is known for her use of humour to challenge status quo thinking and offering alternative views for consideration. She is motivated to pass on her lessons leant to assist and educate the next generation of leaders to become high achievers like herself.

When Becky is not busy challenging the status quo in her career, she challenges herself racing cars, learning stand up comedy and studying quantum physics. She is passionate about everything.

She has recently added to her achievements by becoming a writer and contributes to three (3) international magazines – Hussy Mag (www.hussymag.com.au ), Inspirational Women Magazine (www.inspirationalwomenconnecting.com ) and some of her articles have been translated into Spanish for the magazine Mujer Profesionista. El lado femenino del liderato (The Professional Women. The feminine side of leadership) http://glossi.com/Juracy/102286-mujeres-profesionistas?eb=Juracy .

She has contributed to the following books and is due to release 2 books of her own at the end of 2014.

The Woman’s Book of Empowerment and Confidence: 365 Daily Affirmations    (released Dec 2013)

The Female Leader: Empowerment, Confidence and Passion           (released Feb 2014)

Sink, Swim or Float: Surviving the Tidal Waves of Life                       (due for release Aug 2014)

The Coaching Gurus                                                                          (due for release Aug 2014)

Overcoming the Good Little Girl Syndrome                                        (due for release Aug 2014)

The Female CEO: Pearls, Power & Passion                                       (due for release Aug 2014)

Behind the Mask! The Many Faces of Bullying                                    (due for release Aug 2014)

The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life                          (due for release Aug 2014)

The Empowered Woman: Purpose, Passion & Possibilities                (due for release Aug 2014)

Nurse_iStock_000018012746Small (2)Well, this may not be a nice way to put it but how often do we find ourselves working for someone who doesn’t appear to have the skills needed to be in their position. What are some clues that you might be working for an incompetent leader?

  •  When the staff doesn’t trust the information given by the leader or they don’t feel supported so they minimize the occasions they seek assistance from them.
  •  When they are unable to be a resource due to lack of critical skills relevant to the job.
  •  When the leader only uses or implements their own ideas with and/or without input from peers or staff.
  •  When the leader takes credit for the ideas and work of their subordinates or peers.
  •  When they do not have the ability to have vision. They live by the status quo. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  •  When the leader becomes impotent when making decisions. Do they ask for everybody’s opinions, and then accept nothing or do they just make decisions in a vacuum?

How do you work around an incompetent leader?

Do a reality check for yourself. How do you know it’s not your personal biases? Are you biased because you just don’t like them on a personal level?

Are you operating on your highest level in your present position? Do you have sound ideas?

Is it possibly a lack of understanding of the leader’s job requirements?

Here’s a question. Is this boss impeding your progress with the organization? Do you have opportunities to bring ideas to the forefront? If so, you must be creative in getting your work seen by others within an organization.

If your boss is not impeding your ability to influence change and progress then “just let it go”. Be content in your ability to influence where you are.

But if you want to make a difference on a higher level on a bigger playing field then you need to be seen and heard. Volunteer for committees or special projects and network with other leaders within the organization so your work can be seen.

Don’t bad mouth your incompetent leader to others. If you’re seen as a backstabber others won’t be so quick to put you in a higher position of authority for fear that you may do the same to them. Let your work speak for itself. Be willing to take those risks and have a plan B. An exit strategy, if you will.

The truth is mediocre leaders exist on all levels. The “Peter Principle” is real. People are often promoted to the level of their incompetency. So sometimes, your boss may have an incompetent boss and so on. If the people above them are also mediocre leaders, you still may not be seen, heard, or recognized for your work. It could be that your next strategy will need to be that you work somewhere else where your talents might be appreciated.

Another strategy to be sure your ideas are heard and implemented is when you are your own boss! Entrepreneurship is the truest form of true leadership. It’s where you can line up your values with the strengths of your leadership abilities. You must be willing to take on the work. There’s no complaining about the boss in this line of work.

So how do you survive the incompetent boss? Work with them. Work around them, or best yet, work without them and be your own boss! Good luck!

For help becoming the leader you want to be contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”. www.lifecoachrn.com.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Excited Young Female DoctorWe are taught as children that we should not be self-absorbed. As nurses, we generally have an exaggerated sense of just the opposite. Nursing is the profession that encompasses patience, compassion, empathy and caring. We are judged by how these characteristics show up in our actions to our patients and each other. How often have you heard a patient or another nurse say, “Oh! She’s such a good nurse!” It’s usually when a nurse is exhibiting one or more of these qualities. If we as nurses believe these are good qualities to exhibit, why don’t we model them for ourselves?

As nurses, we came to this profession because we felt we have something to give to others. We want to help people live to their fullest potential. For example, we help our patients live to their fullest potential by helping them manage their health. As nurses, we live our highest potential by doing the work we do. But what about us as individuals? I can’t tell you how often I’ve had conversations with colleagues that end with, “I don’t have work life balance or time for myself.” Yet we take extra time we have and give it to other people.

This self-deprivation philosophy has to stop! Why are nurses burnt out? Because we are trying to give what we don’t have! We need to show ourselves patience, compassion, empathy, and kindness. Making yourself a priority is essential to preventing burnout. Here are three basic strategies for getting your whole life balanced.

1. Take inventory of what you are doing with your time. Are you running to and fro with increasing job requirements, deadlines, children’s activities and family obligations? STOP ! Take a moment and just list them on a piece of paper. Reflect on what you do over one week’s time. What do you see?

2. Begin introducing yourself to yourself! Write down the things you like to do (You may have to think back before children or the job). Write those things down, no matter how small they might be.

3. Begin the reconciliation. In order for us to be our best and be complete, we must reconcile our mind, body, soul and spirit. Just like we reconcile medications, we need to match up our total being with life’s demands. Take a look at list #1 acknowledging all of the things you do for others. Then eliminate a task entirely, share the responsibility of it, or delegate it to someone else (possibly the person you are doing it for). Next, begin to transition one thing you enjoy from list #2 into your life on a regular basis. Continue this process until you achieve balance.

Patients look to nurses as their advocates. As nursing leaders, your staff looks to you for guidance and care. Your families look to you as a resource for everything that goes on in their lives. If you REALLY care about them, you absolutely must put yourself first. You will be able to improve patient care by improving your self-care. You will improve the quality of your life if you take the time to advocate and care for yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

For more tips on how to put yourself first contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”. www.lifecoachrn.com.

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

ImageBoundaries. Imagine if countries had no boundaries. We wouldn’t know who was ruling us. China, India, South America, and Russia could make rules for the United States. When we raise children, we teach them boundaries for their own good and the good of others. ie not touching/hitting others, not stealing. Psychologists have noted that people in general are much happier when they have boundaries. Why do some nursing leaders not have boundaries at work?

For the nurse leaders who started out as a staff nurses, changing their mindset to one of leadership requires new skills. Transitioning to leadership positions can be difficult because we have empathy with the bedside nurse. After all, we were just like them and most of us thought that “management was out of touch” with what goes on in the trenches.

Now you are the manager. To prove you’re still in touch, some leaders try to continue to do the tasks they used to do as a staff member while still trying to do their managerial work too. Now everyone, including you, feels that this is the way it’s supposed to be. So often nurses equate a “good manager” to one who works side by side with their staff. As a manager there is a whole new world of responsibility and new tasks that must be done. Because a lot of those tasks don’t include ‘hands on’ care, the perception of some may be that you are not ‘working’. When everyone else’s shift is over, now you have to start trying to get YOUR work done and wonder why your days are so long.

You haven’t set boundaries. You don’t recognize where one job starts and the other ends. You only have so much time and energy. The truth of the matter is you, as the manager, have become like a new country. Guidelines and boundaries need to be set up. Often staff expects you to be ‘like’ the previous manager. This can also present a problem especially if the previous manager was well liked. Remember you don’t have to run your country like the others did before you, but you do need to run it.

I once faced this very issue during an interview for a new managerial position. During the interview, I was informed that one of my duties would be to cover the nurses’ assignments when they were off.  That was what the previous manager had done. There was a staff of seven with 4 weeks’ vacation each. Doing a little quick math in my head, I figured I would be working as a staff nurse for 28 weeks out of the year not including sick time or other leave. Having been in management for several years by then and understanding my role as a manager (coordinating, educating, data collection) among other things, I knew that this would not be the best way to utilize my skills as a manager. After explaining this concept of time not being used to supervise and the dilemma this posed for really doing the job they were hiring me for, I was offered the position and needless to say I didn’t cover staff assignments. It was my job to make sure the work was done, not to necessarily do it. I set boundaries. It was respected and my work life balance was better for it.

Tips on How to Set Boundaries

  1. The role of a manager/ leader requires special skillsets. Honor that and realize you will need to have a new mindset without negating your past.
  2. Empathy is not sympathy. Use your knowledge of what it’s like to be a staff member and use your management skills to help find solutions.
  3. Decide what your boundaries are in order to create and maintain work-life balance.
  4. Work with your staff as part of the team with everyone having different contributions to the work of the team. Let them see how what you do contributes to the work they do.
  5. Design a plan so you and your staff can focus on the priorities of each role.
  6. Make your boundaries known up and down the chain of command.
  7. Stick to them.

Remember boundaries are good for everyone. Believe me EVERYONE will be happier in the long run.

I would love to know how you set boundaries at work. Is it working for you? Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

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Having a plan and following it is key in every aspect of your life. You must take the time to reconcile your mind, body, soul and spirit. This blog speaks to why great leadership requires self assessment.

Originally posted on Anamcgary's Blog:

Think about your business strategy for a few minutes. Have they been designed to achieve top line growth, increase or defend market share. Are you focused on customer satisfaction or is it something else?

Now, ask yourself; Are you satisfied with your results?

We know Company’s like Blockbuster, Sears, Radio Shack and a many other retailers are not satisfied with their results.

All of the above mentioned companies at one time were implementing strategies that worked really well, and then suddenly it seemed like all of their results were off and it was too late.

So as a leader you need to slow down sometimes and take a real close look at the results of your strategies and results. This isn’t hard to do, but most of us don’t do it.

We get busy, or we get distracted and we lose our focus. sometime our priorities get out of alignment…

View original 97 more words

Own The Tone

Nursing CapMy first position as a Director of Nursing in a home care agency had me ill equipped to manage staff. As a new person, I heard a lot of, “I don’t do that!” “That’s her job!” Others would pull me to the side to say, “They did that for the last director” or “The last director did this.” I learned quickly that I needed to set the tone for my own position and how I would handle issues. I learned that it is the most important factor for effective leadership that a leader sets the tone. This is true of new managers and seasoned managers who may be taking on new staff, or may just realize that what they’re doing just isn’t working.

The way you dress, keep your office space, speak and handle yourself professionally are all involved in setting the atmosphere in which you work. You set the tone of how change is accepted by yourself and your staff. You set the tone of how you will be treated by your peers and co-workers. You set the tone on how your staff will treat each other.

Three tips to help you set the tone at your workplace:

  1. Learn your job description and your staff’s job descriptions (if you have staff). If you don’t have staff know the job descriptions of the people you will work closely with. You really need to know what everyone does so you can see how the different positions interact to see the big picture.
  2.  Survey – Speak with and observe your upper direct reports, other managers, staff and ancillary staff to understand the culture of the organization. Every organization has its own unique culture. Sometimes different units will have their own sub-cultures. This is to avoid being a “bull in a china shop” or be “run over” by some bulldozer type personalities.
  3. Lead – Lead with confidence. Once you understand processes and culture, don’t be afraid to implement new things. You are the fresh eyes and with due diligence most likely have very good ideas because you haven’t been totally incorporated into the culture. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks or make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, you will continue to grow.

Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Nurse_Degree_iStock_000001078215Small (2)Presently, the push is to have entry-level nursing be the Baccalaureate degree in Nursing; however, we must be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

As I fly back from Colorado, I thought of the men and women who paved the way to today’s aviation system. Where it used to take months in covered wagons to get from the east coast to the west coast, I can fly that route now in less than 6 hours. Each journey has its own challenges, risks and successes. Our nursing history is full of struggle and growth. The latest trends really come out of the past. “There’s nothing new under the sun,” just different circumstances and situations.

Some nurses today are going straight through school, obtaining advanced degrees without ever working in any entry-level healthcare positions. Many of the concepts being promoted in the baccalaureate programs today are built on the same concepts we learned years ago. With changes in technology the circumstances have changed but the patient needing disease management remains the same – for example – electronic medical records versus copying the medication Kardex every Monday by hand.

My journey reflects what some might call the “covered wagon” approach. Originally, I became a Home Health Aide. To my surprise, I enjoyed being able to play a role in my patients’ healing and care. My journey from HHA to LPN, to RN, to Master’s degree took almost 25 years (covered wagon). I learned along the way, working in hospitals, homecare, hospice, school health, managed care and other healthcare facilities how to have a balanced, practical view of my formal education. My history became an asset to my nursing practice.

When specialties became Queen, advanced degrees in Community Heath, Health Administration, and Health Management were encouraged and sought after. So many seasoned nurses are now being told that our advanced degrees don’t matter because it isn’t the “right one” in nursing specifically. This is a recipe for disaster in the nursing profession as a whole. Is the nurse who obtained her baccalaureate in nursing without ever working in the field more of an asset to the profession than someone who built upon their nursing degree with continuing education and practical experience?

I am an advocate for education and for nurses. We must be very careful as we are forcing many nurses out of the profession by requiring that they return to school – some just prior to retirement. Asking them to incur expenses that could affect their very ability to retire is a big problem. We may be actually hurting the very patients and profession we are trying to help.

The truth is both nurses are of value to our profession. What was old has become new again. Florence Nightingale formalized education of nurses and laid the foundation for ‘evidenced based practice.’ Mentorship is one of the big things missing in our profession especially concerning Nurse Leaders. We are at risk of repeating the failures of the past when we decrease the value of our history. The people who pioneered this land in covered wagons paved the way for those who are flying now. The wise ones in nursing will look back, grab the baby and then throw out the bath water. We are responsible for the safe transitioning of our profession. Strategic grandfathering is one way to create a practical transference of nursing knowledge.

Have the changing requirements for nursing education affected you positively or negatively? Is it really the type of degree that makes a nurse a better practitioner?

Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

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