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

Archive for the ‘Nursing’ Category

Live Interview With Naomi D. Jones and Janine Kelbach

Entrepreneurship makes the world go around.  Technology that produced the computer

naomi
Naomi D. Jones. RN, MS, CRNI

changed the way we live and do business because of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs.

Healthcare has evolved through entrepreneurs like Florence Nightingale who started the first nursing school and Lillian Wald who founded the Henry Street Settlement and Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Entrepreneurs see a need and then use vision , resources and passion to fill that void.

Nurses are becoming entrepreneurs at an astounding rate and they are not only helping people, they are making money!
Here is an interview that I did with Janine Kelbach owner of WriteRN writing services and blogger for The Six Figure Nurse.  Here’s a glimpse into my journey as an entrepreneur.. …

 

What is the name of your company?

Consults Unlimited Inc. but I am known as the Life Coach RN

What exactly does your company do?

I provide coaching, mentoring, books and speaking presentations for Nursing Leaders. My goal is to help nurses who are in leadership balance their life purpose and their career. I teach nurses self-development principles and how to align their mind, body, soul and spirit so they will become better leaders of themselves and become more effective in leading others. When you understand and embrace yourself and your journey in life, you can attain fulfillment and joy while working in the profession as a nursing leader.

Why did you start this company?

The first reason for starting my own business is that being a nurse for over 35 years, I have had the opportunity to work with ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ types of nursing leaders. The ones who were ‘good’ helped me grow in my career as a nurse, a woman and as a human being. Even though nursing is a caring profession, we often are not good to each other. Take the phrase ‘Nurses eat their Young’. I wanted to change that. I wanted to create a culture of compassion and kindness for the nurse who is on the front line of providing healthcare to the world. When the opportunity arose for me to step up to a leadership position, I made a conscious decision to do my best to positively impact my staff and my peers. During my 20 years as a nursing leader I was able to develop skills and strategies that not only made me successful in this endeavor but it allowed me to help other nursing leaders realize they could have the same results. I want to continue to make an impact and that’s why I decided to work with nursing leaders in this area as a business.  Read More. 

 

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Top 5 Ways to Reach Our Goals

TOP 5 WAYS Bullseye

TO QUICKLY REACH YOUR GOALS

SUCCESSFULLY AS A NURSING LEADER.

By Naomi D. Jones – The Life Coach RN

goals settingWe all have goals, both personal and professional yet so many go unrealized.  Why? Because we don’t have a systematic, foolproof way to set or meet our goals.   At times, lack of proven strategies affect the way we manage as nursing leaders.

Here are your 5 sure fire tips to define and reach your goals successfully and in a timely manner.  This systematic approach will answer the big questions Who, What, When, Why and How can you plan and reach your goals consistently.

  1. Who – The number 1 way to reach your goals is to build an awareness of who you are. What influences your choices and decisions? It is your intellect, emotions, experiences and spirituality.

DirectionYou are a unique and complex human being.  You can only make appropriate goals for yourself when you understand what makes you tick.

  1. What do you want? We all want a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. What you really want is satisfaction and fulfillment. Being aware of who you are will absolutely guide you in your ability to accurately plan for what will make you “happy.”
  1. DreamsWhen – Right Now! Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is a stealer of dreams and a saboteur of accomplishing goals.  Don’t allow it to hold you back from doing what you need to do today. It’s all about renewing our commitment to ourselves!
  1. Why –Your very existence means you are part of a bigger plan. When you Excited Young Female Doctoroperate within your purpose in life, you will feel the joy because you will be setting, meeting and fulfilling your goals and your purpose for being here.  Jeremiah 29:11 ‘He knows the plans He has for you’.
  1. How – The secret strategy to reaching your goals is really found in personal development. Tapping into your personal power is the long lasting motivation you need.   Personal power is enhanced by two things: focus and connection.

Focus1Develop Focus Distraction is easy to come by in this day and time.  Cell phones, computers, social media and TV, just to name a few.  You have to prioritize and focus. One acronym for focus is Follow One Course Until Successful’.

Connect with like-minded people.   There are plenty of nay-sayers and sometimes they live within your own head.  Surrounding yourself with the people, activities and time to support you, will help you successfully reach your goals in record time and will relieve some of the burden in getting there.

PartnerAs a Life Coach, I am all about your success!  With over 35 years in nursing and 20 of those years in management, I have found the secret to enjoying my life and career.  I want to share those secrets with you.

If you are ‘sick and tired’ of being ‘sick and tired’ of not reaching your goals or not having a sense of joy and fulfillment about your life and/ or career, get in touch with me for a free 30-minute ‘Personal Power’ consultation. Use the link below to schedule your session.

Free Consultation*

I look forward to talking with you.  Here’s to your success!

Logo1Naomi D. Jones MS, RN, CRNI is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach, Mentor, Author and Inspirational Speaker.

www.LifeCoachRN.com

Mindset: The Key to Creating Balance

How do nurses create change, develop balance and relieve stress?

by Naomi D. Jones RN, MS, CRNI

scales-311504_1280Are nursing leadership and work life balance contradictory terms? Many nurses are wondering if this idea of a balanced life is fact or fiction. Many organizations state they promote “work life balance” as a recruiting tool. When speaking to those same nursing leaders, the feeling of balance seems to be elusive.  I had a great conversation this week with a fellow nurse friend of mine about how we attain equilibrium in our lives as nurse leaders. What became very clear early in our conversation is that managing our careers is difficult to say the least.  There are so many things you have to coordinate i.e. yourself, your staff, (direct and indirect reports), co-workers, your upper management team and don’t forget the work itself!   Then we have a “Life” that also needs management. Relationships with spouses, partners, children, grandchildren and parents pose their own challenges.  Handling personal finances is another factor where achieving balance necessitates confrontation.  In today’s economy, so many nurses I know work more than one job.  Nurses in management may experience some limits since they are salaried and already work long hours.

Balance vs Imbalance

In all of these arenas, balance is the key to having a great life!  If we don’t balance all of these areas well, we may become discouraged and lose our passion and joy in what we do which leads to burnout.

Burnout is the result of imbalance.  Frustration, disappointment and stress are encompassing nursing leaders in homecare, at the bedside and behind the desk (depending on where you work). Expectations of higher productivity, increasing demands to do more with less, the squeeze between staff and company goals intensifies the stress nurses feel. That stress makes for short tempers which can lead to episodes of disrespect and bullying which plague our profession.

Create Change

How do we create change in our lives, develop balance and relieve the stress from these situations?  Read More…

Help Me I’m Working for a Dummy!

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

It’s all about you! But it’s not about you!

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

Know Your Boundaries

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

Category: Management, Nursing, Leadership, Uncategorized

 

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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