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

Posts tagged ‘Registered nurse’

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

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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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Living Smarter not Harder in 2012. – How you can create a more positive work place.

There are several techniques to keep yourself “happy” at work.   I will share my 3 top tips in this area but before I do, we have to discuss “happiness”. First let me tell you that happiness is relevant.  It is dependent on so many external influences.  That’s why it’s elusive to so many people.  

If you’re working in a really dysfunctional workplace sometimes the only thing you can do is to leave it.  Before you do try some of these tips.

  1. Make sure you have your attitude together.  So often it’s easier to see the toothpick in someone else’s eye but you can’t see the tree trunk in your own eye.  Take a check up from the neck up.  Take time to reflect on your own values and aspirations.  Do they fit with the organizations? Can YOU live with what you do at work?   People who are miserable in their own life are often miserable at work.  
  2.  Live and let live.  Just as you examine your own dreams and decide how you fit into the world and work, so are your coworkers.  People come from all different backgrounds and experiences. Those experiences color the way we perceive the world and approach our work.  Big eye opener… Everybody doesn’t do things the way that you do and you can’t live someone else’s life for them.  (Mind your business)  The good part is we all can learn and we all can change.  We don’t have to hold on to those things that don’t serve us or our work community well. 
  3.  Don’t fall for the ‘itching ears’ practice. This is where you are the gossip carrier.  Do you notice how bad news travels fast and positive information has a very short life?  This is human nature.  Try YOUR best to be the positive influence.  Use lunch time and breaks to just talk. Absolutely No gossip or work talk at the table.   (This is Mandatory)  Be the transformer in your workplace. Lead the way.  Everyone may not come with you but you will be happier when you are the captain of your own ship.

Finally let me restate that happiness is an outside job. Joy is an inside job.  Joy is what you carry inside yourself based on your beliefs about your place in this world.  Joy brings confidence and is not as easily influenced by outside forces. However you do have to protect it and nourish it.  You do that by taking time for yourself.  You can’t’ give what you don’t have! 

What do you do to keep positive at work?  Share your comments.  

 

For more information about taking care of yourself, visit my website http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Naomi Jones is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach, Presenter and Motivational Speaker.  She specializes in helping nurses “Live Smarter not Harder” by taking care of themselves first then reaching out to others.  After all, you can’t give what you don’t have.