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MUSC team demonstrates MRI scan in ambulance

Doctors at MUSC Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center constantly work with their community hospital colleagues on initiatives to cut down the steps that need to happen between the time a stroke patient is wheeled through the ambulance bay until treatment can begin.

RAD Idea: Responding to Coworkers

Is it time for a mid-year tune-up?

By Jason Randall

Jason Randall is the author of “Beyond The Superhero: Executive Leadership For The Rest Of Us.” Randall earned his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School Management and shares some wisdom regarding leadership.

“When confronted with a coworker struggling with a difficult situation, our mindset should be centered on what response is helpful and what is not helpful,” Randall says.

Not helpful:

  • Denying or minimizing authentic feelings of anger, fear, pain and loss in yourself or others
  • Shutting down communication/discussion of these feelings
  • Making the situation about you, instead of addressing the individual’s unique challenges
  • In short, we need to be authentic in our human interactions, and not force an artificially positive response.

Helpful:

  • First, clarifying what we’re trying to achieve by discussing our concerns. Fundamentally – in the moment, are we talking, or are we solving? And it’s OK to be talking, as that can help the person add context and perspective to the issue. However, we need to (perhaps gently, and perhaps over a series of conversations) evolve the focus to workplace performance.
  • Acknowledge the feelings; don’t try to convince your coworker that things aren’t really that bad, or that we all have struggles.
  • Instead, encourage a detailed conversation … so much of the struggle can be feeling overwhelmed or unsure. Specificity can help tame the amorphous beast of doubt and fear.
  • Encourage the coworker to focus on things within his/her control (what Shawn Achor refers to as the Zorro Circle). Within the challenging situation, what can we do about it? This is part of building a resilient mindset, which leads to a positive approach from a genuine place.

This focused mindset ultimately helps our teammates (and ourselves) develop a positive, solutions-oriented way of thinking. We can acknowledge that bad things happen, and that they are genuinely bad, while still guiding thoughts and actions to a more positive future.


  • Each month, ICE magazine shares a RAD Idea with our readers. We invite imaging leaders to share tips, advice and tricks of the trade with their peers by submitting a paragraph or two explaining how you improved patient workflow, increased patient satisfaction, overcame a COVID-19 issue and more. Share your RAD Idea below.

 

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