I recently sat in a meeting listening to a few managers discussing some issues in their respective departments. At first, I sat back and just listened and thought back to my earlier days as a Safety Officer. It brought back great memories of representing patients and staff alike to ensure a safe environment for all.
My interest spiked, causing me to nearly slip out of my chair, did I just hear this or just misunderstood the jest of the conversation. Were they actually discussing ways to circumvent safety procedures to safe money and time!
I had a decision to make, sit there and do nothing or speak up and impose in an area outside of my own direct responsibilities. What would you have done?
Most would have said nothing and played ignorant. Really, its no different from not washing your hands after toiletting or observing non-compliance to infection prevention standards often due to low behavioral capacity or fear of confrontation including giving- or receiving critical feedback.
Doing nothing should never be the option. As a positude leader, it is your responsibility to “Speak Up” and protect the innocent albeit from germs, fraud or asbestos.
Your behavioral capacity and confidence in doing the right thing will carry you through this difficult moment of professionally confronting the offenders by questioning their allowance of bad behavior.
There’s no need to be belligerent or unprofessional, merely make the other person aware that their actions do not meet standards of care. Most often, they will correct their immediate behavior. If not, don’t confront, instead report to the next level of management to stop the inaction.
I did “Speak Up” and provided coaching/mentoring to both managers on ways they could address this issue without causing a stir. As positude leaders, we need to create a safe environment where staff feel comfortable to provide critical feedback without repercussion.
Model the behavior you seek, encourage active feedback and discourage “Yes” behavior.