No matter where you go or what you do, you are being watched, judged and reported on. This holds especially true in service industries like hospitals, clinics or service centers. You are only as good as your last interaction.
Let’s take a look at one of my failures as a medical provider from which I learned much. As a clinician, I pride myself to be in-tune with my patients and give them the appropriate attention at all times. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination however a necessary evil of consistent non-biased patient care.
One night, I got distracted, tired of responding to the same patient on multiple of occasion for reasons unknown. I felt sorry for myself instead of feeling for this patient in her state of emergency. I barreled into her house like a big old tank, barking out orders, demanding her to get up to walk to the ambulance so I could get back to bed as soon as possible. Of course, we all know what happened a few days later. My employer received a complaint about my behavior and lack of caring for this patient.
She was RIGHT, I didn’t give her much empathy or the dignity she deserved. It was a wake-up call for me to adjust my own behavior by raising my self-awareness. It was not my emergency after all. A lesson learned the hard way.
This incident also made me a better leader by grasping the difficulty of consistent right behaviors in a stressful setting such as an emergency room, front desk or busy office.
As positude leaders, we need to find better ways to support our staff to avoid negative interactions. We need to think outside of the box to come up with creative ways to reduce stress on the frontlines by allowing regular breaks from high pressure situations without losing capacity and productivity not unlike lifeguard at your local community pool.
To be a high performance team, we need to not just get it right some of the time but get it right 100% of the time. It is a steep hill to climb however our customers/patients deserve nothing less from us.
The best advise I can give you is to always put yourself in the shoes of the customer.
E x R = O….. it’s our response to an event that determines the outcome.
Special acknowledgement to M. Frisina Founder and Senior Research Scholar at The Center for Influential Leadership.