What’s Your Workplace MO?

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The Power of Mentorship

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Megan:                            00:01                  Hi there. It's Megan with what's your MO in Healthcare? Today we're going to talk about the power of mentorship. There's something really powerful about having a mentor. Someone who cares about you and wants you to succeed. Someone who teaches you what they know and empowers you to go after your dreams. That person for me is Dorcas. Not only has she been my mentor, she's a great friend. I'd worked with her for more than 10 years in the healthcare field without ever really understanding or appreciating what she did professionally. She was the Director of Quality at the hospital I currently work at until she retired in 2015 but she got her nursing degree in the 1970s when nurses still wore white hats in a white uniform and white hose with the seams in the back and they had to stand up when the doctor entered the room.

Megan:                            01:00                  They were different times, but she's always been a fierce Red personality, motivated by power,. So she struggled with living the stereotype of the nurturing passive nurse. That just was not her thing. Dorcas is fiercely independent, opinionated. She's super sharp and does not suffer fools. She once told me she had to be a Red growing up as a tomboy in the 1950s when she was living in an upper middle class suburb of Bellevue, Washington, with a name like Dorcas. She said she had to be a Red to survive that. I love her because she has evolved into an authentic woman through self-work and self-awareness. Much of that self-awareness came about because of her training in Color Code. She mentored me to become a certified Color Code trainer and I learned so much from her and from Jeremy Daniels with Color Code.

Megan:                            02:02                  I remember going to salt Lake City for Color Code training with Dorcas and being met by Jeremy. I was so excited that I was getting trained by the son-in -aw of the founder of Color Code, Taylor Hartman. Now Jeremy is a strong Yellow, so he really lived up to the Yellows' motivation to have fun. He took us to his father in law's beautiful home in the hills of Salt Lake with a view overlooking the city. We trained, we did our work. We laughed and we learned. Then he took us to Park City, Utah for lunch. After lunch, we had the opportunity to tour the museum there. I was interested in learning about the area, the history, and there was a connection to Robert Redford and Park City, so I was interested in learning about that. I was enjoying reading and viewing the exhibits, but after just 10 minutes at the museum, Dorcas came up to me to announce she had finished and she was done.

Megan:                            03:01                  I was shocked. Really? How could she possibly look at everything in 10 minutes? Should I be done now too? Just because she is, do I need to hurry because she doesn't want to wait? Is she really that impatient? Well, the answer is yes. She is 94% red. Reds are inpatient, so a 94% red is really impatient. They do not need to spend a lot of time studying things in detail. They get the general idea about 51% of the facts on the exhibit and that's good. That's enough. Since that time in Utah with her in 2010, our friendship and mentoring relationship has grown. We never really formally entered into an agreement as mentor and mentee, but it evolved and it also evolved into a friendship as part of that relationship through our honesty and sharing our strengths and limitations. As a strong professional woman working in healthcare, I learned from her stories and her life experiences.

Megan:                            04:06                  I shared my most personal stories with her as a good Blue personality does. I don't think that always made her very comfortable because Reds are not typically real comfortable listening to emotional stories but she knew when to ask if I wanted advice and didn't try to solve problems. When she did speak, she was a straight shooter. She told me things I didn't always like to hear but I needed to hear them. Now that she's retired, I don't see her every day, but we always make time to get together a priority. She is still a straight shooter, but she is also very encouraging. Her logic and practical mind tempers my anxieties and concerns. I always walk away with a plan of action because she cuts through all of my angst and my worries and suggests very practical next steps when I share my goals and any perceived barriers that I have. She thoughtfully listens but doesn't let me get away with whining or feeling discouraged.

Megan:                            05:10                  I feel very fortunate to have someone who can coach me the way Dorcas does because she knows my MO is to create strong relationships and to build those strong relationships and intimacy with people. So let me ask you this. Do you have a Dorcas in your life? I'd love to hear about a mentor who helped you in your career or in life in general. What did you learn from them? Was it a formal mentor, mentee relationship, or did it just happen? Send your comments to [email protected] I love to hear all about your stories of your great mentors and we can share them on future podcasts. So with that, this is Megan with What's your MO in healthcare?

Perspectives from another Color Code Trainer

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Megan:                            00:00                  Welcome everybody. This is What's your MO in healthcare? Today I have a special guest, Carrie Coen who is a fellow certified color-code trainer who I have worked with teaching Color Code probably for a few years in our roles at the hospital. I'm happy to have her here because I want to talk a little bit about your experience with Color Code. I want to understand what color you are but let's just start with a welcome. Thanks Carrie.

Carrie:                              00:41                  Well, thank you Megan. It's really fun to be here. You know, I've taken a hiatus from teaching Color Code, but I really enjoyed doing it over the last several years. I happen to be 46% Red and 36% Blue, 16% Yellow and 0% White.

Carrie:                              00:59                  So I'm kind of a mixture. I would say my Red comes out when I'm stressed or you know, if something's really intense. My Blue comes out maybe more at home or in a more relaxed environment.

Megan:                            01:11                  Interesting. So tell me why Color Code appealed to you and why you decided to become a Color Code trainer.

Carrie:                              01:18                  Well, at the hospital that we work at, there was a trainer who had retired. So that opportunity came up, but I thought this is great. I want to learn how to do something new. And of course you talked to me into it didn't take too much to twist my arm. It was a really good opportunity to be able to get another tool in my tool belt for leadership and just self-development.

Megan:                            01:44                  Absolutely. We talk a lot about how Color Code is a tool.

Megan:                            01:48                  It's not intended to be a stereotype or to be an excuse, but rather a way to understand yourself. And then by virtue of that, you're going to understand other people that you work with. So what does that look like for you at the hospital? You're a director of a very large rehab center with what, a staff of how many?

Carrie:                              02:12                  I think we have 56, 57 employees in our department.

Megan:                            02:16                  Wow. And have some of them gone through Color Code?

Carrie:                              02:21                  You know, I think everyone has gone through Color Code just through new employee orientation. The employees that had been there for a while have been through, training that you've done and some of the other staff at the hospital have done. So everyone in our department is really well versed in it. They understand it and they use it appropriately.

Carrie:                              02:43                  I can say that for myself, being predominantly Red, it has been a challenge to kind of tone my intensity down and be able to connect with people. But the advantage of having Red personality at work is that it's easy to see things rationally. That doesn't always work when you're working with people who are really emotional. But having 36% Blue, I can kind of tone that down a little and begin to kind of relate and be empathetic to the people who are dealing with more emotion. But I think it's easy for me to take a step back out of the emotion, look at things logically and rationally and be able to make the decisions that I need to do, even if we have to take some time for other people to kind of understand where they're coming from and come along.

Megan:                            03:37                  So that's a nice mix for you. You've been able to the Red allows you to be very planful to be, you know, what a director would, you would expect from a director and that leadership that comes so naturally to a Red but then you're able to pull from the Blue to relate to people who are maybe predominantly Blue or Yellow. What, can you generalize your staff. Would you say it's predominantly Blue?

Carrie:                              04:08                  I would say it's predominantly Blue. And I think in healthcare that's what you find. People want to go into healthcare because they really want to serve others. Not that anybody couldn't do that, but I would say that at least 60 to 70% of our staff are B and a few Reds and Yellows and Whites mixed in there. But it gives it a great dynamic. I certainly can tell you though that prior to doing Color Code, I think things were a lot harder for me because Red at work tends to be my tendency and I know that I put people off with that.

Carrie:                              04:43                  Sometimes they say I'm too intense and maybe not relating as well to what I need to and stomping on their feelings. And after doing Color Code training to become a trainer, it made a huge difference for me. And I'm really glad to have that self-awareness to be able to know when it's time for me to back off and be a little more emotionally intelligent.

Megan:                            05:05                  That's wonderful. That's really the gift of Color Code. How have you used your knowledge of people's driving core motives when dealing with your staff directly?

Carrie:                              05:18                  You know, I think it's really good to be able to look at that. Of course, teams naturally form with the activities that they do. For instance, if you have a group of physical therapists, they need to work on something. But if I have an opportunity to mix a team up and be able to work together towards an end for the entire department, it's nice to know their color and be able to put them together using their strengths and not looking at their limitations, but really looking at their strengths.

Carrie:                              05:45                  So if you had an entire team of Yellows, they might have a fantastic time all day long, but they may not get anything done at the end. So if you can mix it up or same thing with the Blues. If you have a bunch of Blues, they're going to have a wonderful time and they may try to kind of vie for the leadership position but not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings and then you may not get an end result. But mixing it up a little and having a nice complement of colors within the group in terms of their strengths and limitations but also their profession, you can usually get a better outcome.

Megan:                            06:23                  Absolutely. I love that. So I think we talked about the luxury of putting teams together, right? That's kind of the scenario you were talking about there and we don't always have that luxury.

Megan:                            06:37                  Sometimes you have a team by virtue of their profession or just who is there. I have found that that's helpful in that case to just understand their colors and what some of the dynamics would naturally come up based on their colors. So that helps me just kind of navigate and understand how to motivate those people. And if there are going to be some conflicts, you almost can anticipate some of them.

Carrie:                              07:07                  Oh, you're absolutely right, Megan. I think it is nice that everyone in our department's gone through Color Code, so they know that. I may just jokingly say, "Oh look, we've got these two Yellows on the team, you guys know you need to get something done at the end, right?" I mean in a nice way and in a kind way. And I think they do understand that. And just to be able to point it out, maybe even if a team is having some conflict and be able to say, look, you guys are all really good at these things.

Megan:                            07:36                  These are the things you may not be so good at. So how can you work together to get that done?

Carrie:                              07:41                  Then they appreciate it because it's not ever done in a punitive manner.

Megan:                            07:45                  Right. Just more of a self-awareness, a reminder. It kind of seems like it neutralizes things. It doesn't, it takes it out of a personal thing and just, Oh yeah, that's right. So that isn't necessarily my strength. What can I do to work with this person who does have that strength? Right.

Megan:                            08:02                  Yeah. Um, I'm curious as a, as a director manager who also works with patients, have you ever utilized color code when you're working with patients? You know, it's funny because I had never thought about that prior to taking color code and I think I was did a little bit, you're trying to peg someone's personality, but since becoming a color code trainer, I use it every single day.

Carrie:                              08:25                  So some examples of this would be, you know, if you're thinking about the four different colors in the four different types of people you have, the reaction for patients coming in the door might be one of these four things. You might have someone who is the Red personality who is maybe angry, a little belligerent, they don't want to fill out their paperwork, they don't know why this is taking so long. Then you've got the Blue person who is just clearly visibly upset. Their face might be red, they might be crying. You've got the White who's got arms crossed or not saying anything to you. They're kind of holding back and the Yellow who's just deflecting everything with a joke or some type of humor. So I always interpret those things now as they're all probably fearful, they don't know what's coming. They've been injured, they've been hurt.

Carrie:                              09:12                  But that's the way they're dealing with it. And so it's makes it really nice for me to be able to know how can I modulate that for them by responding in a way that they can understand. So maybe the person who's the angry person, you just deal with them. In fact telling them what's going to be happening. The Blue person might take a little pat on the knee, you know it's going to be okay with some encouragement. The White person, they want facts as well. They want to understand kind of where the course of action is going to be for them. You can alleviate some of their fear by letting them know what might be an outcome for them with their therapy. And then the Yellow, if you just add some humor in there, get them coming along because you really want to try to earn their trust.

Carrie:                              09:54                  And once you can do that, then you can do everything else. So it's funny, it usually within just minutes I can figure that out with somebody, which is fantastic and I don't feel like it's tricking anybody. I think it's just using what I know to be able to help people get to where they need to be.

Megan:                            10:10                  Absolutely. It's a tool. And I find that fascinating as a person who's not clinical, doesn't work with patients. How you have used that to help motivate them. And that's really what this is all about. You know, kind of what's their emo and how to relate to that very quickly to motivate them to get better. Right?

Carrie:                              10:32                  Sure. And you know, some people might look at that and say, well that's being false because you're, you're behaving in a way that's not consistent with yourself. I don't find that at all.

Carrie:                              10:41                  Because anytime we're in the healthcare industry, we have to find a way to relate to the people that we're working with and help them understand and what better way to do that than to kind of know what their core motivation might be. Even if they don't.

Megan:                            10:55                  And you're seeing them, you know, technically at their worst when they are under stress. And so you're seeing a lot of those limitations that are coming out right at the beginning because they don't know what to expect. And like you said, a lot of it's based on fear, so they're going to be acting out of those limitations. And so you have some knowledge of what those are and you can see them and then help direct them to more of the strengths.

Carrie:                              11:22                  Of course, because you know, the behavior does not equal the person and the behavior equals the motive behind whatever they're struggling with.

Carrie:                              11:31                  And it's a nice reminder for not only myself but the front office staff because they get the brunt of a lot of, maybe not so above board behaviors. People really give it to them and then they're much more kind when they come back to work with a therapist. And it just takes a reminder to them, "Hey, do you understand that this person might be acting out of fear or they don't have their to pay today. And so they're just being belligerent about it. And I think that really helps them as well. Just that little reminder.

Megan:                            11:59                  Great point. Yeah. So what else about color code have you used? In your personal life or just in general?

Carrie:                              12:07                  Oh my gosh. And my personal life, like no other, that's probably been the most impactful. Obviously I use it at work and I spend a lot of time at work, but what's more important is your family.

Carrie:                              12:18                  And I think understanding myself has made a big, big difference. And being able to explain it to my husband, my parents, my children, and then have them take Color Code as well because have done it with all of them. And you know, being, being this Red personality, living with someone who is very, very white personality is kind of a challenge. So we've been married 37 years, obviously we're figuring it out, but things have been much easier in the last probably six or seven since I've been doing Color Code.

Megan:                            12:49                  That's amazing. What a tool, right? The light bulb goes off and you just begin to understand each other a little bit better and accept each other.

Carrie:                              12:59                  Right. And joke about it to say, I am so intense, Chuck. Would you just talk to me about this and he'll look at me and say, "Okay, but would you just calm down a little?"

Carrie:                              13:09                  Yes, I'll calm down. I'm not going to be angry about this. He just smiles and nods and then I usually know. I'm really acting out of my limitations. I need to come back to what he relates to, which is more kindness and gentle behavior.

Megan:                            13:22                  That common language. That's awesome. Well, I have so enjoyed working with you and I hope we have opportunities in the future to co-teach Color Code. Because I enjoyed it when we were doing it.

Carrie:                              13:35                  Well, likewise Megan, and I'd be happy to step in any time. Thank you.

Megan:                            13:39                  Well thanks again for coming and with that this is What is your MO in healthcare?

The Power of Peer Coaching in the Workplace. Guest: Ron Moser

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Ron:                                 00:00                 

Megan:                            00:05                  Welcome to what's your M.O. in Healthcare? The podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare.

New Speaker:                  00:14                  Today I'm continuing my conversation with Ron Moser, organizational coach who works in health care and coaches managers and executives. We want to continue the conversation talking specifically about this notion of peer coaching. Ron, can you tell me what peer coaching is?

Ron:                                 00:33                  Peer coaching is so powerful because when we create a coaching culture we're scaling the culture of coaching. And so by helping develop those individuals who are most receptive to the coaching to begin with, they then develop with their aptitude, a competency where they can then begin to help model those skills. And sometimes modeling those skills is others just observing them in a departmental meeting or maybe in the ER or wherever they're working, they get to see and observe that. But it could also be that they start asking them and inviting them. Tell me more about what's happening. I see what's happening in your life. It's changing. Right? And they begin to give each other permission, if you will, to coach one another. Now that doesn't happen overnight, but if you were to ask me after a successful design and implementation of a coaching culture project, what would be the most important metric I would look for is how healthy peer mentoring is developing.

Ron:                                 01:37                  Because now we've gotten to a point where we've developed some rapport and trust among the team members through this coaching model. And sometimes that means healing up a little bit because sometimes there can be a rub or two in a department, right? Where somebody maybe hurt someone's feelings or has had some negative impact, kind of a thing for the group. And so people need to clean that up. But coaching creates an environment to do that. And so that begins to happen and individuals get more comfortable professionally being vulnerable, then being able to invite one another to be each other's coaches is where that magic is at. And so I would go as far to say some of the most transformational organizational interventions I've been a part of are when we've gone from a scenario where we've had individuals who are actually competing with each other and quite upset with each other to being the strongest peer mentors one to another.

Ron:                                 02:43                  I would like to put that out there as a goal for anyone who has, and it's hard to imagine at first, they haven't gotten along for a year or two or they had this happen three years ago. Yeah, they did. And they've got hurt or they got wounded. But the magic of coaching is about healing up, becoming and collectively helping each other such that we're all on the climb. Or another way of saying that is all boats rise with that tide. And when we see we're stronger together, but it takes a couple of early adopters who are generally respected by the community to receive and act on that coaching, who then can in turn invite the others to come and follow. Now is everybody going to come? No. There might be one or two that lag and that might be okay.

Ron:                                 03:30                  It might be okay if you have somebody who's not fully engaging as long as they're productively contributing to the team. But if they're one of those negative persons who are creating a toxic environment, that's where tough coaching comes into play. And let them know that we'd really love love for you to be a part of our organization but in an healthy engaged way. And if you'd like to go there, we'd like to help you get there and we expect that. And if that's not something that you want to do, then we need to talk about other things.

Megan:                            04:00                  Right. They might self-select out. This is just not my thing in terms of the culture of coaching. So one thing I want to just pick up on is that professional vulnerability? So since my podcast is mostly about healthcare and working in hospitals, that's my background, how do you think that goes over medical professionals who really pride themselves on being professionally competent? And now we're getting into things where they have to, we're asking them to be vulnerable. What kind of feedback could we give medical professionals when we're asking them to open up and be vulnerable through the coaching process?

Ron:                                 04:47                  Powerful question. There's a lot of different models we can pull into the coaching space. One of them that I find is very effective in this space is the situational leadership model which essentially enables us as an expert. So for example, I work as an executive coach and a consultant. Am I an expert in what I do? Yes. Am I an expert in everything in the field of executive coaching? No, I'm not. What if we had a language or a way of communicating that allowed us to be recognized as experts but not experts in absolutely everything within our field. The situational leadership model does that for us. It has four levels, developmental levels. Developmental Level One states that individual has great energy around a particular task, capability, but doesn't know how to do it. They're Level One.

Ron:                                 05:41                  They have the energy, they want to do it. They really don't know how is a Level Two or Developmental Level Two, they don't have the energy or the skill to do it. They don't have either. So that's a different coaching conversation altogether. A Level Three, the person has the capability, maybe not the confidence or the energy to go and execute on that task. The Developmental Level Four, they have both the energy and the skill set to go and do it. So if I were a physician for example, and I had a language, I had a way to communicate with those in my community to say I do have an expertise in these other areas, but I'm actually on this one a Level One. I'm actually D Two or I'm D One. What if that was a common language that we adopted? And it was actually okay. And so before we're out on the floor, maybe we are in a training environment where we're doing a coaching session and now we've created a mechanism or a way to communicate with each other and just let everybody know, every time I ask a group of physicians or nurses or other professionals in the field, do you know everything about your profession that you're professionally paid to do?

Ron:                                 06:49                  Do you know everything about it? And do you know it at a Level Four, no one raises their hand. And then after having that conversation for a little while, being able to say, what would it be like if you had a culture where it wasn't just acceptable but even expected and encouraged to be able to let folks know, yeah, I think I'm a Four on that, or a D Two on that skill. I could use some help. And so in advance, we've actually agreed that we're going to communicate that way. And before that, we've agreed that we can't possibly know everything about everything because we know what happens when we try to be the know it all. I know what's happened with me when I've tried to do that in my life. I get into trouble. And quite frankly, it's kind of a dirty yes.

Ron:                                 07:31                  Do you know not to do that? Yes. You know, why? Because you hired me as the consultant. I'm the professional. I'm supposed to know. In fact, I have licensure that says so versus, you know, that's an area I haven't had as much experience in. I have a peer or a friend who I could reach out and talk to about that. But if you've got more info, know and make that be okay. I know that's culturally different than the way we've been conditioned. The industry, the healthcare industry as we know it because there's such a patriarchy of command and control.

Megan:                            08:04                  Yes. And expectations that you should know at all, especially at the physician level, that the pressure and the expectation they must feel. But I think that could be appealing to particularly doctors and healthcare professionals because it just puts it in a very fact based mode, you know that I have the energy and the enthusiasm for that, but I don't know it. If you could just talk in that language, that could be pretty powerful. It's kind of like Color Code because everybody is on the same page and they know where you're coming from.

Ron:                                 08:37                  Yeah. So powerful. If you could combine coaching from Color Code and situational leadership model, you put like those two together for example. And I think it's really magical because now I understand what your personality interests are, where your energy flows, where it doesn't, how you like to be communicated with and not. And also if I my own Color Code now, I began to solve a puzzle at a level where we can build rapport so much more quickly and communicate more precisely and imagine through Color Code, being able to do that.

Ron:                                 09:06                  And that would be able to say, you know what? I can actually say I'm a D Four, when it comes to learning. I might not know it today, but I could go find out because I'm, before I can even go look it up, I can call an expert. I can call a third party. I have access as an expert to the D for the answer, but I don't have to be the owner or the resident of that knowledge in the moment.

Megan:                            09:27                  There you go. Yeah, I like that. That's powerful stuff. Cool. Well, we could talk about that quite a bit. So probably just to wrap it up, you've, you've spoken so eloquently about the power of coaching as a leader or an executive in a healthcare system. Why should I invest in coaching and spend my resources on coaches like yourself who are working one on one with either leaders or whether it's more at a skill level, but particularly on the leadership level.

Megan:                            10:02                  If I have limited resources, why should I consider putting some money towards coaching?

Ron:                                 10:08                  Well, that is the budget question, isn't it? I think it's very simple, but can sometimes be hard to do. What I mean by that is, is that we're very busy. We have competing budget priorities, why would I invest in individual? Because I have so much potential already invested in that individual. If they're not awake, alive, on purpose, aligned and modeling the behaviors and the technical competencies that we want to be modeled, then we're leaving so much on the shelf already. So we actually are recovering an investment that we've already made. As we get through that recovery, we are going to get a return on our initial investment. The fact that we hired them to begin with because their potential is going to be realized at a much higher level.

Ron:                                 10:56                  So that's one. And then two, as we begin to get momentum and we create more of a coaching culture in the organization, we get a couple of individuals who are modeling and leading. Now we get transformational shift and we actually live at a frequency level as an organization, right? Which level of Maslow's Hierarchy are we going to live at? Right? Or what level of awakened, connectedness are we going to live at such that patient outcomes are not just in our hearts and our minds, but in our collective strategies. And that together, for the most part, we're moving in the same direction. And now because we have all of our other resources moving in the same direction, we get paid again. We get an organizational return on investment. So we work with the individual, we get the individual return, their individual capabilities rise.

Ron:                                 11:46                  They reached their potential. But as we create a coaching culture, now we get that organizational ROI. Now this is the place where I want to be. I want to grow my career. I'm telling my friends about it. And what we really should have now is a waiting list for individuals trying to get onto our team.

Megan:                            12:01                  So it's about return on investment. It's about retention. It's about shifting the organization forward, transformational changes. So why wouldn't you want to invest in that when you put it that way?

New Speaker:                  12:14                  Is it a mission or is it a wish? If it's a wish, you know, maybe we can just work with it. The old school, traditional budget model. If it's a mission, let's invest in our potential and realize and become who we say we are.

Megan:                            12:28                  Much more powerful. Thank you, Ron. This has been wonderful and I want to invite you back again because I always love talking to you about this stuff, so thanks again. Thank you. Until next time, this is Megan and Guido with what's your emo in healthcare?

Announcer:                      12:46                  Thank you for listening to what's your MO in Healthcare. The podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare. For more information, go to moinhealthcare.com

Introduction to Coaching in the Workplace. Guest: Ron Moser

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Announcer:                      00:05                  Welcome to what's your MO in healthcare, the podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in health care.

Megan:                            00:13                  Welcome everybody. Today I have Ron Moser, who is a special guest, friend and colleague of mine who I've worked with off and on for several years. And he is here to talk about the role of coaching. When we talk about coaching, it can take on lots of different shapes and sizes, if you will, organizational coaching, performance coaching, executive leadership coaching. And today I want Ron to tell us a little bit about his experience as a coach. I want to explore why someone should think about coaching. Why would I need a coach as a manager or a leader in healthcare? So welcome Ron.

Megan:                            00:57                  It's great to have you here. So tell me a little bit about your background as a coach, how you got into it, why you got into it.

Ron:                                 01:11                  First off, it's great to be here with you. Thanks for the invitation. I'm very enthused about the work that you're doing. And growing up as a young person, getting involved in sports and thinking that potentially I wanted to be in athletics and be an athletic coach, but, soon I learned about organizational development and business and it caught my intrigue. And I think those early years of trying on athletic coaching as a, as a youth, kind of parlayed into my interest in business and when I got my first big person job and I had benefits and you know, cashflow, I worked for a company that did a lot of development, professional development and I got exposed to a lot of different kinds of individuals who are training and developing and literally coaching us and helping us raise our performance.

Ron:                                 02:08                  And I became intrigued because I watched these individuals help us raise or reach our potential. And so I think early on, just seeing the difference that was made when we're engaging with others with a common strategy and then getting those coaching points along the way, they help kind of close the gaps, those things that, I mean, for most of us I think we can see generally where we want to go. Sometimes we need some help or coaching doing that, but to have someone who's a guide through that process. And we had these guides at this, at this company that I worked for. I remember sitting in a training class one day just looking at what was happening and going, this is what I want to do. I want to be a part of professional development. And the more I got involved, I got involved with training and I enjoyed the training, but I really got interested in helping implement the training, getting ROI from that training through the coaching process.

Ron:                                 03:02                  And so I'm helping individuals get into the right training and then implementing that to make a difference for their organization. Just connected for me as a professional. And that's how I got started.

Megan:                            03:02                 

Megan:                            03:14                  So the different types of coaching. We talked a little bit about that leadership coaching and performance coaching. There are obviously some differences. What are some of the commonalities between those?

Announcer:                      03:30                  Ron.

Ron:                                 03:30                  Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, the commonalities are, is that we have a current state and a desired future state and we want to move from current to desired future state. And so whether it's performance coaching or executive or leadership coaching, we have a goal and that goal is usually aligned with one's professional path along with what we're trying to accomplish as an organization. And so being able to see where we're at and then co-create as a coach help elicit the ideas of the individual where appropriate.

Ron:                                 04:05                  Ask them if we can share a little of our expertise such that they can get a plan to close that gap. And when they close that gap it's great to see them move from current state and get into that space where, oh, this is a little risky, but then you're there to help support them to take that next step. Eventually, they arrive. And so I think that's really a commonality moving from current to desired state or reaching the goal.

Announcer:                      04:33                  Megan.

Ron:                                 04:33                  So reaching the goal.

Megan:                            04:34                  I like that. I like that it's pretty simple, straightforward, and a lot of people want to be somewhere else or reaching a higher goal and that's what you're there to help them do. So tell me what some of those ways are that you can support either a leader or an employee?

Ron:                                 04:52                  Let's maybe we'll start with a leader, you know, and working with the leader who you really want to try to build a rapport with them and understand who they are, where they've been, where they want to go, and in concert, again, with what they're trying to accomplish in the organization.,We absolutely want to align performance for success.

Ron:                                 05:12                  As a coach, you want to understand what the organization's trying to achieve so you can support the individual leader, not only co-create their own work project for when it comes to developing their goal plan, but that it's in alignment with what the organization's trying to achieve because that's where we get the traction. But at the leadership level, there's kind of two parts to it. You know, one part is helping them close the gap from where they're at to their ideal state. Whether that's technical development for them and they need to gain an additional skill, which can happen from time to time, but more times than not, it's a communication skill or the way they interact interpersonally and, or maybe developing their relationships across the business. Developing what we like to call a T leader.

Ron:                                 05:56                  You know, a T leader is that person who knows their organization a mile deep like the long part of the T, the up and down part of the T, and then developing relationships and competencies across the business. And that's the top or the left to right part of the T where they understand and know enough about the organization as a whole and have the relationships across the business, or in the hospital in this case. There they can make the best overall decision for their department day in and day out and contribute at a really effective way at the collective executive level across the organization. So the leadership piece is helping them to develop their T leadership capability, help them reach their potential, help them be able to then turn and communicate, and coach themselves, and the people that report to them.

Ron:                                 06:49                  So leaders coach and develop other leaders. Well, we've got to help them find their full leadershipness, what's the unique part of them that they can manifest that gift that they have within that, in addition to knowing their skills, in addition to building relationships across the business and understanding the business, what's their unique voice? And helping them find that, calibrate that to the organization and develop that authenticity as a leader. That gives them the credibility to then coach the employee. So there is a difference between teaching or coaching, leaders versus employees. And that is, is that they not only need to receive coaching and develop, they need to model what it looks like to grow and to, get in a position where in a credible way, in an authentic way, earn the right to coach the employees that are in their scope of influence.

Ron:                                 07:41                  When we look at employees, they have a role and a responsibility. Do they understand that role and responsibility and how it connects to the larger organization? Can they tell the story about, here's what we're trying to do as an organization. Here's our mission, our vision, our key strategic initiatives. Here's what our department's doing specifically to tie into what we're doing at that organizational level. And oh, by the way, my work team, here's what we're doing. And individually, this is the work that I do that connects it all. And I'm developing myself to not only do what I'm doing better today, but I'm preparing myself to do the job of tomorrow and do it in a way that's living the values that's helping us, making sure that we're in alignment and we're focusing on the work that needs to get done. I mean, at the end of the day, when we look in a hospital environment, when we think about great patient outcomes, it's when we're all on the same page and we see that patient similarly across roles and responsibilities as that individual or group of individuals who deserve our very best.

Megan:                            08:49                  Describe what a culture of coaching looks like.

Ron:                                 08:53                  The structure of coaching, the philosophy around coaching or I would even say a coaching culture along with coaches that help each individual understand how their specific role and responsibility connects to the larger strategy of delivering great patient outcomes. Or having the best patient safety, possible or whatever the key focus is. We need to them to not only understand that, but to see what again is their unique gift that they bring. That's when people are awake, alive and on purpose and not just doing their eight and hitting the gate. They're there, they're in awakened state, they have purpose and when we look at Maslow's hierarchy of need, they don't just belong to the organization. They're now contributing at a much higher level. That uniqueness, that is them all along in alignment with the vision of the department, the vision of the hospital as a whole and maybe the entire hospital network.

Megan:                            09:54                  And that's pretty powerful. Awake, alive and on purpose. I always loved that; it's where we all want to be. That self actualization is where you want your employees to be. You want to experience it as a leader. So what do you do if you think this is where I want to be personally? How would you know that?

Ron:                                 10:13                  You ask a good question because, like for example, right now I work with my coach. I have a coach and I wasn't working with my coach four or five months ago, but I recognized that it had been awhile and I was starting to get a little complacent in my day to day routines and I wasn't feeling stretched. And I think I felt like I was in my comfort zone, in my safe place, if you will. And I realized that it was time to take a step. And so I reached back out to one of my coaches and re-engaged and now we're back working together on a weekly basis and she helps me stay awake, alive and on purpose. And that enables me to work as a coach who can then provide a context where that's true.

Megan:                            10:56                  So if I'm a coach where I'm working with an employee and the employee starts to show interest in coaching, how do I know they're good candidate for coaching?

Ron:                                 11:05                  If they've expressed the desire or if they feel like they're stuck, they may come and share it or they may just be feeling it. And it might be that it's someone who comes alongside of them and just checks in with them. How you doing? Maybe they've just slid into camp for a little while and they're not quite out on to the climb of life and we are just checking on them, you know? And if they're just there for a day or two, that's fine. But if they're stuck, that could be another reason why coaching could be very useful for them. So candidates for coaching are those who have a goal and they want help getting reaching them. Candidates who are stuck and maybe caught in the day to day routine. Or it could also be individuals who are struggling with their performance and aren't meeting expectations.

Ron:                                 11:51                  You know, we can individuals, through coaching, get the awareness where whether it's skill or will development and if it's a skill that's coached through the skill. If it's the will, sometimes we're not sure, but coaching can help reveal that and then we can get a better targeted individual development plan for that person to help them close that gap. We're always closing the gap, whether that's someone who's not meeting performance to meeting performance or somebody who's meeting performance but kind of status quo and they're ready to take the next step and level up. Or it's that person who's on the climate is ready and asking, or maybe even a regular basis for, you know, the next, um, challenge, the next stretch assignment. So in summary of all that, I would say everyone is a candidate for coaching.

Megan:                            12:39                  Sounds like it when you put it that way. They really are. And as a leader, it's my responsibility to identify those key times when people are showing that receptivity or giving you a signal that they would be a good candidate for coaching. So that's the responsibility of a leader. But then also as a leader, I need to constantly be growing. And just like you said, you kind of found yourself in the comfort zone and knew it was time to take that step and grow as a person. So I mean, anybody could be a candidate for coaching.

Ron:                                 13:15                  It's so true. And, and it would be nice if we could provide coaching for everyone all the time, but we also have restrictions on resources and time and focus. And so, often I'll get asked, what about how do you select, if you're just starting to maybe begin to develop a coaching culture, where do you start? Which employees would you start with? Because some have the belief system that I should work with the persons who aren't meeting expectations, right? And be able to help them bring up. But if I spend a disproportional amount of my time there, then my high potential high performers are at risk for going, I'm not getting the development growth that I want. I may need to look elsewhere to get that development and growth. And so there's kind of a balance there. And I'd like to encourage individuals, in most cases, every situation has a good healthy diagnosis.

Ron:                                 13:58                  But in most cases, kind of a 70-30 ratio where 70 percent of your time in developing those who are ready to receive and act on the coaching and helping them develop in a level where they can become peer coaches to others. So you can actually scale your coaching as a leader by selecting those who you think are going to be most receptive, developing them and then helping them peer coach. And that's the power of peer coaching. We could probably do a podcast on that all by itself. I think that's where the magic is right there. That's where the secret sauce is. But that 30% there's also those individuals who haven't been properly supported in coach and sometimes we need "away-from" coaching like "Ron, if you're not meeting expectations within 60 to 90 days, right. I don't know if we can continue to have you be a member of our team."

Ron:                                 14:50                  And that's "away-from" coaching because I don't want to have someone let me know, I may lose my job. And so I want to move away from losing my job and moved towards meeting expectations or growing. So I think that it's important that we're working with those folks as well because I think in every organization I've been in, if you look down the road three to five years, one of our strongest leaders is one of those individuals who was not meeting expectations but had investment put into them. And they not only met expectations, but they got the message, they developed the skill or they found the will and connected it with their purpose, aligned it with the organizational goals and outcomes and key metrics. And now they're seen as a leader and they can tell a story and model and create hope for individuals who currently aren't meeting expectations when they're vulnerable and they tell their own story. So yeah, it's about a 70-30 mix.

Megan:                            15:53                  So 70-30 is what I should be looking at in terms of resources and time that I would spend on. Yeah, that's a good rule of thumb, but wouldn't that be exciting to, to grow those people and particularly someone who wasn't even meeting expectations that they could be the role model and be powerful and appear.

Megan:                            16:14                  Thanks Ron for joining me today to talk about the role of coaching and I want to ask my listeners to stay tuned for part two of my conversation with Ron Moser, which will focus on the power of peer coaching. Until then, this is Megan Guido with What's your MO in Healthcare? [inaudible]

Announcer:                      16:37                  Thank you for listening to what's your MO in Healthcare. The podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare. For more information, go to moinhealthcare.com

 

Holiday Bonus Episode: Surviving your family during the holidays.

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Megan :                                00:03                     Hi, this is Megan Guido with What's your MO in Healthcare and today we're going to shift out of talking about the dynamics of healthcare and we're going to talk about how color code can help you survive the holidays with your family. So you're going home for the holidays. Are you excited or dreading it? Family dynamics are hard and spending compressed time with family in one location is stressful. It can bring up all kinds of stuff. Whether you're a young adult who's sleeping in your old bedroom that's being turned into an office or it's figuring out how to talk to a new member of your family that you really don't even know. It can get pretty uncomfortable. Color Code, the personality assessment that helps you understand people's core motives and what drives them, can help. It won't necessarily relieve all of your discomfort, but it can help you understand why your family members are behaving the way they are and hopefully give you an opportunity to give them some grace.

Megan :                                01:04                     Remember, you are spending time with people you may know well or you may not know at all. Now if you have the benefit of knowing the family member, well you may even know their MO or what drives them and that's great. For instance, mom is a Red and she wants to control all the activities. "We're doing a Secret Santa this year. We're having eggnog and singing carols on Christmas Eve and then we're opening presents at 9:00 AM on Christmas day followed by brunch. Reds like to run the show but isn't that nice though? You can sit back and enjoy it. Embrace the opportunity not to have to make a lot of decisions and embrace the opportunity to spend time with your family members instead of trying to manage the activities yourself. You don't want to get into a control battle or a fight.

New Speaker:                    01:53                     Speaking of fights, your Blue brother may bring up an old argument that wasn't resolved.

Megan :                                01:59                     Blues hang onto things for a long time. They do this for a number of reasons. First, they may not feel like the issue is resolved or that there is an injustice that must be corrected. Second, they may be personally hurt or bothered by what they perceive as a moral injustice. They are driven to address it because it's hurting the intimacy of the relationship and that's what drives their existence. Try to have patience with the Blue. You can always suggest that you understand that the argument was hurtful or the interaction was disappointing or it's an issue that yes you agree needs to be resolved, but that the holidays are not necessarily the ideal time to do that. So suggest a different time when it can be addressed.

New Speaker:                    02:46                     So what about your new daughter-in-law who you're pretty sure is a white personality. You're trying to get to know her but she's really quiet or you find her hiding in the bedroom or watching TV when family activities are going on. You may think really that's kind of rude.

Megan :                                03:03                     Why doesn't she interact with the family? Remember, White personalities can get overwhelmed by too much activity or a lot of noise and if you have a particularly roucus family, the White personality is going to withdraw. They will observe and they'll spend time with you. But they do need some downtime. So don't take it personally. It's not a snub, it's just survival. If there is any conflict that arises amongst the family, most likely the White personality is going to avoid it, leave the room. Or if they can't physically leave the room, they may even try to mediate and help find a diplomatic solution to the issue. And that's a good thing. You want to listen to her.

New Speaker:                    03:48                     And what about your crazy aunt? If she's a yellow, her eccentricity may be when she really shines. She loves Christmas time and holidays. This is her time to be with people and to really shine. Embrace her spontaneity and her charisma.

Megan :                                04:04                     People are drawn to that charisma and creativity. Don't count on them to get everything perfect during the holidays. So you may actually sit down to eat at 9:00 PM instead of 7:00 PM but go with the flow and jump in to help. A Yellow will welcome it and you'll always have a good time making that stuffing or wrapping presents, even if it's at midnight. If you are a controlling Red or Blue, practice deep breathing and recognize that it doesn't have to be perfect.

New Speaker:                    04:33                     So I want to wrap up this special bonus Color Code podcast with a quote from Victor Frankel. And he said, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. And in that space is our power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and freedom." So in Color Code vernacular, that really translates to taking a hundred percent responsibility for the relationship. Remember, you can't change your family, but you can change how you respond to them. You have the choice and the power to find joy in that space known as the holidays.

New Speaker:                    05:10                     So with that, I do wish you a happy holiday. And this is Megan Guido with "What's your MO in Healthcare?"

 

How to use Color Code as a nurse leader

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Megan Guido:                 00:00                  Well, welcome everybody. Thanks for joining "What's your MO in healthcare? And today I have a very distinguished guest, Deena Rauch who recently received her doctorate in nursing practice. She is also a fellow certified color-code trainer. I've known Deena for probably about 20 years now. Most recently she is working as a Chief Nursing Officer for a critical access hospital in Idaho. And today we're going to explore how you have used Color Code throughout your career spanning what, 20, 30 years now as a nurse. And tell me a little bit about your most recent position.

Deena Rauch :                 00:51                  I started at the hospital I'm at now in August of 2017. I came to fill in as an interim Chief Nursing Officer for four months. And I liked it so well. I decided I would stay. So I've been there a little over two years now. My responsibilities include overseeing all the nursing units as well as cardiopulmonary services, infection prevention, education case management, utilization review.

Megan Guido:                 01:39                  It's a big job. So getting into the Color Code. I should explain to my guests that you are a red, blue, blue, red.

Deena Rauch :                 01:54                  I'm a blue with a secondary red.

Megan Guido:                 01:58                  So with your self awareness around that, how have you used Color Code and the strengths of the blue to help you navigate in your job as a Chief Nursing Officer?

Deena Rauch :                 02:14                  Well, I've used Color Code formally in two organizations and I'd say rather informally in a couple others. I think that color code provides a foundation for personal and professional growth. I think it also establishes a common language that organizations can use to discuss workplace issues like performance, communication; Color Code helps to navigate through conflict and problem solving. I think that it also gives us insight into how our behavior affects others and it helps us to develop that emotional intelligence when we have to work with others.

Megan Guido:                 03:08                  Absolutely. That's what it does. It really does provide that foundation for an organization. So as a Chief Nursing Officer, how have you used the strengths of your color? Primarily blue with the secondary red to navigate some of those things that you talked about? Like conflict resolution.

Deena Rauch :                 03:31                  Relationship, intimacy. I'm able to use that to develop strong teams. I use that by gaining trust, developing those teams by acknowledging others' strengths and their communication styles around those strengths. So to approach a red, I use as a whole different skill set than when you're trying to approach another blue personality, a white or yellow.

Megan Guido:                 04:05                  Absolutely. So realizing that we can't go into any specifics, but maybe you could draw from your past experience. Any examples that you can think of where you utilized what you knew as a Color Code trainer and brought those strengths forward to resolve a conflict or to deal with something in the workplace?

Deena Rauch :                 04:32                  Well, I knew you were going to ask me that.

Deena Rauch :                 04:36                  Color Code is so much a part of who I am and how I do my work, that it's in constant motion for me. I can't really pull out specifics. I do know that if I am working with a red personality compared to my own blue personality, that I can be assertive up front and even mildly confrontational if I need to be. And I know that person isn't going to linger or worry about that. It's just getting it out...

Megan Guido:                 05:20                  Just getting to the bottom line and the facts.

Deena Rauch :                 05:23                  Right. I don't have to worry about feelings and things getting in the way of a direct conversation. And so I kind of liken it to putting on my big girl panties as a red with the red. Um, and knowing that I can just, um, tell it like it is.

Megan Guido:                 05:44                  Exactly. So how about the other colors, yellows and whites? Are they more challenging?

Deena Rauch :                 05:53                  I think that all of the types can be challenging in their own ways, and easier in some ways. I think where it gets glitchy is if somebody isn't real healthy. If people are healthy in, in their lives and they approach their work and their life with clean motives, it's a lot easier to have conversations with those folks. If somebody isn't very healthy, and they approach their life with unhealthy motives, then that trips up honest and genuine communication.

Megan Guido:                 06:40                  So tell me more about that. That's an interesting notion. This idea of a clean motive.

Deena Rauch :                 06:47                  I think clean motives serve others in a positive way or manner. aA dirty motive is when you're only looking out for yourself and what you want out of a relationship.

Megan Guido:                 07:03                  So how would you experience someone who has a clean motive? Um, are they more authentic? Do you feel like you can have, you know, where they're coming from?

Deena Rauch :                 07:14                  Absolutely.

Megan Guido:                 07:15                  Whereas someone with what you call a dirty motive, how would you experience them?

Deena Rauch :                 07:20                  A clean motive helps you gain win-win solutions rather than win-lose solutions or lose-lose solutions.

Megan Guido:                 07:33                  That's an interesting way to put it. That might help the audience understand what we're talking about because there's some vernacular within Color Code that is very clear to us but may not be to others. But you are talking about someone who may not be authentic and not coming across as being authentic or you get kind of mixed signals. That could be someone who's not healthy, in terms of who they are. They are not comfortable in who they are. It's very hard to read those people and to have an effective relationship with them. Tell me a little bit more about your work as a chief nursing officer. You know, that's kind of the pinnacle in terms of a nurse who is going into administration and working in a hospital. What are some of the challenges that you face?

Deena Rauch :                 08:39                  Well, anytime you put people together, you always have challenges. I think healthcare is a challenging occupation. It is rapidly changing and the way we've done things are not going to sustain us into the future. So we're constantly innovating, creating, developing and evaluating how our work affects patient outcomes.

Megan Guido:                 09:20                  I think you summarized that nicely. That is basically the environment that people working in a hospital and in healthcare are dealing with everyday -- constant change. Why would an organization spend time and money on something like a personality assessment tool like Color Code. People may think that's not really worth the money when we have all these other things we have to invest in. Why would someone like yourself who has experienced the power of Color Code and how it helps people, why is it important for a leader to invest in something like Color Code?

Deena Rauch :                 10:05                  I think if you look at evidence based practice and knowing personality styles, it helps you get it right the first time. So like when we apply evidence based practice to solving healthcare problems, we know that the answer is out there. We just have to go look for it and do it. I think with using Color Code as an example to get to know and understand people, we get our relationships right the first time. We can communicate and build on that relationship to be more productive and effective at work and in our personal lives.

Megan Guido:                 11:01                  Well said. It really speeds up the process, right? We don't have as much time to get it right. We have to be expedient in terms of our work because things are changing all the time. And so this gives you that ability to move to trust more quickly.

Deena Rauch :                 11:21                  I think also in the context of problem solving that the more diversity you have around that problem, in terms of how people view the situation or view the world, that you can reach better solutions to those problems if you have the diversity too.

Megan Guido:                 11:51                  Right, you're going to get knowledge, those different viewpoints up front and, and bring them together to begin with.

Deena Rauch :                 11:58                  And that you can acknowledge others values and their unique perspectives, which enhances the team and the problem solving.

Megan Guido:                 12:08                  Thank you for being my guest on What's your M.O. in healthcare. Until next time, this is Megan Guido with What's your M.O. in healthcare.

Burnout doesn’t just affect Doctors: One EMT’s story

 

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Announcer:                      00:05                  Welcome to what's your MO in Healthcare, the podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare.

Megan:                            00:17                  Welcome to What's your MO in Healthcare? And today I have Greg Clifford and he is a recently retired EMT who is joining me today to talk a little bit about his experience as a volunteer EMT, what that involves and what are some of the stressors and Things that may be people in the medical profession can learn from his experience, whether it comes to burnout or what drives someone to become an EMT and maybe learn some lessons from Greg. So with that, welcome.

Greg                                                             Thanks for having me.

Megan                                                         You bet. So Greg, let me start off. Um, you're a volunteer EMT. Recently retired. How long were you a volunteer EMT?

Greg                                 01:05                  I've got 20 years at the end of this year in EMS. I started back in the 90s, but I took a few breaks and so, you know, there's actually more years since I started to now than there than I did in service.

Megan:                            01:22                  And what interested you about the profession?

Greg:                                01:27                  It's funny because I've sat on a lot of interview committees for new EMTs in our organization. We askthat question all the time. You know what, why do you want to be an EMT? What motivated you? Everybody gives a pat answer. I want to help people, right? What people forget to say, a lot of their motivations are beyond that. You know, it's nice to help people, but there's an excitement to it, right? There's a, maybe somebody was in a situation where they saw somebody that needed CPR or somebody who was in a car wreck. They came upon them and they felt helpless. And so for me, I had some situations like that too, where you know, that, wow, uh, I feel like I don't have anything to offer to these people that needed help. I had a landlord that was multigenerational firefighter and he invited me to come down to fire station one night, see what they did and what they were all about. And I saw that and I thought, this is so cool. These people are empowered with these new sets of skills with these tools to do something more than just stand by or call 911 So that's really above and beyond helping people why I wanted to do it.

Megan:                            02:36                  So it was feeling empowerment, feeling like you could offer something and that satisfaction of building your skills. So why did you decide to do that on a volunteer basis versus making it a career?

Greg:                                02:55                  I was already pretty far along in my career when I got the opportunity to try it out. But I did consider a career change at one point. But EMS is not a high paying field unless you've been in it a long time and you end up being management or something, you know, teaching you how to add things on, you know, or have lots of years of service. So it's, it's pretty low pay for what they have to do. So I stayed in the broadcast/IT world instead.

Megan:                            03:30                  Yeah. It has its own stresses, I'm sure. So what does a volunteer EMT schedule look like? How does that work versus being on the payroll?

Greg:                                03:44                  Different in every department. When I was in Pennsylvania, they had what they called the jolly volley slot and that was 6:00 PM to midnight. So after most people were done working, they would go and run until midnight when most people need to go to bed so they can sleep and do their day job. In Moscow here it's different. It's shift based. So you have A, B, C, D shift and you're on for 24 hours from 7:30 morning until 7:30 the next morning.

Megan                             04:17                  when you say you're on, you're on call, correct?

Greg:                                04:21                  Yup. So you carry a radio with you, you also have an app on your phone that will send you an alert and that's whatever you're doing, you're supposed to drop what you're doing and go answer the call.

Megan:                            04:34                  So that might be one of those stressors in terms of being on call, because working in the healthcare field, I talk to practitioners and doctors and they say that's probably one of the most stressful things is being on call. So tell me why that is. Why is that stressful?

Greg:                                04:51                  Yeah. You can never just truly relax, right? You can't even watch a movie at home without thinking, well, I've got to have my radio on. It's got to be loud enough that it can hear it over the movie. Um, at night when you sleep, you’ve got to balance like, well, I need this radio loud enough. It's going to wake me up, but hopefully not wake my spouse up. It's just never, you're always on alert. You're always on high alert. There's just no time to really, you know, you can't go out and eat, because your meal probably will get interrupted and you'll have to walk away from your friends that you wanted to have dinner with. Things like that. So you have to, you have to give up a lot while your on call.

Megan:                            05:29                  And what are some of the other stressors that an EMT particularly volunteer EMT would experience?

Greg:                                05:36                  Oh, you are going to eventually run into somebody you know and it might even be somebody that's your own family if you're in a small enough town. So you may find yourself doing CPR on your own relative or on your best friend’s relatives. It's a, yeah, that's another stressor for them.

Megan:                                                        Any particular examples or stories that you're willing or able to tell that were particularly traumatic or that you remember?

Greg:                                                           Well I did CPR on my own brother-in-law. That was a not a comfortable thing. And you know, we're, we're trained to just do our thing, right? We train enough, we know what to do. We just go into action. But you also look up once in a while just to see or is it still a safe place for me to be? Things like that. That's part of your training. And I remember doing CPR on my brother in law and looking up and what I saw was horrified faces of my wife and my sister in law and the grief on their faces. It was just so huge. And you know, you just feel that to the core of yourself when you see that going on. It happens with people you don't know. Yyu look up and see their grief, but when it's somebody, you know, it really strikes home.

Megan:                            06:57                  How do you manage that? How do you come off of something like that?

Greg:                                07:02                  It's hard. Mostly, at least for me, you just push it down deep somewhere and you try to put it away. And that's some of the motivation for me to stop doing this. I’ve pushed 20 years of it down and I'm not sure I have the resilience to keep pushing it down.

Megan:                                                        How do you think it might express itself?

Greg:                                                           Oh, all kinds of ways. I mean, burnout, you know, that's the thing. It's like, whether you call it burnout, compassion, fatigue, PTSD, they're all really tightly intertwined. All those terms and it expresses itself like “Ever been so tired that it hurts?”  mean, that's for me was the symptom as of late. It's just you, it doesn't matter who, if you sleep eight hours or 10 hours or 12 hours, you still just have to drag yourself out of bed the next day because it's not just a physical hurt, it's a mental hurt on top of it. It just consumes you. Just uses every bit of energy you have after a while.

Megan                                                         So your colleague, some paid, some volunteers. Is it something that people talk about? Is it something that you can see maybe as someone who's maybe experiencing that have a higher awareness?

Greg:                                08:28                  There is more awareness and it’s becoming more acceptable to talk about it nowadays. Um, there's a code green campaign, which is a bigger nationwide one, but even locally, we've tried to put together some peer support groups and things like that. And I think our command people are embracing it more than they used to. But in Moscow in particular, we're a very young organization as far as our EMTs. So our ratio of 20 year olds to people who are 40 plus is it's way different. So at 20, you've got a lot more resilience. I mean, these are the people that we're sending to the front lines in war and expecting to protect your country. Well, we do that because that's the age of people who, you know, charge forward. They work hard. They can go 24 hours without sleeping and still function the next day. You don't see a lot of really old EMTs and, that's why. Age has something to do with it. The physical nature of the work.

Megan:                                                        But you're saying also the years of seeing things and pushing down those memories are the things that in order to keep functioning eventually does catch up.

Greg:                                09:44                  Yeah. We had a, a recent college graduate who’s still with us in our EMS who said to a couple of us the other day, “I don't know how you guys do this and have full time jobs?” because now he's out of school and he's having to deal with the rigors of a full time job plus doing the volunteer work. He's only 20 somethin. It’s tough to balance it.

Megan:                            10:11                  So any words of wisdom to a young person just getting into this field, maybe something around recognizing when they might be feeling burnt out or the importance of pacing yourself or anything after looking back at 25 years of doing this?

Greg:                                10:31                  Yeah, I think you need to talk to people when you feel bad. It used to be everybody who is associated with fire departments, mostly with EMS and the volunteer world and they've got a way about them, you know, they eat smoke and they do brave things and run into fires and all this and that whole mindset wasn't really conducive to people saying “I don't feel good. I feel crappy after that call. I feel sad.” You just, you didn't say it. Nowadays there are different generations. We’ve got the Gen Z's and the Millennials and, and all that. They are less worried about having people judge them about mental issues and there's less stigma I think with these newer generations. I think they're more willing to talk about it. That's great. That's a positive.

Greg:                                11:28                  I think it's good because you’ve got to talk it through sometimes. I'll have it build up and build up.  In a non-volunteer setting where you're running with a partner a lot and maybe the same core group of people. you talk amongst each other but in a volunteer situation, you don't often work with the same people all the time. Especially in our world (university town) where the churn happens because they graduate and they leave. So you end up always with new people and you don't have that comfort of, well this person knows me, I've been running with them for 10 years or 5 years or whatever. Right. It's a new person. So your shields are up a little bit around that new person and you're probably more in that mentor teaching role.

Greg:                                12:19                  And they look to you as the wise one and you talk about positive things with them and encourage them to be better, not bring them down. So it's hard to take somebody that you're trying to mentor and, and say, “I had a really crappy call.” EMS isn't what you see on TV. It's not all emergency calls and resuscitations you know, a lot of it is nursing home calls and people who are too poor to get medical attention. So they call you because of whatever, you know, or they need to go to the ER because they can't afford a copay or if they even have insurance or they might not even have it.

Megan                             13:19                  So you see a lot of cross section of people that uh, they're calling you because you're the only medical help they're going to get.  So I think what I'd like to do to end is bring it back to Color Code, which is what my podcast is based on. Remember it's a personality assessment tool. I asked you to take that test and you scored a little bit higher on Yellow, which is someone who's motivated by fun and likes that variety and excitement in their work. And that makes a lot of sense because that drew you to this field, which I imagine, you know, you never know what you're going to get into. There are folks who really like that. That's an adrenaline thing. Exciting. But you also tested fairly high on Blue, which is motivated by relationships again, makes perfect sense because you're working with people, you're motivated to help them. Those two colors happen to be very emotion-based so you can see how someone like yourself after 20 some odd years of doing this, it could be pretty draining because it's a highly emotional thing. It does make sense and helpful for people to think about that. That's why that's such an important tool because it helps you understand why you're responding the way you are and helps you make some decisions and understand how you can help yourself.

Megan:                            14:52                  Well with that, Greg, I so appreciate it. Interesting topic and wish you all the best in your retirement and enjoy yourself after so many years of service that we really appreciate.

Greg:                                                           Thanks. You bet. Okay. With that, this is What's your MO in Healthcare?

Megan:                            15:12                  Thanks for listening to what's your MO in Healthcare? You can find us on Apple podcasts or on Podbean. If you like this podcast, we encourage you to subscribe and to let us know what you think. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Our website is MOinhealthcare.com

Improving nurse and certified nurse assistant interactions

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Megan Guido:
Welcome everybody, this is Megan Guido with What's Your M.O. in Healthcare? And today I have a very special guest, Amber Roberts, who is a certified color code trainer. She and I have worked together for over a year now teaching color-code and I'm thrilled to have her on the program as a fairly new color code trainer. She is a red-yellow and I love to have red-yellows on my show because those are the colors that I am the least of and I think we make a great compliment as a team.

Amber Roberts:
Hi, glad to be here. Thank you.

Megan Guido:
Amber, you are a nurse. And then tell me what your capacity is as a nurse and what you're currently doing.

Amber Roberts: 
I've been a nurse for 22 years years. And for 17 of those years, I worked as an obstetrical nurse, and so labor and delivery, postpartum nursery. And for the following seven years I was an assistant nurse director. And then since 2015, so the last four years, I have been a nurse educator but that includes education for everybody that works in a hospital, not just nurses.

Megan Guido:
Great so you made a bit of a career change there. So Amber, can you tell us a time at work where you had a strong reaction as a red personality, and that interaction didn't go well, in hindsight now that you know the color code skills, you could have handled that interaction differently?

Amber Roberts:
Yes, absolutely. I was actually a working manager and we had a delivery and we had a situation where a baby was not doing well, didn't have a heartbeat, wasn't breathing. And I had all my equipment out and this and that and I went to grab a piece of equipment that's always there and it wasn't there. And long story short, it's because the baby area didn't get stocked by somebody else. And when we were doing the delivery, I said, "Please go check, make sure everything's set up and we'll be ready to go. I'm expecting a shoulder dystocia so this might not be a good baby." And so I trusted that they did all of that, well long story short when it was time to get the baby back to this world I didn't have the necessary equipment. The baby did live and did great and was fine and wonderful.

Amber Roberts:
But how I handled it later, about an hour later, was asking that CNA (certified nurse assistant) what they were thinking, and the person happened to be pregnant, the girl, and I said, "What if that was your baby in there? Would you have wanted me to have the equipment or not to save your child?" Which was very, very direct and unnecessary really. And so I was under stress. I felt I delegated, which is typical behavior of a red under stress, And then I let them know how I felt exactly after which they didn't ask me for the feedback. I just offered it.

Megan Guido:
So looking back on that now that you know what you know about yourself and what some of the other strengths are from the other colors, how do you think you might have had that conversation?

Amber Roberts:
I definitely think I needed to retract myself out of the moment for a day or two and really think about what happened. I mean, we had a good outcome. I didn't need to go rant right away, nothing was going to get solved. And really grabbed from some of my blue strengths which would have been to process and then have a conversation calmly and be like, "I have a problem and I need your help, how can we make sure that this doesn't happen again? Because in our delivery the other day I didn't have," I can't remember what it was the ET tube or something. And just process it together instead of it being an accusatory thing because I could have easily double-checked it earlier, but I didn't. I delegated it during a stressful time and so there were things that we both obviously needed to do. It wasn't just a one-person show. So definitely grab from another color.

Megan Guido:
And reds have a tendency to be pretty reactionary and even being able to say what emotions you were feeling at that time could be pretty impactful to a blue to appeal to them because they understand feelings.

I think everybody has those episodes at work and not just in healthcare that you could look back and say, "Wow, now that I have these tools, how could I have managed that differently or had a conversation?" But what's so neat to see is that because you do have that awareness now of yourself, you can look back and say, "I probably should have taken a day to process this and think it and also learn, as a manager, what we could do to avoid that situation." So those are really great examples of how powerful color code can be.

Amber Roberts:
Not only in your work life but your personal life.

Megan Guido:
Amber, thank you for taking the time to talk to me and to be part of my new podcast and enjoy working with you as a new trainer and I appreciate who you are.

Amber Roberts:
Thank you.

 

Managing a martyr at work

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Megan Guido:                   Hi, it's Megan Guido with, What's your M.O. in Healthcare? If you've ever been called overly sensitive, it's likely you're a blue personality. I should know, I'm a strong blue, and throughout my life I've always been called overly sensitive. Of course, I don't like that because I'm sensitive and I don't like being called that. Being sensitive isn't necessarily a bad thing though, particularly in healthcare. We want sensitivity, we want compassionate healthcare providers who are empathetic, who listen and believe in the work that they're doing. That's what everybody wants.

Megan Guido:                   But in healthcare, I mean, let's face it, it can be pretty stressful taking care of people, and if you're overworked or under a lot of stress, it can come out. The limitations of a blue can really come out. So, a possible example is an overworked, stressed-out blue nurse seeing way too many patients, and maybe they're understaffed. That person may come across overly critical or judgmental of their patients or their coworkers. Rather than being empathetic and understanding, they're passing judgment. They may come across as self-righteous and even come across as a bit of a martyr, "No one works as hard as I do, the hours I'm putting in. This nurse is not helping me out. Those CNAs, they just don't have the work ethic like a blue does."

Megan Guido:                   So, what can you do if you are managing stressed-out blues? Well, there are a couple of key things that are really important to a blue. You need to stop and listen, and that takes time and patience, but that's really important. They don't necessarily want you to solve things, but you do have to take the time to listen to their concerns and acknowledge their efforts and all the hard work that they're doing, not in a condescending way.

Megan Guido:                   It needs to be sincere, but you need to acknowledge what they're doing and that they're under a crunch and that there is maybe an end in sight. Help them create some boundaries. It's okay for a blue to say no. It's very hard for them to do it and they're often very guilt-ridden, but you as the manager, that's your job to help them identify where it's appropriate to draw boundaries, and you need to draw some of those boundaries for a blue if they're not able to do it themselves.

Megan Guido:                   And help a blue realize that folks have positive intent, different colors express their connection to human beings and patients and coworkers differently than a blue, and you need to be respectful of that as a blue. It's not always going to look exactly like you think it should. So, those are just some tips for helping blues, who you work with a lot in healthcare, and you as a manager can help them during tough times. I hope that's helpful. For now, this is Megan Guido with, What's your M.O. in Healthcare?

 

How to use Color Code in the workplace

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Welcome to what's your motive in healthcare, the podcast that's all about understanding the core motive of the people you work with and manage in healthcare. Hi there, I'm Megan Guido, your host for what's your motive in healthcare. And today I have a very special guest, Dorcas Hirzel. She is a fellow color-code trainer and healthcare professional who's worked in hospital settings as a nurse in charge of risk management, regulatory and quality control. Dorcas, thanks so much for coming on my podcast and we have worked together for a very long time. We have, and I'm just thrilled to have you here. How  long have you worked in health care? 

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