What’s Your Workplace MO?

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Managing a martyr at work

November 1, 2019

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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?