Who Do You Think You Are?


When we were growing up, “Who do you think you are?” was a question (usually coming from someone in authority) that would make us stop dead in our tracks.  It was frequently followed by that same person saying something like “You’re getting too big for your britches!”  All of this was usually followed by some type of ‘attitude adjustment’ and became so of the most teachable moments of our youth.

Since our earliest recollections, the people we have known the best are Me, Myself, and I.  Little ones begin my saying, “I can do it by Myself.”  When a teacher asked who knew an answer, many children responded by saying, “Me!”.  The fact is that the three persons we spend most of our time with are Me, Myself, and I.  That familiarity is good. And as we mature,   it’s even better if we are objective in our assessment of ourselves and our performance.  This allows us to analyze failure to turn it into success.  It also success ….and to analyze our success so we can repeat it.

At another point in our lives,  some of us become another person we may not know so well; that person is called the boss, or the supervisor, or perhaps the doctor.  This new label makes us feel different, whether we know it or not; whether we like it or not.  When Me, Myself, or I make a suggestion, it’s just that; a suggestion.  But that same suggestion from the boss, the supervisor, or even from the doctor, often sounds like a direct order simply because of the position of the person making it.  A simple remark can even be interpreted as a policy statement when made by a person in a position of authority.

For our discussion here, let’s call this miscommunication, a power surge.  In order to succeed, those in positions of authority must understand the impact, or power of their position (or rank).  This power surge is understood in the military.  It is even taught in leadership classes.  But in the civilian workplace or in work teams, it is frequently overlooked.  In some cases, it is even ignored.  Failing to recognize the impact that a power surge can have on an employee or a workforce is a common cause of consternation in an organization.

When leaders are confronted with this power surge, their immediate response is most often denial.  They frequently say, “I didn’t mean it that way.”, when how they meant it really doesn’t matter.  The impact is in how it is interpreted by team members.  Debriefing after a power surge problem can be a great team building opportunity if handled well.  We at Passion for Patients™ are always willing to help lead you and your team through these debriefing sessions.  Let’s face it, a more cohesive team creates a more collegial environment  – which always improves the  patient experience.  Contact us at (602) 677-1614 for more details.

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