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Addressing workplace issues in a positive way.

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When facing crucial confrontations in the workplace, the way in which we deal with these situations is important to turn a possible debate into positive dialogue, according to Stacy Nelson, speaker for the Sharon J. Connor Chapter Leadership Development Workshop keynote address at NTI 2008 in Chicago.

"When we care for people, we are willing to confront them," Nelson said. "Confronting is a caring act and there are a discrete set of skills that we can all use to do this and do it well."

Changing Persistent, Resistant Problems in the Workplace

Nelson discussed how to transform persistent and resistant problems in an organization by identifying and uprooting these issues in order to create change. Nelson said he adapted these principles from" Influencer:The Power to Change Anything," the most recent book by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, the authors of The New York Times best seller, "Crucial Conversations."

"Don't underestimate your power to begin changing the things that need to be changed," Nelson said, "because you have more power than you think and you have great power when you know how to confront the issue and get the results you want."

Putting Key Skills Into Action

One can nurture relationships within an organization by implementing specific skills and learning how to confront the deeply rooted problems, Nelson said.

"By choosing the 'what' and 'if' of a situation, we get to the root cause and we are then able to confront the right issue," he said. "Possible signs that you are confronting the wrong issue may be if you are constantly discussing the same problem. If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't right and you should explore together why the issue isn't getting resolved."

He further suggested using the Content-Pattern-Relationship (CPR) system mentioned in "Influencer," which allows one to identify the immediate problem, find the consistent behavior or concern, and then come to a conclusion about trust, competence and respect within a relationship.

Effect on Patient Safety

According to data presented in Silence Kills, about 50% to 80% of healthcare workers will stand by and watch a colleague 'cut corners,' make mistakes or demonstrate dangerous incompetencies. Only one out of eight people will actually confront the problem.

When the problem involved a physician, only one in 20 healthcare workers will confront the problem, according to Nelson.

"The few who do speak up will actually save lives and improve the overall performance of the hospital," he said. "Crucial confrontations can be extremely powerful and a lot of people may say that they are 'only one person,' but don't underestimate the power of one. One of the greatest advantages of crucial conversations is the ability to confront what needs to be confronted and to be able to do it in ways that nourish the relationship and yet deal with the issue that needs to be dealt with."

The Chapter Leadership Development Workshop was co-sponsored by Covidien.

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Publication:AACN News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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