MUSING MOMENTS 133: LFTIO – Building Relationships

DSS Leadership – Assignment 10
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”

Take some time to reflect on the following questions to help develop and build relationships:

Under what conditions do you shut down communication?
I tend to shut down with confronted with negativity. I like getting feedback, but if it’s not constructive I tend to become defensive or closed off. “You did a shitty job,” doesn’t tell me how to do something better. It just leaves me feeling bad. I do my best. I’m sorry if my best wasn’t good enough, but if you’re not going to tell me how to become better, just how I didn’t meet your expectations then fuck you. I didn’t see you doing anything other than standing on the sidelines. Maybe if you helped next time or you gave me an idea of what to do differently I would care about your opinion.

I also shut down when I feel a lack of empathy. If you’re going to act like my emotions, my perspective, and my situations don’t matter then I’m not going to care about your opinion or what you have to say. It’s a two-way street. If you’re not going to care, then neither am I.

Lack of honesty, or authenticity as this book calls it, is probably the number one trigger for me torching bridges without a second thought. If I can’t trust you to be real with me, if I have even the smallest hint of “snake in the grass” in regards to your character then I can guarantee you, while I may hear your words and log your comments away, they’re always going to remain at the bottom of my “care” list.

What beliefs are causing you to shut down under those conditions?
There’s usually the belief that there are ulterior motives to their comments or actions, which tend to be proven true given time.

There’s my belief that criticism is different from critique. Negative comments without avenues for change or recognizing any of the positive or “right” things in a situation leaves people feeling demotivated and that the effort they did put in didn’t matter.

How can you be more open in future situations?
I don’t think I have a problem being open. I feel I could be better about expressing my feelings during the situation. “I know you’re trying to help me be better, but right now I’m only receiving negative feedback and that doesn’t feel very good. How could I have handled this better or what things, if any, did I do right?”

In regards to the ulterior motives, I could try to find time to be self-reflective and to identify why I feel the way I do. Once I understand where my emotions are stemming from I could return to the person for a more in-depth conversation. “I know we were talking about this before, but I was left feeling a bit uncomfortable after we talked and this is why…”

Do you need to strengthen your “I” or your “We” to build even more authentic relationships?
I need to strengthen my “I” without a doubt. There have been several times where I have not spoken up purely because “I’m not a nurse”. I could have helped situations go smoother. I could have helped my teams avoid problems. If I had been more direct on how to handle change over, if I had stepped up and made leadership decisions, regardless of what my title is or was, I could have helped everyone involved.

My voice matters. I shouldn’t be afraid to voice strategies or suggestions. I have experience and perspective which are of value only if I allow myself to share them with others. Speaking up isn’t disrespectful or overstepping boundaries and that’s something I know I need to work on. It might be scary to have everyone looking at you and listening to what you say, but overcoming that moment of fear can lead to the whole team growing or to the clinic running smoother and more efficiently.

How can you more effectively build your relationship bridges?
I can continue to build strong, lasting relationships by not being afraid to speak up; to share my stories and experiences and at times being direct especially as I move into a preceptor role.

How can you bring your team trust and team effectiveness to a new level?
By continuing to be honest and conducting myself with integrity. If I am a person my teammates can trust, then as stressful and trying situations arise they will not distrust or resent my judgments and input.


Musing Moment 125: LFTIO – Strengths and Growth Areas

DSS Leadership – Assignment 4
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”

Imagine yourself observing a dear friend talking about you with heartfelt love and admiration. What would your friend be saying?

Most likely something about how I am kind or caring. How I’m positive and non-judgemental. How I am accepting and understanding. Even typing those few sentences sitting alone, by myself, in front of a computer screen makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I do anything special. I feel like I treat people decently and with empathy. I don’t understand why that seems like such a special thing or why people seem to appreciate it so much. It makes my heart ache to think that we live in a world where basic kindness is such a rare thing that it has become a loved trait worthy of heartfelt admiration.

When you are energized and inspired, what particular personality traits or strengths are you expressing?

Drive. Organization. Maybe slight control, depending on how you view delegation of tasks. Timeliness. Communication. At times, periods of reflection for self and reassessment of a situation goal or process. Determination. Problem-solving. Resourcefulness. Dedication. Passion. Possibly competitiveness.

What are some of your Conscious Beliefs?

I am a good person.

What are some of your Shadow Beliefs?

I am inadequate. I am alone.

When you are leading with Character, what qualities come forth? Do certain situations inhibit or express your character more?

Passion. Empathy. Openness. Positivity. Collaboration and inclusion. Laughter, smiles, and warmth. Fun. A sense of fulfillment and worthwhileness. A sense of purpose.

The more support I or the group receives and the less progress prevention encountered, the easier it is for me to maintain motivation and moral. The more negativity others feed into the situation, the more difficult and frequent the obstacles are to overcome, the harder it is for me to maintain not only the motivation and drive of others but mine as well.

When you are leading by Coping, what qualities come forth? What beliefs or fears are generating a reactive state of mind, emotion, or behavior?

Self-preservation. A loss of security. A need to do damage control by taking control. A need to minimize additional input at all costs because more input would be too much. Larger amounts of alone time to recover from or prevent burnout and a “kill or be killed” mentality in ensuring I get the time I want/need to recharge. A lack of empathy because it feels like no one cares about me or what I want or need to be ok. No one cares about my effort or all the things I’m already doing. What I’m doing obviously isn’t good enough because if it were I wouldn’t be treated like this or feel like this or be in this situation. Depression. Apathy. Losing connection with my inner self, resulting in a disruption of balance, peace and a loss of clarity regarding my priorities and values.

I fear not being good enough. I fear being told that I should have done something better because I feel I always try my best and if my best isn’t good enough then where does that leave me? What more can I offer? I can only be me. What do I do when I am found lacking or unworthy?

I fear making the wrong choices. I fear causing harm to others through my choices. I fear miscommunicating. I fear hurting people’s feelings.

I fear being abandoned. I fear the people I love dying and leaving me alone. I fear the thought of the fragile life I have been working to build for the past three years, crumbling around me to dust and having to find the will to start all over again. Yet, at the same time, I fear not getting the solitude and space I need to hear myself think and to let go of all of the external pressures which honestly don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I fear losing myself in the noise which is our world. I fear being misunderstood. I fear not mattering or making a difference. I fear being forgotten and living a life in which it wouldn’t have matter if I were alive or not.

What do other people consistently tell you that you need to work on or develop? What new behaviors are you committed to practicing?

I honestly don’t know, and maybe that’s because I haven’t truly been listening or processing those pieces of the conversations. I feel like I don’t get constructive feedback from many people, if any. It’s hard to know what you need to work on when you’re the only person providing yourself with feedback.

I want to try to be more self-confident at work. I want to feel like I am a leader, regardless of my title or position, rather than feeling like I’m unworthy of being thought of as a leader because of my shadow belief of inadequacy.

At the end of your life, what do you hope people will thank you for contributing?

If, when I die, a line could be formed and people could thank me for something before I walk through the doors of death, I would want them to thank me for caring. I would want them to thank me for giving a fuck when so much of the world didn’t. I would want to be thanked for taking the time to listen to them and to make them feel like they mattered because we all matter. Every single one of us. We all have a voice. We all sing, and scream, and laugh and cry. We all are born. We all grow older than what we were. We all experience and love and grief. We all learn and make mistakes.

I feel that deep down, at the core of who we are as humans, that all we want is to know that someone heard us and listened to our story. I want to be known as one of the people who listened and truly heard what they said.

If you decided to take a new approach to living or leading, what would this new approach be?

Understanding my own shortcomings and flaws so I can better understand how I positively or negatively affect the people I interact with.