How Elizabeth Scala’s ‘What do you want?’ Message Helped Create an Exciting Collaborative Opportunity!

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BB closer Headshot 1-13 CherationsI’ve been a practicing RN for over 25 years and have had way more than I would ever want of understaffed shifts and relentless pressure to do more with less.  After a while I think it is human nature to shut down to or resist change.  I understand this and to some extent a little empathy may be a plus in workshops I do with nurses that require engaging them in culture change efforts.   Trust me, I can fold my arms and dig in my heels with best of them!  Yet as much as I understand this energy, I know it is very unhealthy for nurses, patients, and healthcare systems and along with honoring and validating it, I also think it is crucial to not get stuck in it!  My favorite quote is Peter Senge’s “People don’t resist change, they resist being changed!”

Not long ago I was captivated by one of Nurse Consultant, Elizabeth Scala’s videos entitled “Want to enjoy your work?”  (Elizabeth is the nurse search-4entrepreneur mastermind behind the wonderful project for 2014 Nurses’ Week called the Art of Nursing, (

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).  Anyways, her inspiring 2 minute video left me with a great take-home message, “…instead of focusing on what you don’t want, focus on what you DO WANT!”  She elaborates on this concept as a Guest Blogger  for Confident Voices in a popular post called, “The Law of Attraction is Always at Work in Nursing:  Use it to Affirm What You Want & Create Healthy, Safe Communities!  There’s this new voice in my head now when I’m feeling irritated that says, “Ok, Ok you know what you are against, but what are you for?”

search-5I used this wonderful gift and personal challenge last week when commenting on a Hospital Impact Blogpost by CEO Lynn McVey who was writing about her recently gained insights about healthcare delivery when her father was hospitalized.  Although I had an initial impulse to react to and blog about a gap in leadership awareness, I heard the voice, “Ok, Ok, but what do you want”?.  This shift in thinking helped me to write a more proactive post called, “Hospital Impact’ CEO Blogpost Reveals Interesting Gap in Leadership Awareness & Hopefully Inspires Conversations Among Senior Leaders, Consumers, & Frontline Staff”  Can you feel the shift?  The focus, not on the gap, but on the value of new insights!

What’s especially exciting is the dialogue that is emerging with Lynn about ideas and opportunities for real conversations like these!  And that really is something I want!  To help bridge disconnects between senior leadership, doctors, nurses, and patients that I believe contribute to unsafe care and professional frustrations!  This, to me, is a very powerful door that can help make healthcare safer, kinder, and more cost-effective for everyone.

Thanks, Elizabeth for your message and Lynn, for sharing your experience and listening to feedback!  Stay tuned over the next few weeks/months as the idea takes shape.  And check out the “Art of Nursing” program and  see if it might be something you want! 

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3 Responses to How Elizabeth Scala’s ‘What do you want?’ Message Helped Create an Exciting Collaborative Opportunity!

  1. Marti Hansen says:

    I have been “attending” workshops and working with Liz for a couple years now and have learned so much. I use many of her techniques and suggestions every day before I enter the hospital and even during my shift. Home is not an exception, either. I learned of you, Beth, through Liz and have been following you, also. I have used techniques, suggestions, exercises and ideas from both of you in order to make this thing called “nursing” a much more pleasurable place to be. I have also been able to change my way of thinking and forge ahead with a positive attitude which has a similar affect on those I work with as well as the patients. Thanks to both of you!

    • Hi Marti,
      Thanks so much for your feedback! It is exciting. Please let me know if you’d ever want to write about how Liz’s and/or my work have been helpful….it can be great teaching, connecting, and engaging material! No pressure though! I love the term, “this thing called Nursing!” Alan Rosenstein, a physician colleague known for his work in ‘disruptive behavior’ has said that we should treat doctors and nurses like the precious resources they are!” Take care,

  2. This comment is from Elizabeth Scala with permission to post!

    “Great work, Beth. I am so happy for you! Focusing on what we want brings it that much closer to us. When we focus on what we ‘don’t’ want, instead of doing us any good we are in fact, pushing ourselves farther away from what we want. I am so delighted that this process has helped you and that the conversations are moving forward! Yay!!”

What are your thoughts?