Why Don’t They Listen? A Universal Problem: Healthcare Safety, Educational Goals, Organizational Values, & Family Relationships-Part I

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by Jim Murphy and Beth Boynton (originally this series was published Spring 2012.  Since the blog audience has grown we are revitalizing and publishing again!  If it looks familiar, that might be why! 🙂 )
My colleague in organizational development consulting and frequent guestblogger, Jim Murphy and I were listening to each other talk about listening!  We believe it is one of the most important things leaders at all levels can do yet often don’t.   We wondered, Why Don’t They Listen? We thought it would be a fun BlogPost mini series to share!  Over the next few days we’ll share some  thoughts about what we think about how the problem manifests itself in organizations & management, ramifications, causes, barriers, solutions and whatever else comes up.  We hope you’ll share some of your insights.  We’re listening!

A Universal Problem: Healthcare Safety, Educational Goals, Organizational Values, & Family Relationships-Part I

Parents ask about their children, “Why don’t they listen?”    A mother posts to a bulletin board, “I feel like I repeat the same phrases all day and no one hears me, no matter how loud I get.”  An author on childhood says, “Not listening is the #1 misbehavior I hear.”

Teachers ask about their students, “Why don’t they listen?”  A new teacher posts, “Help! My students don’t listen!”  Another says, “I spend hours preparing interesting lessons, but my students don’t listen.” An educator has written a book on When Students Just Won’t Listen.

Husbands complain that their wives don’t listen to them, wives complain that their husbands don’t listen to them.  The Pope has said that people are not listening to God.  Trainers make money because so many dogs won’t listen.

Patients ask why the doctors and nurses don’t listen: “I’ve answered the same question five times but they keep asking it.”  Nurses wonder why doctors and administrators don’t listen, and doctors and administrators wonder how to get nurses to listen.  We know it is important for patients and nurses to “Speak up”  – yet how can we ensure someone is listening?

Why does “communication failure” in  The Joint Commission statistics come up as a cause of preventable medical errors, (aka sentinel events, aka adverse events) year after year after year?

Did you know there was an organization called, International Listening Association? In a quick scan of their website, there are some great resources and blog. (FYI, to post on their blog you have to be a member and membership is not free!)

Do you think lack of listening is a problem?  Say more!  

jim murphyJim Murphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Being semi-retired, Jim is willing to provide very reasonably priced consulting, coaching or  project work for organizations aspiring to improvement in organizational culture, effectiveness and employee engagement.

Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium.  His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices.  Having produced newsletters for several organizations  and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as we all consulting and coaching.

www.manage2001.com   jim@manage2001.com

BB closer Headshot 1-13 CherationsBeth Boynton RN, MS is a national speaker, organizational development consultant, and the author of the award-winning book, “Confident Voices:  The Nurses’ Guide to Improving Communication and Creating Positive Workplaces”.  She specializes in communication, collaboration, & emotional intelligence for healthcare professionals and organizations and is trained in the Professor Watson Curriculum for Medical Improv through Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She offers medical improv training for communication, emotional intelligence, culture change, and teambuilding efforts. Her video, “Interruption Awareness:  A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety” and blog, “Confident Voices in Healthcare” have drawn audiences from all over the world.  She is currently writing a core text with F.A. Davis Publishing Co. tentatively titled Successful Nurse Communication:  Safe Care, Positive Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers, practices as a Per Diem RN in a LTCF for folks with dementia, and a student of improv.  Her complete CV is online.

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What are your thoughts?