A Parable: Knock knock, Knock KNOCK, KNOCK KNOCK!

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Do you ever wonder why passive-aggressive,  passive, and even aggressive behaviors (like bullying) are so common among nurses?

Part of the reason is that the skills for speaking up assertively involve challenging personal development in emotional intelligence.  (I am working hard to get funding to build a website that will help and would be very grateful if you would donate a few dollars:  Improvoscopy:  Serious Play for Safe Care.)

Another reason is that we don’t have healthy channels for respectful communication and when we don’t these behaviors are a natural consequence.  In other words, nurses who are not listened to will have to find another way to express themselves especially when there are unequal power dynamics at play.

The Parable

What do you do if you knock on a door and no one answers?  (Assume you can hear voices behind the door.)

240px-Old_Brass_Door_KnockerKnocking louder seems like a natural response.  But what if still, no one answers?  Then what do you do?

  • Pound on the door louder and louder until you hurt your hand or break the door down?
  • Give up and walk away?
  • Find another room to knock on where someone answers?

Take Homes

  • Listening is one of the most effective ways to teach assertiveness and one of the most important things leaders can do build a culture of safety!
  • Medical Improv is one of the most effective ways to develop listening skills!



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This entry was posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Holistic Health, Listening, Medical Improv, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety, Teambuilding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

What are your thoughts?