Bold Voices - December 2011 - (Page 22)

FROM THE PRESIDENT Embrace Conflict. Really? Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago. —Horace Mann e’ve seen it a hundred times among our teams. Opinions differ. Voices rise. Others become silent. Tension escalates. Tempers flare. No matter the resolution, have you noticed the resulting plans are less robust and the outcomes are likely to suffer? A frequent solution is to squelch divergent opinions. When everyone thinks alike or hesitates to put forward their best ideas, just because these diverge from what’s on the table. But what if differing perspectives became the goal instead of something to be avoided? Intentional diversity promotes excellence and success. It’s valuable to seek team members with diverse points of view, and important to create an environment where team members feel safe sharing their thoughts, and are encouraged to do so. Even with a designated leader, team development is a journey for which everyone shares responsibility. Let’s consider some tips for effective teaming. Ground rules help nurture a supportive environment when they’re framed by the group because success requires everyone’s commitment and support. Ground rules might include: • Explore every side of an issue by introducing new ideas, even ones you don’t strongly favor. It reminds us to consider all perspectives. • Listen intently to the ideas of others. • Ask questions so you fully understand others’ perspectives. • Keep it professional, not personal. If you disagree, address your comments to the idea, not to the person who introduced it. • Before you disagree, ask probing questions so you’re confident that you understand the idea. (Asking questions is so important that I intentionally included it twice.) It’s not in our nature to genuinely inquire about others’ perspectives. But a wonderful panorama of new choices reveals itself when we do. Have you noticed we often respond with emotion when a topic speaks to our deeply held values and beliefs? It’s because we’re likely to join teams that focus on a topic of interest, a problem we want to fi x or a goal we strongly wish to achieve. Our passionate concern for excellent patient care and the subject at hand triggers an emotional response, even when we recognize that a rational response will move us closer to our goal. Consider emotional responses as signals to evaluate our team’s emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves is a useful little guide that includes a link to an online assessment tool. When stakes are high, a crucial conversation may be necessary. Perhaps an individual has dominated the group and devalued the contributions of others. Or someone makes things personal and resorts to emotional outbursts. When this happens, I generally turn to Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by the team at VitalSmarts. Healthy and robust group dynamics will drive our teams to stronger and bolder outcomes. Monitor interactions to confirm things are on track, or to discern why they derailed. Fine tune your performance by noticing how others respond to you. When you speak, do people listen intently and seek to build on your contribution? Or do they look away and change the topic after you speak? Our team lives mirror our individual lives. No matter how stubbornly we resist, both lives involve journeys that demand commitment to goals, strength of character and generosity of heart. Your thoughts? Your experience? I’d love to hear and learn from them, if you’ll drop me a note at W Mary Stahl 22 DECEMBER 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - December 2011

Front/Digital Edition Viewing Guide
Another Angle
AACN Boards and Contact Information
Dec. 19 Deadline: National Awards Recognize Excellence, Leadership in HAI Prevention
Box Office Hit 'Contagion' Raises Questions About Virus
New Privacy Recommendations for Storing Newborn Screening Specimens
Motor Training Can Advance Social Development in Infants With Autism
In-Hospital Mobility Benefits Older Patients
NSAIDs May Harm Patients with Heart Disease, Hypertension
Pain Code' Encourages Use of Maximum Dosage
FDA's Treatment Recommendations for Simvastatin 80
Study Identifies Predictors of Sudden Cardiac Death Versus Surviving Heart Attack
Study Seeks Initiator of Post-Trauma Intestinal Cell Damage
Australian Study: 'How Dangerous is a Day in Hospital'
In Our Journals
ICU Staff Composition May Decrease Burnout
Use of Manikins May Improve Emergency Care
Celebrate Certification
AACN Financials
From the President

Bold Voices - December 2011