20. Generous Management

No, not the budget.

Penelope Trunk at Brazen Careerist boiled down management to this: “So the first rule, and probably the only rule of management, is to be respectful. A lot of questions I get from managers can be answered the same way: ask yourself if you are really being respectful.”

How many people do you know who dislike their jobs because of their management?  Probably a lot.

At our own system, we want people to look forward to coming to work every day.  That’s a goal.  We’re realistic about the likelihood of 100% compliance.  But we will work hard to build a culture that respects our people.  It starts with how we treat each other.  Here’s an example from Brazen Careerist:

Manager: My employees are totally unmotivated. What can I do?

Penelope Trunk: Do you give them work that respects their intelligence or is the work you give them crappy?

Manager: There’s nothing I can do. Someone has to do the low level work.

Penelope Trunk: People are much more motivated to do totally boring work (as a favor to you) if they feel respected by you in other ways. So give them good mentoring and pay attention to building their skills. In return, they will want to help you, even if it means sending 400 faxes.

Penelope Trunk sums it up (notice the part about listening!, it’s important):

Real managing is about growth and caring. It’s about taking time to see what skills people need to develop to move in the direction they want to move, and then helping them get those skills. This means that you need to sit with the person and find out what matters to them. And then you need to sit with yourself and figure out how you can help the person. Most people don’t see management as listening and thinking, but that’s what it is. Because that’s what caring about someone looks like.

Principle #20: An organization that promotes respect for each other (everyone) will respect its customers too.  Our patients are most important to our own system.  Taking care of patients is what we will do best.  But in order to take care of patients well, we must take care of each other first.

One thought on “20. Generous Management

  1. Intraorganizational respect, a simple concept that most everyone would like to see in any industry I would argue. Several healthcare organizations have some serious problems in this arena with maintaining compliance. Physician-nurse relationships are notoriously known for their complete lack of respect and inappropriate verbal interactions in several healthcare organizations. Additionally nurse-nurse relationships quite often circum to an equally deplorable level of respect. Terms such as lateral violence have been utilized to label such unprofessional behaviors.

    After being in healthcare for two decades it still baffles my mind why so many “healthcare professionals” must be so disrespectful towards each other. There are inequities with respect to mitigating such behaviors from healthcare management that I would say feed the flames of unprofessionalism. If healthcare organizations are truly interested in obtaining and maintaining a professional respectful environment, the adoption and implementation of policies that equally effect every provider/employee must be established. Organizations must detach themselves from the “bullies” of the world regardless of their organizational position.

    Final comment, the culture of any organization comes from the top leadership. If CEOs, COOs, CNO, DNS, etc are not actively involved in practicing mutual respect between colleagues than there is little hope for the rest of the organization.


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