My inability to brown nose is holding me back in my nursing career - page 3

Basically, I'm my own worst enemy. I'm too proud to brown nose, and brown nosing is vital in my work place to get ahead. I'm frustrated with myself. I'm able to be a phoney with the patients and... Read More

  1. by   llg
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Is there a difference between having great social/interpersonal skills and brown-nosing? Good people skills is an asset. What exactly do you mean by brown-nosing?
    Good question. It's easy to be smug and feel superior -- justifying that our inability to get along with others is because we are "holding true to our principles" and "above playing silly political games" -- when the truth may be that we just lack necessary and reasonable interpersonal skills.

    The ability to work well as part of team and get along with our co-workers (below, equal, and above us on the ladder) is a skill necessary for success in any career. There is nothing wrong with cultivating that skill -- and nothing "superior" about refusing to learn it. Failure to learn and use good political skills at work prevents otherwise good people from being successful and rising to positions of influence in which they could make positive changes.
  2. by   Natkat
    I don't think brown nosing is what you need. Just be nice. Be diplomatic. Be positive. Most people that are being brown-nosed know it and hate it.

    I used to have a problem with "being honest" and it caused problems. Eventually I learned to shut my pie hole unless someone asked. If they ask I choose my words carefully. It's not brown-nosing. It's being polite. It's a social skill that took me years to learn. Once I got the hang of it, I noticed that life got easier.

    Then again, sometimes you have to make a choice. Once in a while you have to compromise your principals to get anywhere. Sometimes it's worth it. Sometimes you have to give a little.
  3. by   guerrierdelion
    Quote from jlsrn
    basically, i'm my own worst enemy. i'm too proud to brown nose, and brown nosing is vital in my work place to get ahead. i'm frustrated with myself. i'm able to be a phoney with the patients and their family, but i can't do it with hr and the cno. i know i'm not going to get the diabetic educator job because i haven't brown nosed enough, and i'm up against some real comformists. it's frustrating, but i just don't seem to be able to brown nose to save my own life.

    i see others do it, they really know how to play the game. it's not that i'm rude to higher ups, but i refuse to be a yes man. i'm too honest. ugh, i wish i could bring myself to do it, but it seems to go against my nature.
    [font="garamond"]http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-10/uof-usb101404.php
    uf study: brown-nosing works better than boasting in job interviews

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-usb101404.php
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 24, '07 : Reason: Text removed, click/copy link for article.
  4. by   EmmaG
    Quote from llg
    Good question. It's easy to be smug and feel superior -- justifying that our inability to get along with others is because we are "holding true to our principles" and "above playing silly political games" -- when the truth may be that we just lack necessary and reasonable interpersonal skills.

    The ability to work well as part of team and get along with our co-workers (below, equal, and above us on the ladder) is a skill necessary for success in any career. There is nothing wrong with cultivating that skill -- and nothing "superior" about refusing to learn it. Failure to learn and use good political skills at work prevents otherwise good people from being successful and rising to positions of influence in which they could make positive changes.
    There is a huge difference between using good interpersonal skills and "brown-nosing". I know exactly what J is talking about. It is cultivated and encouraged by some managers as a way to keep their staff off-balance and to avoid dealing with any real issues the staff may have; it's a form of "divide and conquer" and brings down morale.

    A good manager will see through attempts at "brown-nosing" and discourage that behaviour by seeking out and accepting honest polite criticism, and involve staff in decision making designed to help improve conditions for all.

    This isn't to say that managers should allow a negative atmosphere to permeate the unit. That too brings down morale. A good manager does not take it personally, but rather encourages ownership of the issue and its resolution.

    "I hear your concerns. Now tell me what you think will improve this situation and how we can move in that direction."

    That validates the staff's concerns and encourages them to be a part of the solution. It goes a long way to helping develop a sense of teamwork and cohesiveness on the unit. It also discourages those who want to complain just for the sake of complaining.
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from llg
    Good question. It's easy to be smug and feel superior -- justifying that our inability to get along with others is because we are "holding true to our principles" and "above playing silly political games" -- when the truth may be that we just lack necessary and reasonable interpersonal skills.

    The ability to work well as part of team and get along with our co-workers (below, equal, and above us on the ladder) is a skill necessary for success in any career. There is nothing wrong with cultivating that skill -- and nothing "superior" about refusing to learn it. Failure to learn and use good political skills at work prevents otherwise good people from being successful and rising to positions of influence in which they could make positive changes.
    I couldn't have said it better.

    There's a big difference between compromising yourself and brown nosing and learning how to play well with others, with a little give and take, to get what you need and have job satisfaction.

    There are some higher ups that are completely clueless, but most can spot an insincere brown noser in a minute and while might enjoy having their ego stroked, don't necessarily give it much power to influence them. I can definately say the hard nosed administrators and directors I work for definately did not get where they are by brown nosing and despise it in others.

    To the op: I'm sorry you work in an environment where brown nosing is coveted and that you're not getting the job. Just say no to brown nosing, you're not a freak. Or perhaps you are, but your in good company. Woot!
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 24, '07
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Thanks everyone. As I said in the OP, part of the problem is me. And, yes, there is a toxic problem in my workplace at the moment. This has all started since our present CNO arrived about 3 years ago. No, I'm not feeling smug and superior about my inability to play the game, I'm feeling insecure and inferior actually.

    I couldn't sleep last night, I never get insomnia but I couldn't sleep, then I had endless dreams about work, about being interviewed for the job I'm not going to get, it went on and on. I need to let it go, it's tearing down my self esteem.
  7. by   llg
    Quote from jlsRN
    Thanks everyone. As I said in the OP, part of the problem is me. And, yes, there is a toxic problem in my workplace at the moment. This has all started since our present CNO arrived about 3 years ago. No, I'm not feeling smug and superior about my inability to play the game, I'm feeling insecure and inferior actually.

    I couldn't sleep last night, I never get insomnia but I couldn't sleep, then I had endless dreams about work, about being interviewed for the job I'm not going to get, it went on and on. I need to let it go, it's tearing down my self esteem.
    I can see in your original post that you were not feeling smug and superior {typo corrected}. I apologize for not making that clear in my earlier post. It was the general tendency that people often have (and that was in some of the responses to your OP) that led me to bring that up.

    Maybe it's time for you to move on ... to look for an environment in which you would be happy to succeed ... to do the things you'll need to do to succeed. If you really can't find enough "positives" about the people you would be working for/with that you can't stomach the thought of cultivating their support, then it's probably time to seek a different workplace with a better fit.

    Good luck to you -- with whatever you decide to do about your career.
    llg
    Last edit by llg on Sep 24, '07
  8. by   bigsyis
    jlsRN, someday this will all be in your rearview mirror, and you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you didn't sell out. You can't take peace of mind to the bank, and it sometimes doesn't help you climb the management ladder. BUT, you will have your self-respect, something that you cannot buy, and once lost, is difficult to regain.
    Keep your ideals and never sell out!
  9. by   NewRN2008
    okay, so this has to start in nursing school. when we were on our l&d rotation, this girl would be in with a mom and baby, not talking to mom at all and just doing her baby checks right..well as soon as the instructor walked in, she would start teaching the new mommy, out of no-where, you should have seen the looks that she got from the moms. i am assuming they figured it out, but it always bugged the crap out of me. i know that time for sure, and i have heard she does this every rotation she is on. its so not fair in school, but we just hold our own and work our butts off, and try and not worry about her. but we will be sitting in class, and as soon as the instructor walks in, she does the same thing out of the blue. we can be in a normal conversation, nothing to do with school or that class, and she starts to recite (sp?) numbers and facts to us. i hate that she is seen like this in front of ppl that control our grades, but what can we do?! nothing.. work our butts off harder. arrgghh, glad i wont even be in the same hospital as her this semester, and will transfer out next if i am with her. i love this forum, i love this site, so much of the same crap that goes around sure makes me and my classmates feel normal! -heather-
  10. by   leslie :-D
    you know, i do think those of us who have verbalized our feelings re: brown-nosing, DO know the difference between that and the art of effective communication.
    even knowing how to get along, still and often, entails playing nice- even when someone else is playing head games.
    often, it's a matter of remaining quiet and eating a lot of crow.

    do we all have that ability?
    i'm not sure.
    i know with me, sometimes i struggle with what i should do vs what i am willing to do.
    sometimes i just don't feel like playing the damned game.
    and i suppose because of these conscious decisions, i may hinder myself.

    if you choose to remain true to your dream of a promotion, then there will be sacrifices, namely in the form of your personal values.
    if you choose to remain true to your values, then the sacrifices come in the form of the loss of a dream job.
    of course, if you are one of those who can b.s. the best of them, w/o any internal struggle, only then it seems to be win-win.
    it's a choice we ultimately make, keeping what is most important to us...even with other obvious losses.

    jls, it sounds like a period of soul-searching for you.
    wouldn't it be ideal if there were facilities that indeed, embraced the virtues and talents of its workers?
    and not have to compromise yourself to placate others w/less secure egos?
    i hope you find the win-win of your dreams.

    leslie
  11. by   RN1989
    As you can see you are not alone. For many years I was unhappy because my lack of butt kissing held me back from what I thought I wanted. I finally achieved what I had wanted (without a brown nose) only to discover that it really was not what I wanted. I can play the game when I have to. But too often the game violates my standards too far and I am just not willing to compromise on certain issues.

    I have a friend who can manipulate people into doing things and they never even realize they are being manipulated. I can't do that. I don't have the skill. And I am not willing to make some of the compromises or do/say some of the things that she does. I have found through the years that I cannot live with myself if I cave in on certain things - even though it has made it difficult for me to have the career that I thought I wanted. But in the end, I am happy for the choices I made. You will have to decide for yourself what is worth compromise and butt kissing and what is not. I find that staying true to myself is more important than what job I have. Welcome to 21st century healthcare. It is only going to get more interesting from here.
  12. by   teeituptom
    Like a very wise man once sang


    "I did it my way"
  13. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from teeituptom
    Like a very wise man once sang


    "I did it my way"
    for yrs, i've promised myself i want to be able to belt out that song, right before i kick the bucket.:chuckle

    leslie

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