Quote from cleo
My director gives no support. She undermines every decision I make, never takes any suggestion for improvement seriously. I could go on and on about what she has done to me. The staff is quickly loosing respect for me and I have very little self confidence left. I have set up meetings with her and then she cancels. I've been to HR for advice and they tell me I need to sit down with her and talk. I am ready to quit but the stubborn side of me says fight to the finish. Any advice on how to handle this. I can't sleep some nights just thinking about what the next day will bring.
I have been in a similiar situation. Managing nursing staff is a difficult and stressful job to begin with and to not have the clear support of your director makes it impossible. I don't beleive that your Director should agree with every decision but she should support you in front of your staff. No marriage will survive if one spouse undermines the authority of the other in front of the children and soon the children will learn to manipulate the each parent. I know that sounds simplistic but that is exactly what will occour. Do I think the situation will improve with open, honest communication -- actually no. I think any director worth their salt knows the dangers of that situation and would never allow it to occur. For example, I had a staff nurse accuse me of being "rude" early when I first begin managing. My director recognized the difference between opinion and behaivior. She (1) let me know what the complaint was and who brought it
(2) she listened as I gave my explanation and (3) stated that she thought the staff nurse's accusation lacked merit and suggested that I meet one-on-one with the nurse and she told the staff nurse that she discussed the issue with me
and that I
would follow up with her. Several vital issues were here 1-no anonymous complaints, if it is worth reporting and does not involve ethical issues then it is discussed with me -- I was able to build trust with director 2- I am the one who conducts follow-ups with my direct reports --the staff recognizes that in any situation they report will involve me as part of the solution 3-no opinion or comments were given to this nurse other than listening and stating that she would discuss the matter --the staff recognizes that my director cannot be manipulated and that she will be objective. If your director is not exhibiting that level of professionalism, than your ability to be effective and successful in your position will be difficult and near impossible. I strongly suggest you look for another position before your reputation is sullied or worse yet you are asked to resign. If you feel that this position is important enough to be salvaged than you need to openly discuss these matters with her and a neutral third party to act as a facilitator
. This person is important. It absolutely should not be someone from HR but perhaps a director or manager that you both have a good working relationship with or even an educator. This person does not make decisions but will help move the conversation along and will be a witness to your responses and emotional state as well as your directors.
Also, don't make the mistake of remaining in a bad situation because "you won't let them push you out" or "you feel like you should fight". I tried that once and my nursing reputation was sullied and I eventually quit anyway. If I had gone with my gut from the start, I could have avoided 6 months of stress and nonsense. No position is worth fighting for if you are the only one fighting. Look around - do you have direct reports who will go to your director and stand up for you, Do you have other colleagues who recognize your hard work and will support you. You can't fight these battles without help -- just consider that before you stay in a position that is obviously stressful and difficult. Sometimes you fight and lose.