New manager seeks input

  1. Greetings all. I am a relatively new manager and I was wondering if anyone would share stories about the best manager you've had...what did they do to support staff after a negative patient event (what was helpful, what was not)? I'm looking for real feedback, not the canned stuff taught in management seminars. I've learned stuff in seminars, don't get me wrong, but I also want to learn from a wide variety of NICU staff nurses. Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit catlover314 profile page

    About catlover314

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 137; Likes: 67
    Clinical Manager
    Specialty: NICU, Educ, IC, CM, EOC


  3. by   BittyBabyGrower
    Our manager will sit down during a unit meeting and discuss what happened. She lets us talk too, which is important. We have had several very difficult situations in our unit and she made sure the nurses were all in the loop about what happened, the outcome and what was done and what could have been done different. She let us have our say too. Just keep the communication open. If you have charge nurses on each shift and a CNS, I'd clue them in first before the meeting. You want them all on the same page as you.
  4. by   labordude
    Hi ahleesejo,

    Congrats on your move up to the manager level. I have had many different managers at multiple facilities and have seen good things and bad things. One of the most important things you can do is deciding what kind of "manager" you want to be. Remember that the type of manager you are will likely be linked to the way people describe you in the future in terms of "she was a horrible/okay/good/great/THE BEST manager." Some managers end up being a small cog in a big organizational wheel and losing sight of what actually matters, their employees.

    I would recommend you read two books and they are short quick and very enjoyable reads:

    The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly - Amazon Link - The gist of this book is that we all have dreams and helping those around you to reach their dreams makes them more productive because they feel they are invested in and in return will display investment back to the company. It also can help alleviate those situations where people are stuck in a rut because they feel they are not achieving anything when it is likely they simply just do not know how to go about it. It is one of my absolute favorite all time books.

    The No A-Hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't - by Robert Sutton - Amazon Link - The title says it all, building an environment free of A-Holes and working to rid it of ones that are already there. The book uses a two test to determine if a person is acting like an A-hole
    Test 1 - After talking to the alleged a-hole, does the "target" feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittle by the person? In particular, does the target feel worse about him- or herself?
    Test 2 - Does the alleged a-hole aim his or her venom at those are less powerful rather than at those people who are more powerful?
    First off, if you even think people consider you an a-hole, fix it. Otherwise you won't get anywhere. Second, every unit I have worked in has bullies/term for female dogs because of stupid censorship filter/jerks, those nurses who intimidate others. They are a-holes; find ways to get rid of them as they absolutely impact on productivity, morale, and cohesion. It is far cheaper in the long run to have a cohesive happy team than to let a-holes ruin it. Besides, once they are gone and the team has built cohesion, there will be a natural barrier to future a-holes. You will notice that a new employee (who has a-hole tendencies) will simply just not work out because they won't be able to build cohesion with other people who have learned not to tolerate those behaviors anymore.

    To really succeed and be the best manager, you have to learn to be a great leader. Do not confuse the two. "Managers are people who do things right. Leaders are people who do the right thing." - Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. Actually that whole book is great, The New Leadership Challenge: Creating the Future of Nursing - Sheila Grossman and Theresa Valiga - Amazon Link. Lots of great insight by those two writers.

    Above all, don't get so wrapped up in any one thing that you lose sight of those who are currently working for you. Remember that the corporate loyalty that existed 30 years ago is not the same as it is today. Do not assume that your employees are engaged simply because they show up. Find ways to get them engaged in the work (notice I didn't involved or participating, there is a difference), and you will start off so much stronger. Also, watch the number of near-miss and heads-up incident reports you get as well. There is a growing amount of social psychology research that says that when an employer or manager has built an environment of trust where people are not afraid of things being held against them, the number of reports goes UP. Interesting! At least I think it is. A measure of something people assume is bad goes up when things are going good.


    good luck!

    Last edit by labordude on Aug 26, '10 : Reason: stupid censorship filter
  5. by   catlover314
    Thanks for the input! Anyone else?
  6. by   iyqyqr
    Hi, Ahleesejo,

    I've worked in 13 NICU's across the country over a 26 year career and can't recall a meeting to discuss a negative event. I applaud you for posting and seeking input at this point in your career. I've read The Dream Manager book mentioned above and also found it excellent. I will recommend my favorite book on leadership and I have read many. It is entitled, THE SECRET, What Great leaders Know --And Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. It is a quick read and inspiring and may have answers to the question you pose. Best of luck in your new role.