Do you know someone who thinks they are ALWAYS right?

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    Mentoring is an opportunity to teach respect for one another as professionals. We have a duty to exhibit thru our behavior how to learn, grow, lead and deal with people who believe they are ALWAYS right.

    Do you know someone who thinks they are ALWAYS right?

    I have been a nurse for a very long time, and I have seen many, many changes in this profession. I've seen it go from team based to teaching to primary nursing many times over. I've even seen our theory of nursing change. I've worked on the floor, in leadership, in administration, and gone back to the floor, because that is aboustely the thing I love the most! I am so grateful I had the opportunity to learn and explore these others options, and even more grateful that I was able to recognize what I enjoyed most about nursing. Many people love the number crunching, the writing of policy, the constant meetings part of nursing. That wasn't me, but I realize I couldn't do my job without those people doing theirs.

    I have worked with some amazing leaders, and the best leaders always wanted a mutual exchange of ideas, insights, and discussions. None of the amazing leaders I worked with were ALWAYS right, and they knew that!

    I have worked with incredible doctors. The best doctors will listen to your input, they will take your opinion into consideration before making final decisions. They willingly accept your questions realizing that you are wanting to be a better nurse; not only for your patient but for them also. But, the most excellent doctors, the ones who just get it, they are the ones who you can walk up to and say something is wrong with your patient, you're not quite sure exactly what yet, but something's going to happen fast and it won't be good; and they listen to you and act on it. They trust you. This doesn't happen overnight, but they will foster this type of respect because a doctor realizes they can't be excellent without it.

    As a nurse myself, I have instructed classes, mentored, and am considered "excellence" at the bedside. I love working with new nurses; I feel they bring as much to my job as I do to theirs. I teach, and lead, and mentor working to help this new nurse become the best he or she can be; because ultimately, that nurse will be working by MY side, helping me to care for our patients. I try to teach acceptance; that a coworker doesn't have to be your friend for you to have mutual respect. I wasn't on a friendly basis with some of the best nurses I have worked with, but I knew they did an excellent job of being a nurse, and I respect that. I also knew they would listen to me and help me be a better nurse, without judgment, or the requirement of "friendship". (Now, let me say that I have made many wonderful friends thru nursing, and I am forever grateful for those friendships. Some of those friendships are with my leaders, and we do not always agree, but we respect that we can listen, learn, grow and make better decisions together than separately).

    The common thread that all of the layers of nursing, and working with others has is mutual respect. You can not be good at your job, whatever your job is in healthcare, if you don't respect the people you are working with. Merriam Webster defines respect as 1: a relation or reference to a particular thing 2: an act of giving particular attention 3: high or special regard.

    As you can read, it doesn't mention anything about friendship. We don't have to be friends to be respectful of one another. And what does that mean? I feel it means saying good morning, do you need help, can you help me with..., what do you think about..., how do you think we should approach..., and having a general consideration for one another as a person. It's a mutual exchange, an esteem of the other that they may have ideas you don't, but that does not make them wrong ideas. It's a back and forth, an exchange, always towards improvement of a patient, a workplace, a goal. It's growth. Sometimes, that growth can just be about work; but the most excellent of growers (leaders) will always recognize that obstacles are opportunities for self awareness and personal growth. Having differences is not a flaw, it is a way to become a better nurse, a better leader, a better person. Any great leader has a self-awareness that they are not ALWAYS right.

    This is what nursing should be, should be comprised of...people who respect their job, their ability to grow and to listen and to have a mutual exchange of ideas so that we may learn from one another. All for the betterment of the unit, healthcare system, and patient. A unit or institution does not work successfully because of one individual person. I have worked with people who thought they were that person. Their ideas were always the only ones that should be considered, they did not embrace others ideas, they did not teach, they did not have a general respect for others. They made themselves difficult to work with because of their inability to be a PART of a team, they considered themselves to be the whole team. These people thought they were leaders, but they did not lead, they dictated. They do not respect others.

    Every opportunity I have with a new nurse is one that I can help to foster a pattern of listening, accepting, and willingness to be a part of a team. They will watch my every move, my every interaction and exchange with others. I hope to mentor others to be future leaders who will be respectful of coworkers, change, ideas, and growth. Leaders who listen a know that the path to excellence is thru respect, and who is know they are not now, nor will they ever be ALWAYS right.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
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  2. Visit Ahvegas profile page

    About Ahvegas

    I continue to work in a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology setting. I have been a nurse for 30+ years, and I still love it!

    Joined: Jan '14; Posts: 20; Likes: 99
    RN; from FL , US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience

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  3. by   Elfriede
    Thank you Ahvegas !
    God description.

    "Mrs. & Mr. Always-Right" are also a serious danger in healthcare.
    We have to evaluate our work and our convictions to the well of the pts and the team.
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I know plenty of people like this. I choose not to have them in my personal life. Professionally I interact as little as possible with them. I find talking to such folks exhausting and unfulfilling so I quarantine myself from them as much as possible
  5. by   infinity_rn_
    i know very few people like this at work- man do i stay away from them, because they usually bring negativity around because they "know it all"
  6. by   Kitiger
    He who knows not; and knows not that he knows not is a fool, shun him. He who knows not; and knows that he knows not is a child, teach him. He who knows; and knows not that he knows is asleep, wake him. He who knows; and knows that he knows is wise, follow him. - Persian proverb
  7. by   Guy in Babyland
    I don't THINK that I am always right, I AM always right.
  8. by   Kitiger
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    I don't THINK that I am always right, I AM always right.

    I had to laugh, Guy in Babyland, but I also had to say ...

    "He who knows not ..."

    (No offence meant. Am I out of line?)
    Last edit by Kitiger on Feb 4 : Reason: added
  9. by   Elfriede
    Next Question : What´s to do with: " I´m the party " people ???
    Last edit by Elfriede on Feb 4
  10. by   wondern
  11. by   Ahvegas
    Thanks for sharing this, I haven't heard it before, but it is quite accurate.
  12. by   Ahvegas
    Yes, I've worked with them also, they gather the crowds & like to keep their secrets...they've partied their way out of a job.
  13. by   Ahvegas
    I'm trying, however, it's difficult when there is little sense of team effort &/or communication because they are above it...I will keep trying.
  14. by   Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN, HTCP
    This article made me think of another key piece of wisdom, "Do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to be HAPPY?" Excelling in your work and performing tasks competently does not have to involve making other people wrong in the process. Personally, I've found that I'm happiest when I use other frameworks for judgement and evaluation besides right vs wrong. For example, looking through the lens of efficient vs inefficient or optimal vs non-optimal can lead to innovation-- and it also fosters trust and mutual respect. Nursing and medicine are arts as well as a sciences, and there are often multiple approaches that can be taken to getting the job done in any given situation.