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Tired of managing children

Management   (1,085 Views 12 Comments)
by xoemmylouox xoemmylouox (Member)

xoemmylouox has 13 years experience and works as a Nurse.

39 Likes; 1 Follower; 38,229 Visitors; 3,145 Posts

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I've been in my current management role less than a year. However I moved up in the ranks so I know most of the staff very well. Now that I am a manager I see a different side to so many people. It makes me sad. Some I knew were trouble from the start, some I knew were going demand change (for the better) which I support 100%, and some I knew were just coasting along (again not a biggie). It's the ones that I thought were about being part of a team and getting things done and making things better - and instead they are just all about me, me, me. I will come out and work alongside you. I will have your back against anyone. Have someone irate yelling at you, send them my way. I am here to help make your job better and to support you in any way I can. I am not here to be your best friend or to make your job simple so you can do the minimum necessary and allow you to pass the buck to everyone else. I'm not here to listen to you whine about the same thing 100x if you have no solutions to offer.

Last week I had someone walk out of my office in tears because I said she was going to have to move where she sits.. Seriously. ( I work in an outpatient setting). She prefers up to 4 people who are here full time to be disrupted and moving around so she can have her seat for 5 hours a week. I feel like I'm managing 5 year olds some days. It's exhausting. :banghead:

I make it a point to thank my hardworking staff as often as I can. I try to show them my appreciation by allowing them flexibility with scheduling and trying to make sure they get off the time they request, even if it means I am covering their role part of the time.

Ok.. Thanks for the vent. I feel better now. I do really like my job most days.. today however is not one of those days.

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bugya90 has 7 years experience.

1 Like; 7,976 Visitors; 543 Posts

I also work outpatient and feel the same way half the time. Half of my staff is great and the other half not so much. Complaining without having ANY solutions to offer is my biggest pet peeve. I have told them over and over, you know your job the best so you will know what solution would work the best, not me. At least give me some idea of what you are wanting so I can try to make it happen, otherwise what you end up with may be worse than the original problem.

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Orca has 22 years experience and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

70 Likes; 1 Follower; 25,562 Visitors; 1,728 Posts

The joys of management. Some of the conflicts that you have to resolve boggle the mind. You would believe that people who are intelligent enough to complete a nursing curriculum and pass the licensing exam would have enough sense to get along with one another, but this is not always the case. Sometimes staff can lock in on some very trivial things and dig in on them. It is amazing.

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience and works as a Nurse.

39 Likes; 1 Follower; 38,229 Visitors; 3,145 Posts

Exactly. I can't get them to say hi to each other, but yet we trust them to care for our patients? I'd honestly get rid of a fourth of our staff, but I don't have enough staff prospects to replace them at this time. I just hate that those who don't pull their weight are dragging the rest of the team down. I am enforcing a lot of the policies that have not really been addressed and I found that is helping certain things. I also include staff on projects that in the past they might not have been included in.

I did have one staff person tell me that problem solving wasn't part of her job. I just laughed. What do you even say when someone leaves you dumbfounded like that?

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SummerGarden has 10 years experience and works as a Assistant Dept Manager.

8 Likes; 36,041 Visitors; 2,979 Posts

I did have one staff person tell me that problem solving wasn't part of her job. I just laughed. What do you even say when someone leaves you dumbfounded like that?

I do not reply to comments like that in front of everyone, but I will discuss what is apart of their performance evaluation when I round on them. With that said, my repsonse would be to assess that staff member's understanding of their duties and responsibilities within the department and clarify what meets expectations and what exceeds expectations. Meeting expectations, by the way, does not translate to raises beyond the cost-of-living, where I work. So I do not rate someone as "exceeding expectations" when he/she does nothing but the basics within the department.

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1,135 Likes; 7 Followers; 21,305 Visitors; 2,696 Posts

I would try hard not to think of them as children. I wouldn't think that could possibly help anything. My reinforced belief and observation is that very often people learn act in a manner consistent with the way they are treated over time. Unless you are exceedingly skilled at interpersonal façades, your feelings aren't a secret.

I would make my decisions about what to do after a trial of making it my primary goal to built trust and build relationships and to treat everyone better than (what it might seem) they deserve and see where the chips fall. A few may be recalcitrant, but you might be surprised what you accomplish overall if you're able to establish trusting, respectful relationships.

Signed,

Staff member

(good luck~)

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SummerGarden has 10 years experience and works as a Assistant Dept Manager.

8 Likes; 36,041 Visitors; 2,979 Posts

I would make my decisions about what to do after a trial of making it my primary goal to built trust and build relationships and to treat everyone better than (what it might seem) they deserve and see where the chips fall. A few may be recalcitrant, but you might be surprised what you accomplish overall if you're able to establish trusting, respectful relationships.

Signed,

Staff member

(good luck~)

Very good points...!!! In fact, I forgot to mention in my post regarding rounding on direct reports that this is the main reason to round on direct reports. Rounding allows a manger to build trust and develop relationships along with establishing expectations. In my experience as both staff and as a manger, the most ineffective managers are those that do not bother to round on their direct reports and do not address concerns in the moment, in a timely fashion, and do not establish clear expectations. Also, those that do not know how to walk the fine line between being a manager and being the staff's BFF can be ineffetive as well.

Edited by SummerGarden

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Orca has 22 years experience and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

70 Likes; 1 Follower; 25,562 Visitors; 1,728 Posts

I have followed some dictatorial managers who maintained order through fear and intimidation. In those circumstances, people can develop some very pathological coping mechanisms, and those habits can be hard to break. I know nothing about the style of the manager who you succeeded, but in my current job, there were even people who did not respond well to being treated with respect, as strange as that sounds. It's almost as if they didn't know how to deal with it. After a couple of weeks in my first DON job, someone asked me how things were going. "It's like the whole staff has PTSD", was my reply. It took about three weeks before people came into my office, because they were used to only bad things happening in there.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

319 Likes; 3 Followers; 112,097 Visitors; 12,930 Posts

It's almost as if they didn't know how to deal with it. After a couple of weeks in my first DON job, someone asked me how things were going. "It's like the whole staff has PTSD", was my reply. It took about three weeks before people came into my office, because they were used to only bad things happening in there.

My last job was like that, too. It took time, but I did develop a good relationship with most of the staff. Around the time I left, I had even won over most of the night shift crew (in my experience, night shift nurses are tough nuts to crack).

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K+MgSO4 has 10 years experience and works as a nurse unit manager.

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I have followed some dictatorial managers who maintained order through fear and intimidation. In those circumstances, people can develop some very pathological coping mechanisms, and those habits can be hard to break. I know nothing about the style of the manager who you succeeded, but in my current job, there were even people who did not respond well to being treated with respect, as strange as that sounds. It's almost as if they didn't know how to deal with it. After a couple of weeks in my first DON job, someone asked me how things were going. "It's like the whole staff has PTSD", was my reply. It took about three weeks before people came into my office, because they were used to only bad things happening in there.

Same, I employed a nurse as an internal transfer and I did her 6 month evaluation. She literally was shaking and wringing her hands. Her previous NM had a record book of every minutiae error, incident, feedback on each employee ongoing. I have a very different style and give feedback in the moment and that is it unless it is a pattern (I keep file notes but don't drag them out at catch ups unless it is a catch up about performance issues).

It was absolutely PTSD for that nurse that had her responding in my office the way she did.

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Orca has 22 years experience and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

70 Likes; 1 Follower; 25,562 Visitors; 1,728 Posts

I would try hard not to think of them as children. I wouldn't think that could possibly help anything.

I disagree, to a point. Thinking of them as children may be the key to the whole solution. Your strategy for solving a problem might require an approach in the same way that you would with children. Not treating them as children when it comes time to administer the solution is a different thing entirely. You may have to be the lone adult in the room. I have been there.

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Orca has 22 years experience and works as a Corrections RN/DON.

70 Likes; 1 Follower; 25,562 Visitors; 1,728 Posts

Same, I employed a nurse as an internal transfer and I did her 6 month evaluation. She literally was shaking and wringing her hands. Her previous NM had a record book of every minutiae error, incident, feedback on each employee ongoing. I have a very different style and give feedback in the moment and that is it unless it is a pattern (I keep file notes but don't drag them out at catch ups unless it is a catch up about performance issues).

It was absolutely PTSD for that nurse that had her responding in my office the way she did.

My first upper administrative job was one in which I followed a dictatorial leader whose idea of communication was to yell at people - often as they walked past her office door. I noticed that for about the first three weeks that I was there, almost no one walked past the door. Later on, I found out why. She also had a habit of blindsiding people at evaluation time with things that she had never previously mentioned to them. Evaluation time was a time of great angst for the staff - at least until they figured out that there would be nothing in my evaluations that we hadn't already discussed. If there was a corrective issue, if they had fixed it, it would be noted in the eval. Previously, they had not gotten credit for anything that had been rectified.

You don't develop people by not pointing out things that need to be corrected, and you increase their anxiety levels if evaluation time is typically when they get corrective feedback for the first time. They develop the attitude that nothing will ever be good enough, that they will be criticized no matter what, and this can lead to pathological coping strategies on the part of the employees. To a large extent, they will mirror the dysfunctionality of their administrator.

About a month in, my supervisor asked me how things were going. "It's like the entire staff has PTSD", I said. That wasn't too far from the truth. A little tact and respect went a long way toward rectifying that.

Edited by Orca

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