Do you have the ‘busy-ness’ syndrome?

Do you have the ‘busy-ness’ syndrome?

The other day I watched a manager power through her unit at a great pace.  I was reminded of the mad hatter – she had that look about her and was walking and talking and speaking quickly to anyone who stopped her.  “Busy, busy, busy…….” was littered throughout her response.

I worked with another manager some time ago with the same ‘busy-ness’ syndrome and I reckon have had it myself from time to time over the years.

What I’ve noticed is the negative impact that it has on the team.  The manager’s energy is up and a little frantic and the team rises with her.

The feedback staff have is that she’s too busy to hear them, that they don’t feel valued and that they are brushed off.  They don’t raise issues because they don’t want to burden her.

What does this mean for clinical safety?

If staff can’t/don’t tell you about the broken equipment, the festering HR issue or the barriers they had escalating care then things can start to go wrong.  What about the care delivered to the patients – do they start rushing too?

As clinicians, we know that our energy and focus will impact our patient care.  As a manager it’s the same deal.  In fact maybe we are unconsciously looking busy so no one interrupts us?  Manage your state to produce better results in your team.

Here’s five things to help you do that:

  • Slow your walk down – ½ nursing pace will do it!
  • Have a nice way of putting people off when you really don’t have time.  Try stop, turn, look and smile at the person.  Ask, “Is it urgent?  If not can I come back to you in xxxx?”
  • Say the second thing – one of our awesome C2M participants gave us this gold nugget.  When someone comes to you with an issue the first thing that comes to mind is often a frustrated reaction – not helpful.  The second thing is usually more measured.  Say the second thing and then thank them for the information/feedback.
  • Unless someone is going to die if you don’t act. Resist the urge to ‘fix’ an issue straight away.  We often jump to the solution to fix problems that people bring to us.  Take some time to examine the issue.  Get input – more heads are better than one.  Respond with “That’s interesting – what do you think should happen?” or  “Interesting – let me think on that”.
  • Smile and bring fun into your work life – a bit of levity never hurt anyone.

So, the big idea is check in with yourself – how are you impacting the energy of your team?

If you want to learn powerful strategies to multiply your time and contain the overwhelm, then join us at our next “Time 2 Manage” workshop in Melbourne on 28 June, 2017

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