Update – As mentioned before, my co-writer, Emma, is in Thailand doing service work at a women’s shelter. The next few posts will be her experiences applied to your worksite.
A quick refresher on the story of last week for context.
This past week at the shelter I was assigned to oversee a project of moving a massive pile of dirt. Four of the women came to help me and pretty soon we were making headway. I noticed one of the women who walked with a limp due to bowed out legs, struggling to keep up. The rest of the time consisted of me partnering up with this young woman, a single mother with severe physical struggles, and going back and forth with her, shoveling and lifting.
The pile of dirt didn’t get moved under my watch, it was finished the next day.
But I realized that I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of piles of dirt in my life that I put before people that needed help. I found it ironic that it was a pile of dirt that was being moved, because frankly, any task that we put over the emotional and mental well being of someone on our team, might as well be a pile of dirt.
So did you find any piles of dirt in your week? Moments when you prioritized a task over someone in your team. Or in the effort to get a task done, you slighted or hurt someone on your team?
It’s not about the pile of dirt. It’s about the people you’re working with to get the job done. Now as many of you in the medical field, you might be tempted to say, “Well, Karl, my patients aren’t just another task to be done, they’re people too.”
That’s true! People and their healing is your business. However, you can make your team and patients equal priorities in the way you treat your team while caring for your patients. The profession of nursing is facing a crisis of burnout from new young nurses who get eaten alive by some nurses that have tenure in the profession. Is it too much to argue that patients’ needs could be met just as efficiently, even more so, without the new nurses being intimidated like so many are today?
I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
In short, it’s not about the task to be done, it’s about the people you work with. So think twice before you snap at someone, or lay into someone as you’re trying to hit a deadline. Your people are your number one priority as a leader. Take a moment to check if you really believe that, and if you do, what does that look like to your team?
We all make mistakes and we all come in short. But your efforts to try a little harder today and tomorrow will be an incredible benefit to you today and in the future.
Have a great weekend!