What if the Bully is You?

This month we have a guest post written by Dr. Renee Thompson. She is a well-recognized, expert on bullying and incivility in the workplace. Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, the topic seemed fitting.

What if the Bully is You? (by Dr. Renee Thompson)

A few years ago I was doing a workshop for nurse leaders on the topic of bullying and incivility. About halfway through, a woman in the back of the room stood up and proclaimed, “I’m the bully.” Her assistant managers, who were sitting on both sides of her, quickly jumped to her defense. “No you’re not. You’re just a bit direct.” This leader again proclaimed, “I’m telling you. I’m the bully. That’s me up there (referring to the list of bullying behaviors on the screen).” But again, her colleagues defended her innocence until finally, they both said, “Okay. You are the bully but we’ve been too afraid to tell you!”

As I travel the country doing my part to eradicate bullying and incivility in healthcare, I’ve learned that the bullies can’t be everyone else. We all have to look in the mirror and determine if WE might be the bullies or at least, in some way, contribute to bullying.

Numerous studies show that anywhere from 73% to 93% of all nurses have either experienced or witnessed bullying in the workplace. Who are these “bullies”?”

Read the full post

Comments { 0 }

Job Satisfaction: What are things that positively influence your ability to be satisfied, energized & productive?

Happiness at work is a hot topic.

You probably hear people talking about it in the hallways and break rooms.

Whose job is it to make folks happy at work?

You won’t be surprised that I’m going to say that the primary responsibility lies with the individual (that’s you) to create his or her own Professional Paradise. In thoughtful moments, that’s the only logical response; however, there are times when senior leaders, managers, coworkers and customers/patients all impact the equation. As with most things at work, It’s a shared responsibility. Now that we have the responsibly piece cleared up, let’s get more specific.

What are things that positively influence your ability to be satisfied, energized & productive?

Take a quick break. Stop what you’re working on and jot down your answers.

To prompt your  brainstorming, here are two things that I frequently hear that positively influence someone’s ability to be satisfied, energized & productive:

  1. Having the resources to do my job
  2. Teamwork

Give yourself a few minutes to think. There’s no rush. Include at least 6 answers on your list. Go beyond the top of mind responses and dig a little deeper. The answers are different for everyone and there are no incorrect responses.

Now that you’ve made your list, the next step is to “code” the list according to who is responsible for each influencer.

M = Myself

L = My Leader

O = Organization/Senior Leaders

I recently asked this question at a workshop for healthcare leaders and frontline staff. You can see their responses in the pictures. We focused on the “M” and “L” categories because those are within the span of control of the participants. It’s fine to list things that are influenced by the Organization/Senior Leaders…you just have to be willing to follow up with those folks to prompt change in those areas.

Here’s the great news. The items that you listed with an “M” can be influenced TODAY and tomorrow and the next day. You’ve got the power to create your own Professional Paradise no matter what is happening around you and your coworkers do too.

Take it to the Team

Imagine the power of this discussion with the whole team. Those Chain Gang Members (disengaged employees) will not like the responses that include an “M” because it’s always easier to point fingers and blame others for creating our own happiness at work. When you do that, you can remain a passenger who waits for others to fix everything.

If you are reading this, I’m hoping you are a Chief Paradise Officer who wants to be in the driver’s seat. I’m hoping you are a leader who wants to support those on your team as they create their own Professional Paradise.

As we wrap up, the last step is to write down one or two things you could do today to be more satisfied, energized & productive. This can’t be something you need someone else’s help with. It’s all about you. Because at the end of the day, that’s the only person you can totally influence so why not start there.

Comments { 0 }

Boost Your Job Satisfaction

Have you heard of any these lately?

“It’s not fair!”
“My boss is never around – how can she understand?”
“You’ve got to be kidding, they want us to do what?”
“Wah, Wah, Wah”

I’m running into a lot of overworked people these days. People everywhere are reporting higher productivity goals, longer working hours and less satisfying work. It’s a big bummer!

I get it. I have bad days at work too. Yes, even though I talk about being the Chief Paradise Officer (CPO) of my job, I still get bogged down in the “work” part of work every now and again. It’s no fun.

Sometimes I forget I can be in the driver’s seat and steer my work experience in any direction I want. Sound familiar?

Guess what? It doesn’t matter that crummy things happen at work. Unfortunately, unless you’re in charge of everything (and even sometimes when you are), you probably can’t do anything to put a stop to all the frustrations that pop up.

Of course, you should spend time using process improvement efforts to minimize challenges that are within your control…who wouldn’t want to do that? But, the Blame Game has never been one of my favorites and as the subject of this email says…let’s talk about boosting your own job satisfaction by getting the driver’s seat.

I have a morning meditation practice. Recently, the guided meditation was about promoting inner happiness. I love that. I love connecting to someplace WITHIN ME – not having to count on anyone else – to find my own joy and well-being. Don’t you? If you aren’t sure how to meditate, check out Insight Timer – a free app for meditating that is super easy to use and has meditations from 1 minute to many.

Here are several easy to implement, high impact ideas for taking back control of your own job satisfaction and engagement. Pick a few that seem realistic to incorporate into your life RIGHT NOW so that you too, can officially claim the title of Chief Paradise Officer.

1)  Take Good Care of Yourself
◦    Meditate (see the link above)
◦    Stretch (your body and mind)
◦    Do fun things (whatever that means to you)
◦    Read (inspirational books)
◦    Sing (songs that make you Happy)
◦    Run around (playing sports, chasing kids, by yourself)
◦    Relax (without electronics)
◦    Sleep (make it a priority and create positive routines)
◦    Create Gratitude Triggers™ (every morning or night write down 5 things you are grateful for)
◦    Believe (in whatever makes you feel grateful and joyful)

2)  Decide to be the CPO of your Life
◦    Believe (that it’s possible to enjoy work)
◦    Smile (fake it until you make it)
◦    Be nice to others (they are struggling too)
◦    Stop complaining (no one wants to hear about it)
◦    Breathe (over and over, deeply)
◦    Quit taking things personally (unless you’ve been really mean, it’s not personal)
◦    Take a break (you deserve it and you’ll do better work if you take one)
◦    Give yourself permission to be happy (put that skip back in your step)

Let me know how you improve your job satisfaction. I’m interesting in hearing from you.

Comments { 0 }

No time or money for employee engagement? Think again!

If you’re a leader, you’re spending time and money on employee engagement whether you mean to or not. You are either doing it reactively or proactively.

In the reactive mode, you end up spending time with “Chain Gang Members” (my term for disengaged employees) listening to complaints or coaching for improvement again and again. When things continue to go downhill, you end up managing turnover and all of it’s associated costs and headaches.

Think this isn’t costing you money? Think again! (click HERE to keep reading on LinkedIn)

Comments { 0 }

It’s Our Sweet Sixteen – You Get the Present!

July is our anniversary month and we’re happy to be celebrating 16 years in business. How sweet it is! 

Thanks for your support along the way!

As my gift to you, here are 16 things to do to improve engagement:

  1. Choose to be the Chief Paradise Officer (CPO) of your job.
  2. Encourage others to join you.
  3. Look at your beliefs about whose job it is to make you happy at work.
  4. Say “Thank You” and mean it!
  5. Help others grow & develop & shine.
  6. Be honest – have challenging conversations.
  7. Recognize your own true value at work.
  8. Smile even when you don’t feel like it.
  9. Create “gratitude triggers” and practice gratitude every day.
  10. Forge positive connections with others.
  11. Offer to help someone.
  12. Communicate clearly and without ulterior motives.
  13. Assume positive intent of others until proven otherwise.
  14. Don’t take things personally.
  15. Lighten up and laugh!
  16. When you don’t know the ending to a story – write a happy one.
Comments { 0 }

What I Learned About Employee Engagement at the Eye Glass Store

Meet Karen. When she waited on my husband and me at the vision center she was marvelous. She explained things to Alan (it was his first time getting glasses) and was patient and kind. She also knew her stuff about glasses but wasn’t pushy. It was just the right level of customer service with a smile. This was employee engagement in action.


As we were talking more, Karen shared that it was her second to the last day of work at her eye store.  She leaving to go and work at the VA hospital in Baltimore in patient billing. “WOW!” I thought. They are so lucky to have her.

Employee Engagement in Real Life

Karen is obviously a Chief Paradise Officer™ (AKA someone who connects with that which makes her feel satisfied, energized & productive at work). Through her words and actions, she created a positive environment for us – even when she was leaving the job and organization!

What also impressed me was when she asked us to fill out the survey about her service. I was thinking “Who cares, she won’t even be here when the results are tallied.” Apparently Karen cared.

How much do YOU care?

How often do YOU show your internal & external customers know that you care?

What more could YOU be doing?

I imagine Karen’s health was good, she probably slept well and her family appreciated her positive attitude. I might be dreaming here, but why not? Never forget, the person who benefits the most from being a Chief Paradise Officer is the CPO him or herself.

Comments { 0 }