This morning I attended a seminar to improve my management skills. Every time I have the opportunity to attend one of these events, it is always with excitement! How can I lead better? What will make me a better coach? How can I get the RESULTS I am looking for?
The class was small and a perfect learning environment. Some of the attendees had attended previous events. For most of us, it was our first time.
We all brainstormed on what makes a good leader. As a team, we were successful at listing many attributes. However, we did not come up with the overall picture of a great manager. This is someone who gets RESULTS.
We were asked how we would handle a team member that was dealing with an angry client or patient. What would we do to help the employee handle that type of client in the future. Once again we all brainstormed. I was then selected to role play the upset team member that was just abused by an angry client. The role playing was an effective way to see how the team member felt and how the patient felt. After playing the upset team member, I was asked to role play the team member with the angry client. Once again, the role playing brought the lesson home.
During the next part of the session we discussed the importance of giving team members a step by step process to handle situations that they typically deal with. In my case, I developed a step-based approach for how to handle an upset patient.
- Show Empathy
- Ask Questions
- Restate Problem to show you heard and understood
- Present next step and possible resolution
- If patient remains upset continue to offer empathy
- Offer solution
- If unacceptable to patient, refer to team lead or manager
As team members practice a step by step solution, they become more effective at handling difficult situations. It will help them to grow both their skills and their confidence. Most importantly, patient satisfaction will improve. Having a plan in place will also help me to become a better coach and leader.
A few hours later I had the opportunity to use this method with one of my team members. After listening and offering support and encouragement, we role played. I had her take both the patient and the nursing role. We went through the situation in a stepwise fashion until she was able to role play the situation confidently. I am eager to see how her confidence grows as she puts her new skills to use.
What can you do today to help your team members diffuse difficult situations? Do you have a plan in place that works for you? I would love to hear your techniques.