One of your team mates is always dumping bad news on you when you would prefer good news. Or you feel one or more of your staff are against you. Or there is a patient or client who seems to have a strong negative attitude towards you. Perhaps you see someone who might be doing something illegal or against practice policy and it jeopardizes your position. Maybe you feel that your boss is about to fire you.
Sitting on It
Sitting on those kinds of feelings and not saying anything can build up quite a bit of steam and worry and make your life miserable or at least uncomfortable. You are afraid to say anything because you (a) are unsure of your observations being correct, or (b) are not sure of the best way to handle the situation, or (c) don’t feel anything will change even if you do mention it.
How to Speak Out
Here are some thoughts on how to speak up and get a result:
- It is better to say something than nothing at all. This is Rule #1. Leaving it festering inside you making your life miserable and uncomfortable is not a handling. Enough communication can handle anything.
- Don’t take up the matter when you are mad. Leave it alone till you have worked out the best way to handle the situation. You might try talking about it with a friend or relative who is objectively distant from the problem. Get their thoughts on how they would handle it. Work out with them what you decide to do and how you will say it. Rehearse it.
- Don’t take it up in front of other people, just the one you are addressing. Find a way to meet with the person privately. Maybe on lunch or after work over a cup of coffee, etc.
- Keep your communication to the other person very upbeat and positive. Negative feelings emanating from you will trigger negative feelings in the other person. It’s an automatic reaction. And you will fail in your mission.
- If you feel that someone is mad at you, ask politely if they are mad at you for something. Let them speak and don’t argue with them or try to make them wrong and yourself right. Instead, acknowledge them and ask what they feel you can do about their upset. You might even be surprised that they are not mad at YOU at all … it could be a completely different situation and they are acting annoyed at everyone, not just you. One client when asked if they were mad at the receptionist told her absolutely not, whatever gave her that idea … he said he really appreciates all the great work this practice and the staff
- do for him. He said he didn’t realize he was giving the wrong impression and from there on worked on being more cheerful.
- If you perceive that there is a whispering about you going on behind your back, privately ask one of the ones involved who you feel will talk with you and ask them point blank about it. It might turn out not to be about you at all. But if it IS, get the details and take it up with the others involved. Ask them (individually) how they would feel if someone was starting a whisper campaign about them. This may trigger their conscience and get them to stop.
- If there is something wrong being done that you suspect, either take it up directly with the person, or let your boss know what you observed. If you love your job and want to keep it, you must take care of the boss and the practice above all. Not reporting it makes you just as guilty as the person doing the wrongdoing.
- If you feel that your boss has it in for you or that he or she might be planning to dismiss you, you can politely ask for a few minutes of his or her time to do a job evaluation. Find out what is on their mind and what they feel you should do to improve. Listen well and work on improving what they ask for. Holding a job is a constant learning process and you and your boss may not always have the same agenda on job functions and so you need to work to close the gap and give them what they need from you.
It is better to have communicated than to not have. Speak up and make your life better!
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