Take-home message: Managers can teach staff many skills but often the most difficult lesson for employees to learn is they need to be aware of the chaos they consciously or unconsciously create.
I have long preached to the staff that “you are the chaos you create” and to look at what is occurring around you or to you with a critical eye.
Life’s lessons are the hardest lessons for your staff to learn. We can teach them the latest technology, help them refine their skills, and improve their communication skills with patients and each other, but we cannot get them to understand that what is occurring around them is often a direct cause of one thing: them!
I had a young technician who had been with us at least 3 years. She was smart, energetic, and extremely personable. She also had a type AAA+ personality.
Her skills were stellar, her exams right on the spot, and her exam times were appropriate. When she was in clinic, flow was never an issue. The problem was I had staff begging for a break from her.
She was in everyone’s face, techs and doctors alike, continually with questions/comments like: “You love me most, don’t you?” or “Aren’t I the cutest?”
Some called her extra-extraverted to the nth degree—but I knew otherwise. She was an insecure person. Her constant need for attention was putting the wrong spotlight on herself, causing a negative effect.
In most cases when there is a conflict between technicians because of personality issues, I provide ideas on how to work it out and tell them, firmly, to move on. In this case—I separated them.
Two technicians had come to me and said, “She is a really good technician, but I am mentally fried after working with her. Please put me in another location away from her for the next few weeks. I need a break.”
After developing a game plan, I sat down with the AAA+ technician to get her to understand the chaos she was creating (whether intentionally or by mistake).