Lesson 3: Topic 14 of 19
‘Terri’ was a DON who had high expectations of others. Before accepting a job offer, she negotiated for working only half days on Fridays so as to spend weekends with her children and grandchildren back in her hometown. The CEO accepted her terms without stopping to think how this would impact employee morale. Almost every time she left she loaded down her staff with reports and tasks due the following Monday. Worse, Terri felt free to call non-exempt employees when they were off duty, sometimes even interrupting their sleep. Her disrespect for her employees’ time stood in stark contrast to her insistence that everyone honor her long weekends. Staff rapidly began disliking her. When COVID-19 hit their facility, Terri continued her early exits, oblivious to the resentment building among her staff. Several as a group approached her immediate supervisor to voice their concerns.
Terri’s boss related to her in private her direct reports’ issues with her behaviors and expectations. Terri became defensive and accusatory, and sought to punish those whom she suspected of complaining. She failed to gain perspective on the boundaries she crossed, not to mention the lack of humility she displayed to her staff. Ultimately, the day came when she announced she was resigning, effective immediately. When told she would be reported to the State Board of Nursing for abandoning her charges, she gave notice and left after 30 tension-filled days.
Note your own tendencies! A boundary-pusher may help an organization thrive. But if there’s a lot of push back, it’s time to stop and learn.
Pause and consider: Do you set appropriate boundaries for yourself? Do you respect the right boundaries of others?