NU Healthcare Leadership Understanding Self & Interpersonal Communication
Understanding Self and Others
Anchors keep a boat steady, while oars propel a boat forward. When we relate this to people, anchors are the characteristics that remain constant (help keep individuals steady); oars are the characteristics that change over time (allow for personal growth and development). All individuals have some personal characteristics that remain constant over time and some characteristics that change. The importance of different personal characteristics can vary greatly across individuals across situations.
Researchers have examined how professional identities can create difficulties as individuals are promoted to managerial positions. In these situations, individuals not only need to learn about the knowledge, skills, and abilities expected for their new managerial responsibilities, they also need to unlearn some of the behaviors that were central to their professional positions. Self-awareness is especially important for effective healthcare leaders. Good leaders are very aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and of how others compliment their strengths and weaknesses.
With this in mind, answer the following questions:
How have your anchors helped you? Are there anchors that have kept you from making important changes?
How have your life experiences encouraged you to make changes?
How might you use your current characteristics to help you make changes you expect to see in yourself over the next 5 to 10 years?
Sometimes we don’t express our thoughts and feelings because we don’t feel that we have sufficient grounds for the claims that we would like to make … in other words, we don’t trust our intuition. But often our reticence is based on a desire to avoid conflict, rather than a lack of solid arguments. Feelings that are not expressed, however, do not simply disappear. In addition to being willing to express our own thoughts and feelings, we need to encourage others to express their thoughts and feelings and we need to listen carefully when they do. Often, the best way to minimize conflict is to raise potentially contentious issues early, before they escalate.
With this in mind, identify a difficult conversation you had with a friend or work colleague involving a problem that you tried to resolve. The conversation may focus on a problem that has since been solved or one that still does not have a usable solution. The key is to find a problem that you were unable to resolve at that time. Try to identify a difficult problem that involved interpersonal difficulties, such as a conflict about how to do an assignment or a disagreement about who should perform different parts of a task.
Ponder the following questions as you develop your response:
What did you talk about?
What ideas did you have?
What were the interpersonal communication barriers that hindered your ability to resolve the issue? For example, did one of you have a hidden agenda?
Were there status differences that created problems?
Were there distractions that kept you from being focused n the conversation?
After pondering these questions and coming up with possible responses, answer the following questions:
Identify and describe the problem.
What was it about the situation that led you to feel the way you felt?
What was it about you or the situation that kept you from expressing your thoughts and feelings?
What assumptions did you make about the other person?
What did you lose from keeping certain thoughts and feelings to yourself?
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