I was recently asked to coach a group of leaders from various parts of an organization. Although they were from different departments – client services, publications, IT, communications, operations – they all shared a sense of exhaustion that outweighed their sense of accomplishment related to some considerable successes.
According to this research most of us have taken on more tasks than we feel confident we can reasonably achieve. Why do we do this? According to respondents, the top 5 reasons people give for their overgrown to-do lists include:
Setting clear boundaries and holding ourselves and others to them seems to show up regularly as a top skill to have and part of success and happiness in life and relationships. Similar to other keys to success, actually doing it can be hard.
As I talked with leaders about their results from the pulse survey conducted at UC Davis Health last fall, I noticed a pattern. When I spoke with leaders from the Patient Care Services (PCS) units, I consistently heard some form of “We’re encouraged to take care of ourselves first, our team second, so the patient gets the best care.” I was intrigued and had to know more! I had an inspiring hour-long conversation with Toby Marsh, R.N., M.S.A., M.S.N., F.A.C.H.E., N.E.A.-BC, Chief Patient Care Services Officer.
Jasmine (not her real name) had been the director of a unit on the campus of a nonprofit university for less than two years. Over the last year, two department managers retired when Covid-19 expanded, and had not been replaced. Work had been redistributed “temporarily” six months ago while she delayed in recruiting for replacements because, “it is so hard to hire virtually when we usually operate face-to-face.”
In a previous blog post we shared how motive really matters in tough conversations and the 2 important steps to uncovering motive. To recap, first look at the situation to understand what the root of the problem might be. Next, ask yourself some questions to discover your motive. That will get you ready for the conversation and help you to return to your motive if you get sidetracked. If you missed it, you can go to that post here.