Guest Columns

4 strategies for increasing ownership in your team

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Dennis McIntee
Dennis McIntee

“Why do they always make excuses? Can't people just take responsibility? Why do they always blame others? Why don't they bring me solutions instead of just rehearsing the problem over and over?”

Have these questions ever rolled around in your head? If so, you're not alone. It's a common complaint I hear while working with healthcare teams.

I'm sure you've seen this. A drama team is where team members play the victim. They believe there is nothing they can do. A drama team blames and makes excuses. Because they never really own it, they absolve themselves from the responsibility of fixing it. Or even worse is when leaders play the rescuer and end up working harder on other people's jobs than those people are willing to themselves.

And at the end of the day, who really suffers? Residents and families. They don't receive the care they deserve. But there is something you can do about it. You don't have to settle.

It's possible to create your dream team instead of settling for a drama team. Here are four quick mindsets you can incorporate today to get the drama out of your team and help them take a new level of ownership.

1.  I will not play the victim.

When people play the victim, they always have a story. They are full of reasons and excuses as to why something didn't happen. It's almost as though they have to prove why it happened in order to enforce their own victim belief.

People who live drama-free don't feel the need to prove anything. They don't need to prove why. It just is. This is what causes drama-free people to be amazingly proactive. They know that even though they can't control other people's actions or the events that happen to them, it's their response that will ultimately determine the outcome. They believe there is always something they can do.

2.  I will not delay action.

Every outcome is based on an action, not a policy. I'm not saying we shouldn't have policies in our facilities but I want to drive home a point. All results are based on the actions we take. Nothing more, nothing less. So if I'm not satisfied with the results, I need to look at my actions. Change an action and I change the outcome.

I tell people that I never ever fail. I just produce an outcome. Great leaders constantly review outcomes. They ask, “Am I satisfied with these results?” If you're not satisfied with results, then change your actions.

Stop complaining or whining about the outcome. Because you're in charge of your actions you can create a new result. Drama-free leaders know they're ridiculously in charge of their behavior. It's the one thing they can control. So I if I want a different result, I have to choose a different behavior.

3.  I will own my decisions.

Decisions are one of the very few things people can own. I can't control events or other people, but I can control my decisions. Until I own my decisions, I won't own the change.

As people and organizations grow, they will change and evolve. People never change until they own their decisions. One of the key tenants of The Drama Free Coaching Process™ is that “I am ridiculously in charge of me.” I am in control of my decisions, no one else.

4.  I will serve those in the sphere of my influence.

The quickest way to win someone's heart is to serve them. It shows them that you're in it for their best interest, not just for what you can get from them.

Leaders serve their teams by helping them be successful and by giving them credit.  They serve by helping their teams with their own personal goals, passions and struggles.

Every team is a reflection of its leader, just as my kids are a reflection of me as the parent. Your first assignment is to internalize these beliefs before you teach them.  We are teaching what we know, but at the end of the day, we produce who we are.

Go produce a drama-free team that takes extreme ownership in serving residents and families. You can do it!

Dennis McIntee is a change management consultant who conducts training sessions and speaks widely to professional groups. He supplies a free coaching skills checklist here.

Guest Columns

Guest columns are written by long-term care industry experts, ranging from academics and thought leaders to administrators and CEOs.

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