Turn the Tables in your Tea room

Gossiping and complaining can have detrimental effects not only on individuals, but the whole team, and therefore the entire ward. Workplace culture is extremely influential to staff’s experience at work, impacting; moral, sick leave, patient experiences and potentially patient outcomes. If a culture of nurturing one another can be harnessed, as opposed to deflecting and judging, a positive team spirit can be harnessed to encompass more enjoyment and fulfillment at work.

Listen without judgement

When one is carried away or “caught up” and is complaining, winging and venting of others, it is very easy to pick up the habit and apply it as a coping strategy. It takes courage and discipline to resist the temptation and hold space for a higher conversation. Potentially hold space for the person, even in silence. Give yourself some time to reflect, when you are ready, fill it with conversation that will benefit yourself and others.

Just listen and hold space

If someone is debriefing, or getting something off their chest, encourage them to just express what feelings were provoked within them. Try not to dive into the details, offer opinions and re-live the events. Instead just ask how they are feeling currently, describing and articulating feelings is difficult and a form of emotional intelligence. Once expressed, sometimes just listening, with full attention and without interruption can be all they need.

Reflect back with love

If the conversation is heating up, you feel tempted to join a detrimental conversation or an individual hints or asks for validation. It is your opportunity to help build the culture and your entire workplace. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply validate feelings and reflect back content. Support one another and make them feel heard. A simple phrase such as: “Hmm, that seems really stressful” Can help people become aware of their state, and move onto something more positive. Also, it may be enough to recognize and acknowledge their true feelings, with the opportunity to be expressed.

Laugh it off

Find the humor in the situation! Don’t take things personally and seriously all the time, everyone is doing the best they can with the knowledge and understanding that they have. Sometimes things are just not worth taking on board. Laughing and joking releases positive and happy emotions in your brain, making you lighter! Make the right smiling lines on your face in the corners of your eyes instead of in between your brow.

Talk about your passions and interests

If all else fails, change the subject and talk about your hobbies and interests. Sometimes simply talking about something not related to work can really bring in an alternative perspective, or even inspire you to live a little differently.

By Amy Benn

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