Gossip. Infighting. Complaints. Cliques. Drama is what occurs when team members aren’t given the tools or support they need to rise above stress, selfishness, and disagreements. Team drama wreaks havoc on organizational health. It damages morale, productivity, engagement, and retention. Drama leads to customer complaints, lost revenue, and a talent exodus. —No More Team Drama, by Joe Mull, MEd, CSP
When someone assumes a leadership position, the task of “managing personalities” is not often top of mind. But according to Joe Mull, MEd, CSP, that ability can be the most important an effective leader can possess. “As it does elsewhere, conflict occurs naturally in the workplace,” says Mull. “Leaders often know part of their job is to foster team spirit, but they don’t always know how to do it.”
Mull says he is on a mission to rid healthcare of bad bosses and troubled teams. The author of No More Team Drama and Cure for the Common Leader, Mull is the former head of Learning and Development for Physician Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he directed learning strategy and implementation for one of the largest physician groups in the U.S. Today, Mull travels the country giving healthcare leaders and teams the skills and tools they need to navigate the people management challenges they face each day. Mull will share his experiences as a featured speaker at the ACCC 36th National Oncology Conference, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Florida.
Mull mixes humor and sage advice to teach leaders how they can be most effective in the midst of the interpersonal drama that can be an inevitable occurrence in any workplace. “I am not saying that if you follow my advice, drama will never occur,” he explains. “People are people. But leaders can do something about drama occurring at a level at which it does harm to or negatively affects staff morale or patient care. If you can move the needle even 20 percent, that can be a profound change for an organization.”
In healthcare delivery, patients’ impressions of the care they receive depends on how much they believe employees are trying to help them, Mull says. This applies to all staff members, from parking attendants to physicians. “If employees are consumed by infighting at the workplace,” says Mull, “they are wasting the mental resources that they should be devoting to patients.”
To avoid this, Mull advises leaders to take proactive steps to make employees feel like part of a cohesive team. He advises leaders to encourage staff to get to know one another beyond their work roles to cultivate a sense of unity. “We have to rally team members around the same goals and missions in the workplace,” says Mull. “If you give them a mission worthy of their purpose, you can transform the employee—and patient—experience.”
Join us at the ACCC National Oncology Conference in Orlando this fall, where featured speaker Joe Mull will share the four key steps to replacing workplace discord with team cohesion. Discover all the conference has to offer.