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How to deal with subordinates putting pressure on you

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Hello guys,

first thank you for all the precious answers above. My thumb up is nothing but a euphemism of my gratitude. I will also answer in the other threads and extend my gratitude for those answers as well.

I just had an "aha" moment and wanted to share it with you. I'm doing PU so something clicked.

In the example above, it is an example of tasking from subordinates. So that is an attempt at reversing power dynamics. Second, here is another example:

Example

Experience

Nurses are supposed to write down everything that some patients with nutrition problems ate. However, they dislike doing it. So they just don't do it. Then we go to check the results to give it to our dieticians and we look like dicks because there is no dietary information written. Or it is so poorly reported that it is unusable. This is done over a period of 3 days. Also keep in mind that every day of hospital costs about $1000 a day. Also, would you like to stay one more day at the hospital because nurses don't like to write down what you have eaten? Exactly. Also, when the patient is old enough (14-18 y.o.) they push the task onto the patient. So basically, they're making the patient do their job. Yes, I know it does not sound good. But that's the reality. It's been something that has been talked about over and over for years.

So my smart-alec-but-who-has-no-balls chief physician (two ranks above me) tells me that I have to make an official report about this. However, this is coercive and will not get buy-in. He said it over and over though. So I use my own initiative and go talk to the nurses and their chief about this issue. She pretends that she did not understand and tells me that when they're old enough they can do it themselves. But in reality the fail to follow a medical order. That means insubordination.

Now, here is the meat: the nurse pretends that it was not clear. So I say that I will write the order with more precision.

Analysis

Actually, I got tasked back again. She basically told me: "write a better order". For information: I had already modified the current order because it was already the second time it was not done: from: "Dietary balance" (old order) to "Dietary balance to be done by nurses please" (current one). Note that in medical orders nobody usually writes "to be done by the nurses" nor "please". So I was already going overboard and extending myself.

Behavior

I did my best to go the soft power route without success. I spoke softly. I explained why and they still resisted. I even got tasked back. This is my realization and what I want to share with you:

When someone tells you your instruction was not clear. They're basically tasking you back.

Sometimes the instruction is not clear so the task cannot be executed. But in this case, it is about a power move. So I will use coercion and do the formal report. They had it coming as it's apparently been years it's happening. You can also see that my chief physician has no balls and leave a leadership vacuum: I went to talk with the group of nurses. And I will do the report. These are tasks that are in his responsibility. But he prefers to talk to captive audiences (uses his position for attention) and theorizes all day long without doing actual work.

Cheers!

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

I don't have much to say here other than some comments from a third-party perspective.

Quote from John Freeman on March 6, 2021, 6:47 am

So my smart-alec-but-who-has-no-balls chief physician (two ranks above me) tells me that I have to make an official report about this. However, this coercive and will not get buy-in. He said it over and over though. So I use my own initiative and go talk to the nurses and their chief about this issue. She pretends that she did not understand and tells me that when they're old enough they can do it themselves. But in reality the fail to follow a medical order. That means insubordination.

I can see how the lack of leadership of the chief physician with the lazy nurses creates all kinds of problems in the hospital.
I guess some people climb because of credentials and seniority, but they have no actual leadership skills.
At least value-adding leadership.
Lucio talked about value-taking leadership in another thread.

Exactly. Also, when the patient is old enough (14-18 y.o.) they push the task onto the patient. So basically, they're making the patient do their job. Yes, I know it does not sound good. But that's the reality. It's been something that has been talked about over and over for years.

When I was 14-18 years old, I did not have enough knowledge on how to write down my diet and nutrition.
I would not claim to have enough knowledge now as well though slightly better.
So I can see that this is a huge problem.

Analysis

Actually, I got tasked back again. She basically told me: "write a better order". For information: I had already modified the current order because it was already the second time it was not done: from: "Dietary balance" (old order) to "Dietary balance to be done by nurses please" (current one). Note that in order nobody writes "to be done by the nurses" and "please". So I was already going overboard.

I'm guessing that, after medical or nurse training, everyone should understand what "Dietary balance" means.
So it's quite obvious that the nurses are trying to be funny.

So I will use coercion and do the formal report.

I don't have an understanding of how Swiss hospitals work.
I'm guessing the formal report would go even higher in the hierarchy or possibly to a regulatory agency.

I think it's a great idea.
Sometimes we need coercion to wake people up from their undisciplined and "pushing responsibilities around" ways.

Thanks for shaping and sharing this idea.
I realised that laziness can be a motivator for people to throw power moves around.
I subconsciously understood this, but now it's clearer in my mind.

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
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