As I read our text, How Do They Know They Know, I couldn’t help but pause on a statement on page 32, “additional improvements can be made by paying attention to the daily work environment of the learners and the personal characteristics and motivation of the leaders.” As many may know, I have chosen the topic for my course work this semester based on an offering that has already been created and conducted several times. It’s a popular topic and one that many continue to request, but I can’t always guarantee that the empowerment or motivation that I sense as they leave the classroom continues once they return to an environment that has not had the enlightenment or feeling of inspiration to change as they have. Without any real way to evaluate whether that motivation continues or whether the learning opportunity has really created a change in behavior, it leaves me to assume that the session has made a difference.
But instead of assuming, I’d like to really know. I’d like to create an opportunity to discover just how much of an impact the session really made and, if any, obstacles they may have encountered when they went back to ‘the real world’. I’d like to really consider the impact that their daily work environment has or may have had on their learning. While the topic that I facilitate is not necessarily life changing, nor is it rocket science; I’d like to think that creating awareness in a few people about how they can establish and maintain better relationships in the workplace can impact more than just that person. I’d like to think that it can begin to also build a better culture, create a better environment to work in and, ultimately, create a better organization for employees and the patients that we serve. For a smile can certainly brighten someones day, a caring heart can create the feeling of warmth that is so desperately needed in our darkest hour, and a helping hand can be the strength that we need on our toughest day. From a higher level, these things can also create the culture that empowers us to do well in our workplace, motivates us to go the extra mile and inspires us to be the team player that contributes to the team’s (departmental and organizational) overall success.
So often we fail to realize just how much our actions can impact others, and I’d like to not only help to create awareness of that fact, but to also inspire employees to change those actions. So have I been doing as Vella described and really looking at our environment for the possibility of change to my own program? I’d like to think that without that step back, I would not have had the inclination that there may be a need for this step forward.