Taming Disruptive Behavior

June 26, 2013

Marty Martin, a former Hopkins guy (I think we only briefly overlapped our tenures there), wrote a nice little piece entitled, Taming Disruptive Behavior for the AGProfessional website.  As you can see the concepts we talk about regarding disruptive behavior and disruptive professionals applies as much to agricultural professionals as it does to healthcare, legal or other “white collar” professionals.

Countering Workplace Violence

September 5, 2012

I was recently sent an article entitled, “Countering Workplace Violence” that I found to be very well-written and extremely well-grounded.  The piece was written in response to the recent shooting in Manhattan, but what I liked most about it was that, unlike other articles, the author avoid the hype and hysteria associated with topics like workplace violence.  In fact the author actively countered some very common myths about the incidence of workplace violence and the efficacy of actuarial profiling.

Webinar with Employment Attorney, Laura Rubenstein

July 19, 2012

Though I’ve presented many topics to many audiences over the years, I just put on my first webinar earlier this week. Together with employment lawyer, Laura Rubenstein, we delivered a well-attended webinar entitled, “Dealing with the Disruptive Professional: An Alternative to Termination.”

You can access an archive of the slides and/or the video of the presentation.  Take a look.

Talk Radio

March 21, 2012

Last week I was invited to be interviewed on a talk radio show hosted by Dr Carol Scott, an ER physician who trained at Hopkins and is interested in the topic of Stress.  We discussed disruptive professionals, talking about what the term means, what leads to such situations and how to deal with a disruptive professional you might work with.

You can listen to an archive of the show, but please note that the audio problems Dr Scott was dealing with during the first segment resolved after the first break.

Changing definitions

November 23, 2011

On November 9, 2011, the Joint Commission announced that they will be changing the definition of the term “disruptive behavior.”  Specifically, they have noted that disruptive behavior is “behavior or behaviors that undermine a culture of safety.”  They added that term is not viewed favorably by some and that many find it to be ambiguous.  Though I surely agree with this, I do not foresee an large, wide-reaching entity such as the Joint Commission being able to define a very complex range of behaviors in a way that covers all it needs to cover without going too far.  When I give talks about disruptive behavior and workplace violence I often suggest that (unfortunately) the classification of one’s behavior as being disruptive “lies in the eyes of the beholder.”  There’s no way the Joint Commission (or even a hospital, small practice or company) could get away with that.

What does “zero tolerance” really mean?

April 8, 2011

We’ve all heard about so-called “zero-tolerance” policies.  They sound great and seem like they make a lot of sense, but if you think about it, can you really apply such concrete decision making to dealing with human behavior?

In this Washington Post article some “myths” about zero-tolerance policies are exposed.  This article was written primarily about the application of such policies in the school setting, I think it touched on many common themes that I deal with when consulting to work organizations.  Probably the main point I try to bring home when speaking with a policy maker (or policy implementer) is that “zero-tolerance” does not mean “termination.”  It simply means that the organization will not tolerate the identified behavior and it will take some sort of action against the employee, perhaps including risk assessment evaluation, discipline, education, demotion, etc.  Of course termination is still an option in these cases, but it is not the only option.

HR’s Role In Managing Disruptive Key Employees

January 31, 2011

I recently stumbled upon this interesting blog post about how HR professionals can assist managemnet in dealing with employees’ disruptive behaviors.  What I like about this article is that it discusses a relatively broad range of disruptive behavior and it isn’t just about medical professionals, which is most of what I tend to read about.  The article describes coaching well and approaches a distinction from psychotherapy.

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