The Resilient Organization: The Contagion of Resilience

Emotions are contagious. Think about a recent win you had at work. Perhaps it was landing a new contract or having your department pass its compliance audit. Hopefully you had a celebration and with it you saw a sea of smiles and high fives. What about a recent failure? Maybe you missed your budget numbers or a client decided to go with another firm. Hopefully you had a post-hoc analysis with your team and you could not have missed the disappointed and perhaps sullen mood among your team members. These emotional responses aren’t just from the events themselves but are also a function of how people respond to each other. These kinds of positive and negative emotions happen every day Read More

The Resilient Person: Anticipatory Anxiety

I bought my first new computer in 6 years, a few weeks ago. As I interrogated the Apple sales guy about data migration, software updates, cloud configurations, privacy settings and the like, I could feel my anxiety increase as I began to gird myself for the inevitable bumps and bruises that accompany a computer upgrade. Even though I consider myself to be a sophisticated computer user, I headed home with a good deal of trepidation and concern about getting the machine up and running. I remembered my own experiences with upgrades and have watched my corporate clients struggle with what seemed like no-brainer computer conversions only to find out that that the little laptop can be no friend when building Read More

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the most psychologically powerful holiday we celebrate as we recognize and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. We’ll be taking time tomorrow to share turkey and the fixings, some football, and love and care with the people most important in our lives. Thanksgiving begins a time of reflection that lasts through and into the New Year. Taking time to consider our good fortunes creates a powerful energy that will carry us into 2019. Enjoy your holiday and thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed on me. © Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018

Do You Mind Mindfulness?

A story in our local on-line paper highlighted a new yoga studio that has integrated a formal mindfulness element to their program and details how the program is changing their student’s lives. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will be bringing Dr. Barry Kurzin back to town next month. Dr. Kurzin is a Buddhist Monk and is the personal physician to the Dalai Lama. He will be meeting and talking with nurses about burnout. UPMC’s Chief Nursing Officer, Holly Lorenz, hopes that the practice of mindfulness will become an essential and vital skill for her nursing corps. I’ve been doing mindfulness and mediation practice for years and I know it helps. It provides me a few minutes to quiet myself Read More

2018 Election: Next Steps

In preparation for the election yesterday, I had dinner with a friend who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum. We had such a good time. I listened to her. She listened to me. We didn’t interrupt each other…. Too much. I was surprised by some of her points of view and I expect she was surprised by some of my points of view; especially when we acknowledged that we could understand each other’s perspectives. After dinner she told me that she wasn’t able to talk to any of her other friends about her political positions, as they would get mad and angry with her. She told me that she appreciated our being able to talk about these Read More

Our Turn

It’s been a difficult week in Pittsburgh. The horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday has tested the steely resolve of this City and all of her inhabitants, Sheila and I included. I’ve told myself that it is just like the other tragedies that Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland, Sandy Hook (and unfortunately others) experienced. Even though I am Jewish and this happened in my community, I saw this event as just another in the long string of what has become ridiculously normal for our country. I was wrong. When you know exactly where the building is located, know people who had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah in that sanctuary, have your own remembrances of religious experiences, and Read More

Burnout 2: Sales Men and Women

Last week’s RW on Physician and Nurse Burnout provided quite a bit of interest from several physician colleagues and other health care professionals. I was surprised, however, to hear from folks in other fields who felt their burnout levels were pretty high, although they all acknowledged that medical professional’s concerns took it to a higher level. Among the most vocal were sales professionals. They pointed out that their challenge to deliver is a daily battle that cannot be won but only played. “Delivered a big deal; Great, now what?” Like other successful professionals, burnout in the sales industry is a common problem and research from DePaul University showed that there is a 26% turnover rate for sales teams at an Read More

Concern, Aggravation, Grievance: Don’t Do This to Your Customers

I’m attending a high-end conference event at one of America’s finest resort hotels and if I shared the name of this property, most everyone would identify it as a place with a reputation for impeccable customer service. That is what I thought too, but a funny thing happened the other day. My room didn’t get cleaned the entire day. I was a bit surprised when I came back to my room for a little rest over lunch to find that the room hadn’t been made up. Understandable, but a bit concerning given the fact that the Hotel was not that crowded. I came back at 4 PM…still no service. Now, I was a bit aggravated and called the front desk. Read More

Physician and Nurse Burnout

I’ve been working with healthcare professionals for the past 30 years and when I talk to my healthcare colleagues, I hear the same things I’ve heard for all those years. “Healthcare is really crazy right now.” The truth is that healthcare professionals are smart, highly dedicated, and hard working. The challenge for them is all about the shifting business requirements and expectations that have happened as healthcare has become industrialized. A recent study in the Harvard Business Review, discussing physical and nurse burnout, pointed to two factors that contribute to whether or not a health care professional experience this phenomenon. The first is referred to as “activation” which is what motivates a physician or nurse to find their work meaningful. Read More

Leadership Endurance

I was scheduled to meet with the CEO of a billion dollar company last month when he sent me an email explaining that he had to cancel our meeting. He was overwhelmed with budget and operational issues and was not in a place where he could talk about his own leadership style. I suggested to him that he not worry about our meeting right now and that his emphasis was absolutely on the mark. After all, making sure that 2019 budgets were completed should be his highest priority. He appreciated my understanding and I know he was pleased that I affirmed the correctness of his decision. When we do get together, I want to share with him some of the Read More