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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

We Teach What We Need to Learn

Published July 30, 2009 8:21 PM by Glen McDaniel

A good friend of mine who is a life coach is fond of saying "We teach what we most need to learn."  I have found that to be true not just in a metaphysical sense but also in leadership as well.

I once had a boss who always brought every topic back to patient safety or ethics. We were all shocked when we found that as a nurse she diverted pain medications from patients(for her own use/abuse).  Not only was she putting patients at risk; but little is more unethical, in my opinion.

Ever notice how micromanagers often point out that fault in others or declare how much they hate to be micromanaged?

It seems the most obstinate and rigid supervisors are the ones who wonder why their subordinates can't adapt to changes; of course they mean only the sort of change they endorse.

I recently had an encounter with a leader who connives and cuts people with her words. She enjoys seeing others wince. Yet she appeared mortified and deeply hurt when she was taken to task for inappropriate behavior.

It is a truism that if you see a certain behavior everywhere or ascribe certain motives to others, you might do well to examine yourself. To be a great leader, employee, colleague or individual it helps to look in the mirror periodically; but especially when you are incensed or deeply bothered by someone else.

Triggers and preoccupations often tell us more about ourselves than they do about others.

3 comments

This is an extreme example of someone "teaching what she needed to learn" which hit home very hard for me because Carrie was a former classmate of mine when I completed one year of coursework toward a Ph.D. in Physiology/Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 2000-2001.  Last year, Carrie delivered a neuroscience lecture to medical students at the University of Maryland medical school entitled, "This is Your Brain on Drugs."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-md.overdose30sep30,0,1002971.story

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-md.overdose01oct01,0,6643662.story

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bal-md.marbella04oct04,0,2706724.story

Stephanie Mathis, MLS(ASCP), Generalist - Medical Laboratory Scientist, Danville Regional Medical Center October 4, 2009 1:24 PM
Danville VA

Aint that the truth. I always say look at what really upsets a person and  you can tell what that person's ownfaults are.

It seems to me a good leader would know how to approach an employee based on what upsets the employee. By the same token a leader should be able to control their own temper by knowing them selves and what sets THEM off.

Too many leaders are just one-sided and dont realize that they are being unfair. If they looked in the mirror more  often (and I dont mean for combing their hair) they would be better managers and it would be better for everyone.

But how can you tell a manager that?

Amanada DeSales , MLS(ASCP) August 19, 2009 5:13 PM
Lexington KS

Very true. In fact this is true not just for managers but coworkers as well. Not only are some people over critical, but I often wonder if these people are serious. Have they looked in the mirror? Have they even heard themselves lately?

I never really thought of it in those terms, but often wondered why the most fussy people have the most faults. I will look at myself more when I complain. I promise.

Justin Carter, CLS August 13, 2009 8:37 PM
Cleveland TN

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