Uncertainty, Assumption & Silo

Uncertainty, Assumption & Silo

The three elephants who visit during staff transition.

It’s the time of the year when people finish up, interns blossom into pharmacists and all of a sudden, team dynamics are disrupted and a changing of the guard occurs. Transition periods can always be a bit challenging. If you would like to avoid meandering through the transition and ending up wherever the process lands you, get proactive and flex some emotionally intelligent leadership to purposefully arrive at the new norm with clarity for everyone.

I could end the blog here by giving you one simple tip…Deal with the elephants in the room! But, some of you might like a little more detail. If that’s you, read on.

What are elephants?

In this case the elephants are the giant unknowns that are taking up awkward space and negatively impacting communication, clarity and workflow.

Here are the names of three elephants and how to shoo them out the door.

1. Uncertainty

This elephant eats at the very core of human interaction. Where do I fit in? Who do I report too? Do they have the authority to make that decision? Is that still my role? What am I allowed to do? By laying a finger on the points of uncertainty, conversations can be had that clear up misunderstandings and increase clarity. While the conversation may feel uncomfortable, it is guaranteed to be less uncomfortable than the confusion and awkward side-stepping that will come from letting the situation unfold with guidance.

2. Assumption

There is a saying, ‘assumption makes an ass of u and me.’ All too often assumptions cause a mismatch of expectations leads to frustration. You ‘assume’ that they will take over providing the direction of the day. They ‘assume’ you will do exactly the same. When this happens, nothing gets done, confusion reigns and the path of least resistance becomes the new norm. The problem with that is that path may be inefficient, amplify other problems or slowly place a wedge between colleagues that doesn’t need to be there.  Eliminate assumptions and take the time to clarify expectations. This may be as simple as a quick question, or, may require a deep dive into clarifying your and others’ role. Role clarity is intrinsically linked to expectations, you can learn more about it here.

3. Silo

When conversations aren’t had openly, they are had in car parks, tea rooms and group chats that don’t include everyone. This creates pockets of information (and misinformation) that quickly derail productivity and fracture teams. Beyond this, it eats away at the very core of psychological safety. There is no greater need for interpersonal risk-taking when change is occurring. Breakdown silos of information by creating opportunities to share fears, confusions, concerns and insights. You are all in the same boat. What you are feeling, likely others feel it as well, albeit from a slightly different viewpoint. The more we can provide productive, safe and open forums for discussion about the concerns at hand, the less likely they will be driven underground.

Addressing elephants in the room is what productive teams do well. It might not be comfortable, it might initially create more questions than answers but without a doubt, it will highlight what is taking up valuable emotional energy. Once you can identify this, you can then set about finding solutions. On the point of solutions, don’t expect to go into the conversation knowing the complete solution, go in knowing you’re ready to find one that works for the group. This opens up curiosity and will decrease conflict.

Upskill your leaders. Give them the tools to help them and your pharmacy thrive, innovate and grow.

Sharing is caring...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *