Don’t make it easy for hecklers and naysayers

The other day I was talking to a manager who was working hard to improve the patient experience in her department. She had done a wonderful job presenting the “why” and “how” to create a positive patient experience. She was committed and enthusiastic about what her team could accomplish. Then the hecklers got to her.

To remind her team of the commitment to always, she had a sign printed for the breakroom that said, “Committed to Always.” As she prepared to hang the sign, two of the staff members started laughing and teasing about feminine hygiene products by the same name. They joked about ways they would “decorate” the sign with said products. So what did this manager do? She chose to not hang the sign. The hecklers had basically bullied her into giving up on her message.

As we talked, she shared her frustration and even shame that she had buckled under the hecklers’ teasing. She said, “I really believe in this and it made me feel bad when they started mocking me and my sign.”

Proceed Anyway

If your organization is still harboring disengaged employees, chances are good that you will have this type of heckler and naysayer. The challenge is to proceed anyway. Proceed in spite of the heckling with the inner knowledge that you are NOT in the wrong and that you CAN shape a culture where enthusiasm and commitment are the norm – and where naysayers no longer fit in.


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