Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Change Your Tribe: Change Your Life

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Change Your Tribe: Change Your Life

Article excerpt

A great skill of nursing is our ability to observe others. This skill allows us to provide sensitive, compassionate care within the cultural context of the client. Our ability to listen taps our empathetic perspective. We respond to the patient's situation with a realistic, authentic plan, making our profession highly valued.

In the daily work of faculty, we strive to model caring skills for students, teaching active listening and challenging students to learn more about patients' cultural interpretations of events. Yet, it's all too common to be swept along within our own faculty culture--without similar active listening for the subcultures around us.

Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fisher-Wright (2008), scholars in organizational behavior, provide a framework for examining organizations. They propose that an array of five tribes or stages exists In every organization, with stages defined as groups of 20 to 150 people. Each stage has distinctive behavioral features.

* Stage 1 is characterized by pervasive, negative attitudes. Fortunately, stage 1 represents only 2 percent of the organization.

* Stage 2 is more common, about 25 percent. Those In this group are "passively antagonistic." They exude "I've seen this before, and it won't work."

* Stage 3, almost half of all groups (49 percent), is where knowledge and power are hoarded. "We know what to teach and how" is a common claim.

* Those in stage 4, 22 percent, claim, "We are great!" while implying that others are not so great. We see this characteristic in nursing Magnet[R] and NLN Center of Excellence designations. * While only 2 percent are in Stage 5, that Is where "all things are possible."

Stages 4 and 5 show real excitement. Groups may move between Stages 4 and 5 as ideas and work plans unfold.

Accepting that there are such stages, tribes, or subcultures in our educational institutions and nursing faculties gives us an opportunity and strategy for examining the cultures where we work--the world of nursing education. …

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