Toxic be­hav­ior in work­place re­flects fail­ure of lead­er­ship

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the re­cent com­men­tary “Toxic work­ers put or­ga­ni­za­tions at risk” (Mod­ern Health­care, Aug. 4, p. 25), toxic be­hav­ior can also be linked to the “fear fac­tor,” which is alive and well in health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions. Un­sta­ble en­vi­ron­ments pro­mote fear. As the au­thor points out, man­age­ment strate­gies to deal with toxic in­di­vid­u­als have been re­flected in the busi­ness lit­er­a­ture for some time.

When or­ga­ni­za­tions do not in­ter­vene, it re­flects sig­nif­i­cant fail­ure on the part of lead­er­ship. Who is more at fault, the physi­cian who acts out when un­der stress, or se­nior lead­ers who tol­er­ate the be­hav­ior and do not act to de­com­press a neg­a­tive sit­u­a­tion? Vol­ume/ad­mis­sion con­cerns are a poor mea­sure when safety is com­pro­mised.

San­dra Sperry Staten Is­land, N.Y.

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