The Art of the Question

Carmen was a competent department director who was frustrated with Megan, one of her nurse managers. She was concerned about Megan’s difficulty with some of her management responsibilities, but her attempts to talk with Megan about these problems weren’t working. Most recently, Megan was late with the performance reviews for her staff. Carmen asked Megan why she was late with the reviews, and Megan looked dumbfounded—almost as if Carmen’s question was falling on deaf ears. So Carmen asked the question again, this time adding more volume and urgency. Again, Megan didn’t answer. Carmen gave up, returned to her office, and grew increasingly frustrated.

Her irritation mounted as she thought about the other recent times when Megan “stonewalled” her questions or didn’t perform as required, or both. She “knew” she couldn’t keep asking Megan questions since she just got blank stares in response. So she thought about putting Megan on a performance plan and, if necessary, making a personnel change. Finally, she concluded she could not do that because there was too much going on in the organization and decided to just live with it…Read The Full Article

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