|By Michael Bushong||
|July 29, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
Everyone experiences challenges at work. Whether it’s an individual contributor or the CEO, everyone has to go through the same basic set of issues that plague virtually all workers everywhere. But not everyone handles those problems the same way. Conversation is the usual outlet for most people. But how you conduct those conversations says a lot about you. The question during these conversations is: Are you a doctor or a patient?
Doctors and patients
We have all been a patient at some point or another. Regardless of how smart or rich or powerful we are, we walk into that little examination room and wait for what feels like an eternity before a white-coat-clad doctor passes the portal with her head buried in a file while she tries to determine who you are and why you are there to see her.
It’s an interesting dynamic between a doctor and patient. The doctor, by virtue of her position, has more authority in the relationship. And so most patients, regardless of their standing outside of that tiny examination room, assume a slightly deferential if not completely subordinate role. This transformation can be profound as commands yield to requests and confidence to hesitation. Otherwise powerful people take on an entirely different disposition.
Attribution of responsibility
Part of the doctor-patient relationship is the attribution of responsibility. When a patient sees a doctor, he expects on some level that the doctor will help make him well. In the extreme, there can be an abdication of responsibility as the patent yields entirely to the doctor.
The psychology here is powerful. When things are not going well, there is comfort in placing responsibility with someone else. Note here that I am talking about responsibility, not blame. When you do not know how to improve your situation, you can take solace in knowing that at least there is someone else who is in a position to know what to do next.
Of course, if we think about things a bit more deeply, we realize that the doctor is just another person. Sure, she has been trained and has more domain expertise than you, but she is ultimately no more responsible than you are. But this point somehow gets dropped when you sit on that table and she scrawls her notes in her doctor’s pad.
What if patients are doctors?
But what happens if the patient is himself a doctor? The relationship between patient and doctor changes. Doctors understand that other doctors are just people. Their skill comes from training and experience, both of which allow the doctor to participate in a medical process. And when that process works well, it yields answers.
When a doctor becomes a patient, he doesn’t give up responsibility. Rather, he and his doctor become complicit in reaching a positive outcome. They talk to each other more as peers than as subordinates. In these cases, the doctor himself becomes a part of the very process he is relying on to become better.
Doctors sometimes make lousy patients
Of course, some doctors-turned-patient assume that they know more than the doctors responsible for their care. It is essential that these patients work with their doctors, taking guidance but not becoming completely subservient. You want to have a clear leader, but you do not want to relegate yourself to being only a passenger along for the ride.
Applying the doctor-patient dynamic to working relationships
When there are maladies at work, where do you go? Most people will take their issues to directly to their boss. They will talk about the situation in excruciating detail. In many cases, they will bring up unrelated facts because they are not entirely certain which points deserve attention. They explain the situation with the hope of getting remediation.
If you think about it, this is not that different than a patient explaining symptoms to his doctor. Not every condition is a symptom. And the hope is that you leave the office with a diagnosis of what is wrong and some corrective action.
Are you a doctor or a patient?
When you have these conversations with your boss, it is instructive to know whether you are more doctor or patient. Doctors will tend to have a more authoritative conversation focused on the facts. The discussion is less about the noise that surrounds a condition and more about the possible remediation. There is next to zero attribution of blame as the dialogue is concentrated on remediation.
Patients behave differently. Without knowing the difference between cause and effect, they observe a bunch of symptoms without really tying them together. They focus the conversation more on the current state of things rather than the corrective action. The balance of the conversation leans towards describing in perfect detail the problem rather than the solution.
The bottom line
Every interaction with your management chain is effectively a dress rehearsal for your career. We all go through challenging times. You need to understand two things: first, your boss does not represent some panacea capable of curing everything, and second, how you talk to your boss says a lot about your capacity to lead yourself.
With this in mind, be mindful of whether the conversation you initiate is closer to a doctor-patient or a doctor-doctor discussion. If you find that you are too frequently playing the role of the patient, you likely need to change the dialogue. Try talking more about the process of remediation, spending less time on laying out every symptom in perfect detail. Perhaps consider possible solutions in advance of the conversation. And if the doctor has already diagnosed the problem, you might be better off spending the time on the treadmill rather than in the examination room again. More directly, be acutely aware of whether the issue is the lack of diagnosis or cure.
[Today’s fun fact: The act of chewing an apple is a more efficient way to stay awake than caffeine. What demon is espousing this nonsense?!]
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Dec. 6, 2016 04:04 PM EST
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 266
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 1,629
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Dec. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 454
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 3,312
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,195
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 6, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,238
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,733
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Dec. 6, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 646
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 6, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,049
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Dec. 6, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,158
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,025
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Dec. 6, 2016 12:28 PM EST Reads: 249
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 483
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 10:15 AM EST Reads: 556
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Dec. 6, 2016 09:00 AM EST Reads: 3,981
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Dec. 6, 2016 08:45 AM EST Reads: 7,142
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Dec. 6, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 899
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Dec. 6, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 1,350
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 6, 2016 08:15 AM EST Reads: 1,679