|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?!]
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
May. 4, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 979
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
May. 4, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,242
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
May. 4, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,296
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
May. 4, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,166
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
May. 4, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,180
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
May. 4, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 402
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 4, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 827
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
May. 4, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 409
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
May. 4, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,338
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
May. 3, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,368
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
May. 3, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 398
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
May. 3, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,297
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
May. 3, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,253
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
May. 3, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,089
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
May. 3, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,223
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...
May. 3, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,205
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,604
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 3, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,384
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
May. 3, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,490
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
May. 2, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,711