The following is a guest post from our friend Will Lessons.
If you choose a profession where you work with people, you are going to meet just about every type of person: type a, type b, introvert, extrovert, outgoing, ingoing, phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholy, choleric, and you name it. You will have to find a way to get along with every one of those varying personalities.
They say that the phlegmatic gets along with everyone. They say the melancholy and choleric get annoyed with the phlegmatic. They say the laid back phlegmatic gets annoyed with the organized melancholy and the bossy choleric. They say the introvert feels uncomfortable around the talkative extrovert.
In a way, you have to become a sales person, whether you are one or not. You have to sell yourself. You have to find a way to get people to like you. You have to become a politician of sorts. You have to become a public relations person, an advertiser, selling yourself. Every time you meet a new person you have to start fresh, finding unique and creative ways of getting people to feel comfortable around you; finding ways to get people to like you.
Some people, I have learned, are not good at this. Some people have trouble getting along with those of whom they feel uncomfortable around. Some people don't learn how to sell themselves. That's fine too, it's just an obstacle that person will have to learn to deal with to make it in a people profession, as is pretty much any job in the hospital.
Being a nurse or a respiratory therapist or a doctor goes beyond just selling your self via your application or resume, you have to sell yourself just about every day. You have to have some sort of customer service skills. Some of us have a natural ability, and simply use common sense. Some of us can be taught. Some of us cannot be taught, and thus pose a challenge. You know who you are.
Some people are so good at what they do, as in some doctors, and they have very poor customer service skills. They call it poor bedside manners. Some people are so good at making patient's smile, and yet they have no skills. Although some are good at both.
To make any business work, and I'd like to think a hospital is a business (ask any manager and he'll probably deny profit is the bottom line, but it is), you have to have all types of personalities. You have to have control freaks to even out those who like to relax, and you have to have personalities of equanimity to perform public relations to apologize to patients for those who have poor people skills.
In the end, every person has a unique personality just as an institution does. There's this old saying that you don't know how special a person is until they are gone; you don't know what a person does until he is gone. And those of us who are the most special in real life, those are the ones who are most sorely missed when they are gone (or fired).
Note: The expressions by guest bloggers are not necessarily the same views as the creator of RT Cave