A Toast to You…

This past year has been one of challenges for many of my friends, clients, family members and self. Ranging from bad news about health, to fears about loved ones overseas, and to business challenges, many have been on a roller coaster.  Truly, this has been a year or turbulence.  One of my friends sends a traditional toast each year.  I pass it along with wishes for good health, prosperity, joy and peace to you. 

May your worst day of your future 
be better than the best of your past.

Survival and Success 
. . . The Formula for 2004

I confess, I’m like millions of television viewers: I watch “Survivor”.  It’s a great place to watch a microcosm of relationships and deception at work.  As a professional speaker on dealing with the BS in the workplace that involves conflict and sabotage among the players (be they staff or management), this is an excellent resource that many in my audiences can relate.   

So how did the final three—Rotten Jon, Boy Scout Leader Lill and Confronting and Fish-Kicking Sandra fit in the survival-and-success formula? Are they representative of the workplace—your workplace? 

Instead of bluntly telling a “Bert” or “Bertha” at the first pass that lying to his or her coworkers to avoid finishing a project could be a ticket to the unemployment line, all I need to do is weave in the example of Rotten Jon faking the death of his beloved Grandmother to get sympathy from his island mates.   

The reality is that there’s often someone suspicious of another’s actions.  If it’s a lie and it leaks that it is, those who have to deal with him, will nail him at the first chance.  Sandra never trusted Jon, although she had to team with him a few times—her suspicion radar was very high.  

To his credit, he said the game was about lying, cheating and scheming and he would do his best to be the best at it.  Of all the Survivor shows, Jon is the best weasel that has surfaced to date.   In the workplace, if you have a rat, it’s better to know who it is. 

Boy Scout Leader Lill violated the ‘ole “walk your talk,” negating the image she put out.  It didn’t jive with what her fellow Survivors experienced.  It was unfortunate that Lill had to jump ship wearing the Boy Scout uniform; I had empathy with her for wearing the wrong thing at the wrong place.  But, when she showed up with it again for the final vote, my “it’s too bad she got stuck with those clothes” rationale disappeared.   

Boy Scouts aren’t supposed to lie, whine and manipulate others. Any veteran viewer knew that part of the game is lying, whining and manipulating.  Behaviors that violate the visual or verbal projected image will sour the workplace.  

As “Survivor: Pearl Islands” unfolded and I got to know a bit about each of the players, it wasn’t difficult to see scenarios for the series.  Survivor Sandra Diaz-Twine, an office worker for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, walked away (or maybe scratched away after all those bug bites) with the top prize, and I wasn’t surprised.  

You see, Sandra understands sabotage and conflict—how to stay in the background when necessary and kick a few fish around when appropriate.  When she kicked the bucket of fish like a little kid that didn’t get her way, the evening’s menu disappeared.  She let her pal Christa take the fall, claiming to the viewing audience that it was an accident. Hmm, maybe not.  Winner Sandra was a master of manipulation but far more covertly delivered than what the overt Jon did. 

There was also interesting gender plays—men (Jon and Burton) denigrated the women, didn’t claiming that they couldn’t come up with a strategy if they had to.  The guys’ fatal mistake was leaving the women alone and a new alliance sprang up—women against men or us vs. them.  How primitive, how effective—adios Burton and Jon. 

Believe it or not, these players were able to put into play and practiced the key components of Bob Burg’s nifty booklet, The Success Formula (www.thesuccessformula.com).  Burg’s formula is based on three principles— 

  1. Seek out and find information

  2. Apply the information immediately

  3. Be persistent 

Each one of the Survivors had to gather info on their competitors—what were their strengths? Weaknesses?

Each had to use the information—some did it as soon as a discovery was made and some of it was stored for later use. 

Each had to be persistent in the goal, be it set this person up for the fall today or create an alliance with him.  The reward and goal was $1,000,000. 

The workplace is the ideal place to practice Burg’s formula.  I’m not suggesting using it to set someone up.  No, let’s be proactive here and use it to get and do better at what you presently do.  I don’t care how great everyone says the economy is—it’s tough out there.  To paraphrase Burg’s formula, here’s my two-bits for a thriving 2004: 

  1. To compete and survive in your career, you must continue to seek out and find information that applies to what you do and what changes your environment and industry are experiencing;

  2. You’ve got to apply the information immediately—it’s a very competitive (and sometimes ugly) world out there, if you position yourself to merely react to whatever comes your way, you are going to be steamrolled with the rate of change that is common today; and

  3. Be focused, myopic in your quest and persistent . . . it’s your time to be the little engine that could.  Every successful person, be they athletic, business person or a star has failed.  But they get up, they come to bat, they show up—again and again.

There are lots of traits and qualities of the Survival gang that you don’t want to incorporate.  But the three mentioned above were all key factors in their success.  What are your factors?  How can you incorporate them into your game plan for 2004?

ATTN: All Health Care Professionals!

The Judith Briles Health Care Management -Leadership Forum is getting great reviews! We had our first Forum last March and received rave reviews—an intensive two-days that created a variety of new tools, skills and techniques for Forum participants.  Participation in the Forum is limited to 16 per 2-day session.  Beginning at 8:30 in the morning, it ends at 5:30 each day. Tuition includes all Forum supplies and day meals. Each Forum has added new elements and item—it’s the perfect platform for new managers.

What is the Forum?

The Judith Briles Health Care Management-Leadership Forum is designed exclusively for the frontline manager of five years or less experience in the health care workplace. Too often, people are promoted with minimal, if any, training in “How to be a Manager.” Even less is offered in “How to be a Leader.” They are not the same! The Forum delivers an intensive lab/training that focuses on developing the soft people skills that just don’t come naturally.  Most people don’t leave their workplace for another position because of more money . . . they leave because of abusive managers.  Is your organization breeding them?

Participants will learn: Effective Use of Influence and Power; Effective Leadership; Managing Staff Expectations; Managing Multi-Generational Staff; Managing Diversity; Identifying and Eliminating Red Ink Behavior; Identifying and Dealing with Marginal Employees; Team-Building; Prioritizing; Motivation; Building Staff Loyalty; Documenting and Carefronting® Problem Employees; Managing Conflict; Effective Communicating; Proactive Listening; Peer Mentoring; Peer Networking; eMentoring; eCoaching; Transitioning to Management and much more.

Based on the phenomenal research detailed in my book, “Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace”, as well as several of my other books, the Forum delivers results that can be implemented immediately upon the attendee’s return to the workplace! And the coaching doesn’t stop when the session is over — participation in the Forum includes continued access to Judith’s coaching and mentoring skills through a special website, email, and phone number. Ever wish you could remember what the trainer said to do in a certain situation? Now you can — Judith will continue to be there even after you’ve returned to your workplace!

More Info . . .

All sessions are held in Judith’s offices in Aurora CO.  When weather permits, they are outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens, ponds and charming fountains.  Dress is casual and comfortable and food excellent.  All it needs is you.  Future dates include:


  • March 18-19
  • May 27-28
  • July 22-23
  • September 23-24

For those of you who would like to take advantage of this program by traveling to our corporate office in the Metro Denver area, we have made special arrangements with the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast to provide not only lodging and complimentary breakfast in a full-service hotel with views of Cherry Creek Lake, but also transportation to/from Denver International Airport, and to/from The Forum site – all for $89 per night!

To take advantage of this exclusive program and special rates when more than three individuals attend from one organization, call Angie Pacheco at 303-627-9179 or 800-594-0800 now! 

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Speaking . . .
Call Angie Pacheco in our offices to check on availability and fees for your group. We are booking our 2004-2005 calendar now. With the recent publication of “Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace” (already a second, revised and expanded edition is available); groups who book this talk get a special discount.  Call Angie to find out more.

Consulting . . .
After constant requests, I’ve allocated a few hours each day for consulting. By the hour or the project, you can schedule an intensive brainstorming session with me. Each year, we commit to up to three health care systems to do a combination of on and off-site training, coaching and mentoring. This year, we’ve added publishing to the list of offerings—as in everything you need to know, and you didn’t know you needed to know. To check available times or if you group qualifies, either call at 800-594-0800 or email me.

Movie Reviews . . .
If you like the movies, make sure you sign up for JB’s Movie Spots-they’re quick, snappy and let you know if a Gramma would be comfortable. Rating scale is the Golden Egg-one’s a dud, five, drop everything and get ye to the theater!

The Foreign Press . . .

This past year, several of Judith’s books have been translated into nine languages—China, Thailand, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India, Lebanon, France, and Brazil.

News to Share . . .
www.FindCE.com is a new site acting as a continuing education portal that should be good news to many of our clients. It caters to three entities: Health professionals, meeting planners and speakers, all of whom register themselves with the site. Professionals benefit by having free access to exhaustive information about meetings and speakers, including report cards. Meeting planners benefit by marketing their events to professionals and having more than 1,000 registered speakers to search through when planning their next event. Speakers market themselves to meeting planners without paying a commission to a bureau. In addition, home-study courses, online CE sites, audiovisual materials and other CE outlets are displayed.  Check it out.

If you are a health care professional, than this is the book for you . . .
Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace is available—all 420 pages of it!
 A bestseller with the Nurse’s Book Club this past fall, it’s the must have for any health care professional.  If you work in healthcare or know someone working in health care, this is the perfect book for dealing with conflict and change that is woven throughout the industry. Over 3000 women and men responded to our Conflict and Workplace Abuse surveys-lots of surprises! Available at Amazon.com, Borders.com and Barnes & Noble.com or by calling the Tattered Cover at 800-833-9327. Price is $35. 

Speaking of Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace… The Reviews Are In!
Here’s what’s being said about “Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace” by Dr. Judith Briles:

From the Midwest Book Review:

”Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace” by author, consultant, research, spokesperson and international speaker Judith Briles is an exhaustively researched, accessibly written, informationally practical guide for workers and employers on a spectrum of health care issues focused upon the importance of preserving a well-regulated workplace when people’s lives are at stake every day. Individual chapters instructionally address positive means for handling conflict between employees, the straight scoop on workplace sabotage and how to deal with it, advice on generational differences, and much, much more. Highly recommended for non-specialist general readers with an interest in health care workplace issues, policies, and concerns, as well as offering specifically useable advice for workplaces beyond the field of health care, Zapping Conflict In The Health Care Workplace is a welcome and invaluable addition to personal, professional, corporate, and community library Health & Medicine reference collections.

From The Director of NADONA/LTC:

This outstanding publication is a MUST for every nurse working in long term care, including the director of nursing! By the year 2005, an estimated 11.5 million women and men in the United States will work in the health care industry. Shortages exist in nursing and dental hygienists and assistance. Conflict and sabotage in the “caring” environment of health care is increasing. Instead of actively finding ways and methods to resolve conflict, managers and staff totally disagree on WHY conflict is increasing and on HOW to reduce it. Therefore, they avoid it. Dr. Briles shows why women must eradicate traditional and harmful learned behaviors, why organizations must rebuild their educational offerings to include both clinical and professional development offerings and managers and staff must learn constructive and effective ways to deal with conflict and sabotage when it surfaces.

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