From Control and Shame to INSPIRING

There are many gurus out there from whom I have learned and are still learning. Their teachings have helped me understand that all interpersonal interactions have mind/body/spiritual dimensions.
· Jean Watson
· Eckhart Tolle
· Maya Angelou
· Thich Nhat Hah
· Brene Brown
· …and others
One fundamental goal that has grown in my nurse leadership practice is,
People should never be made to feel badly about themselves.

The heart/mind/body/spirit of each person should never feel threatened.
For those of us who grew up in the era where control and shame were used to convert bad behaviors to good behaviors, avoiding people’s character takes some thought.
Leadership and management teachings tell us to focus on a person’s behaviors, not on her/his personhood or character. Leaders, nurses, etc are to address only the behaviors. Statements like, “you are insensitive” or “ you are __xyz_____” are to be avoided.
In the midst of crucial conversations and confrontations, there’s a bit of a dance between helping a person accept the behavior change that is needed and simultaneously helping her/him not feel bad about themselves, and not to take the feedback personally.
But it’s always personal, at least it feels personal for the recipient.
And so, how to direct these conversations takes some self-awareness and clarity in thought to keep the message authentic and not manipulative.
These are critical life and leadership skills, especially for nurses who interact with peoples’ personhood, humanity in every action.


The reality is that when the people who you are wanting to positively impact walk away from your conversations, what you said will have little resonance if they are …. feeling badly about themselves.

Maya Angelou,

“People will forget what you said.

People will forget what you did.

But people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Integration of this reality into your skills and practice will catapult you into the inspiring sphere of motivating the changes that are needed.

Learning how … takes some thought.

2 thoughts on “From Control and Shame to INSPIRING

  1. Pat C says:

    I just love this!

    1. pmcclendon says:

      GREAT! I love it too! So simple. This adult stuff can be simple sometimes! haha.

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