Last year, I had a mini health “crisis” and the event still sticks out in my memory. As I recall the incident, I wondered if the healthcare team (I am using “team” loosely) at that particular clinic, had heard about emotional intelligence. Let me explain……

I was hit with a wretched stomach virus of five days. On the third day, I became dehydrated and delirious and needed some medical attention. Even though I was very sick, I still had enough energy to engage my mystery shopper mental model.

The nurse was trying to get my dehydrated vein to balloon enough to start an IV. A knock at the door and a teammate presents with another patient behind this teammate. The teammate starts asking a million questions about another person’s urine sample, and then starts reprimanding the teammate that was trying to start the IV for not following protocol. I am laying there thinking is this really happening?

The teammate that is assisting with my IV leaves the room, and the teammate doing the reprimanding comes back to my room to start my IV. I kindly told that teammate, “I am content to wait for the other teammate to return, could you please just wait?” Can you imagine the first impressions running through my head?!!

This situation was a REAL reminder of the value of developing our emotional intelligence within the workplace. How you interact with your teammates/internal customers in front of your external customers/patients determines, you guessed it, the first impressions. Not to mention the feelings and emotions created amongst each other. Building relationships, collaboration, and team spirit begins with your emotional intelligence.

What emotional intelligence components could have been more fully integrated?

Empathy – Empathy for my situation of being sick, and I am an individual patent in the clinic versus just another stomach virus needing an IV

Self-awareness – The reprimanding of the teammate in front of patients communicated a lack of self-awareness of personal emotions and emotions of the other person

Social skills – The team definitely needed some coaching on developing relationships of care and respect for teammates

Do a self-check of your emotional intelligence meter today.  And remember, first impressions start over every morning with both your internal and external customers!

Quote for the Day: “Successful and Unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities.  They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” -John C. Maxwell

P.S. The nurse practitioner that rendered my care and provided the diagnosis and treatment returned to my room to start the IV. That teammate’s customer care (Connection, Compassion and Competence) and emotional intelligence made a lasting positive, first impression!