"Character Matters in the Workplace.” Fully adaptable and modifiable to be used for staff training by PMSA

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									                    Character Matters




                                                   Developed by the PMSA
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                      CONTENTS


1. Who You Are…………………………………………………... 3
2. What Others Think……………………………………............... 3
3. What Happens When Your Name is Mud?...................................4
4. Sticks Can Break Bones (gossip)……………..............................4
5. Face It Perception Is Everything………………………………...4
6. Getting Ahead…………………………………………………...5
7. Think Long-Term Not Just Short-Term………………………....5
8. Company You Keep……………………………………………..6
9. Actions are Louder than Words………………………................6
10.Turning It Around……………………………………………….7
11.Nice Girls/Guys Can Get Ahead………………………………...7
12.Leader or Follower………………………………………………8
13.Morality or Ethical Choices……………………………………..9
14.Religion In The Workplace……………………………………...10
15.Communication………………………………………………….10
16.Manners………………………………………………………….11
17.Reliability………………………………………………………..12
18.Cutting Corners On Your Work or Just Getting By……………..12
19.I Only Borrowed It and Watching Other “Borrow” Stuff……….13
20.Teamwork……………………………………………………….13
21.Measuring Your Success………………………………………...14
22.Be Your Best and Your Rewards………………………………..14




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Who You Are
Who you are says a lot about you. The way that you think about yourself is reflected in the way you act
towards others and even in your body language. Who you are is important and you are an important part of the
medical community.

The medical community is similar to a family, everyone has the aunt that no one talks about, but we love them
anyway. Working in the medical field, in any part, can make a difference in people’s lives. What you do can
leave a big impact. Think about it, when we see people they’re sick, in pain, and are usually grouchy. If we
can make their day better in even the smallest way, it can make all of the difference to them. How a patient
feels has a direct impact on their prognosis. What you do, even if it’s just listening to them, impacts their
outcome.

Many people think that the front desk is a low position on the scale of medicine, but in reality they are one of
the most important people in an office. If you called the office and someone rude answered the phone, would
you want to come in? Who greets you when you go into the office and who is the last person you usually see?
The front desk is important in customer service and can make a huge financial impact on the practice.
In the back office, many people think that the medical assistant is just a job. This is the person that listens to
the patient and is often with them the longest. This isn’t just a job, but should be a career. You have medical
knowledge and are able to care for the sick and injured; how many other “jobs” can do that?
The point is that you should be thinking highly of yourself, you are a professional with an important task. You
make an impact on others; let’s make sure it’s the one you want to make.




What Others Think
Often it can be difficult to figure out what others think of you. People form an impression of you within a few
minutes of meeting you and this impression can be hard to overcome if it is a bad one. However, it can be
done. For instance, I once had an interview with a young lady who kept her head down and would not look me
in the eye. I started to extend my hand and since she was looking down did not see it and missed a chance to
make an impression on me. As the interview progressed she was not standing out as a person I would hire. We
started discussing patient care in her last position. She looked up at me and became more interesting as she
was able to articulate her knowledge of patient care. Up until that moment I would not have even considered
her for the opening. Not only did she get the position, but she turned out to be one of the best medical
assistants. What others think of you can determine your future, is it worth leaving it up to chance?




What Happens When Your Name is Mud?
We have all done something in life that we regret. Years ago, another employee and I were discussing a co-
worker. Unbeknownst to us, she was in the next room and could hear everything. To make matters worse, my
voice carries well. The other person said some very hurtful things and I somewhat agreed with her. I wasn’t
the one who said these things, but I did say something that didn’t help the situation. The person that was being
discussed came into the room and let us both know that she heard us. I had not started the conversation and
had said very little, but she had thought of me as a friend and was very hurt. I was never able to rebuild the
relationship. From being careless and not walking away or defending her, my name became mud at the office.

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The person that had started the conversation took this as an opportunity to make me look bad. She even went
to the other girl and told her that I had started the conversation and added some things that were not said.
Needless to say, both went out of their way to make my life difficult.

What can you do in this situation? Apologize and go on. Learn from your mistake and work even harder to
become the person you want people to see in you. Think back on someone you respect, I bet that at one point
in their life they have regrets as well. If possible, seek their advice on how to overcome this problem. Look at
what they do and what it is about them that you respect and find that from within yourself.
When your name is mud, it is hard to overcome, however it can be done with time. Once someone thinks
poorly of you, it will take time to prove them wrong, but stick with it as it has it’s rewards. Think of it as a
challenge that has a win/win outcome.




Sticks Can Break Bones (gossip)
As you can see by the last example gossip can be hurtful and the effects are long lasting. There is a new trend
that states that gossip can help you. I have read the articles, but overall gossip hurts. We have all heard “if you
don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”. In business, for the most part, this is true.
However if someone is doing something wrong it might be necessary to bring it to attention.

For example, you know that a co-worker is stealing. If you don’t do something it could appear that you were a
part of the theft and could be considered as an accessory. What if your supervisor is doing something illegal
and you have tried talking to him/her about it but were told to mind your own business. It may be that you
need to bring it to the proper authority. Your silence could create more harm. This is why the Whistle Blower
laws were put into place, but think before you act. I have also had someone call and report an alleged
violation, but they didn’t have all the facts and it endedup not being true. They mentioned it to their co-
workers and were given static for a long time.




Face It Perception Is Everything
Face it, perception is everything. It doesn’t matter what is true, it is what we think is true. For example, you go
to a store and the place is dirty. Do you think that the stock has been rotated or that the produce is going to be
fresh? No, you automatically think that they don’t care in one area so they won’t care in another. That is why
it is so important to look and act your best at all times. You never know when someone is going to be looking
at you and making a decision about your future.

How often have you had a first impression that colored the way you looked at someone, only to find out later
on that you were wrong? Don’t let this happen to you. Be a professional at all times. The secrets to impressing
someone is to stand straight, have a head’s up look, smile, look them in the eye, and give firm handshakes.
Those five little bomb shells will get you noticed! Think about a person who impresses you, how do they carry
themselves? Most people either consciously or unconsciously notice those traits in someone. I am as bad as
the next person with standing up straight, but I practice doing it.

Most people in upper management or that are successful in bus
								
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