Donna Strickland Blog

Leadership: Are Your Gen X’ers Engaged?

Keep Track of Your Leadership Talent


Leadership to Engage Gen X’ers and Boomers needs to be reconsidered post Recession 2008.  Things are not the same.  Gen X’ers are those  born between 1965-1978, and there are about 46 million of them.  They actually have more influence in the workplace than Baby Boomers or the Millennials.  They are thought to be a critical group when it comes to back filling Leadership for the Boomers who ordinarily would be preparing to retire.  It’s just that we had this little ole dip in our 401k’s.  So the Gen X’ers are restless.  Boomers are trying to hold on a few more years to sock away some more dough.  The Millennials see this as a fine time to move on in.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Employee Engagement, Leadership and Team Development.

Some Thoughts on Grief

Mother’s Day Just Passed and I guess my need to say a few things about grief is related to just that.

It’s a funny thing, but when tragic things happen to you, people sometimes say the strangest things.  Both my parents died, my 52yo brother-in-law died and I got divorced.  It all happened within 3 years of one another.  I was flooded with grief that was so deep I was afraid I might drown.  Mostly, in the beginning especially, I was grateful that anyone acknowledged my loss, no matter what strange words came out of their mouths.  I knew they were trying to connect.

But, at some point, 5 or 6 months in, when the shock and numbness wore off and when I could no longer be distracted by the “business” of death as the Executor of the Will, the pain became more intense & Reality was making its way in.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Behavioral Health, Resiliency.

May is Mental Health Month: Why Resiliency Matters

Why Resiliency Matters:  Getting through the long dark nights of the soul.

Mental health is a key component to a person’s overall health.  Mental Health is Health.  They can’t be separated out from one another.   Although we have spent a great deal of time and energy in this country trying to split ourselves into “parts and pieces”, overall health absolutely includes one’s mental health, and one’s relationship to alcohol and/or drugs.  May marks Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.  It’s a time when we reflect on just how much our mental health matters, and what we are doing that actually works to help people stay mentally healthy.

One thing you can do is strengthen your resiliency.  It emerges as one of the key factors that strengthens our mental health. 

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Behavioral Health, Free Resources, Resiliency.

Customer-Patient Satisfaction: What Matters Most

Leadership and Customer Satisfaction

We know some very important things when it comes to patient satisfaction: food and nursing. If the food is great and the nursing is average, a patient is likely to not recommend the hospital. If the nursing is great, and the food is average, the patient is likely to recommend the hospital.

We know that good food is better than lousy food, friendliness counts more than good food, when information exchange takes place, communication counts more than friendliness, and empathy enhances communication. So simple, right? It’s just that we forget.

So, acknowledge the patient-your customer, say hello, good morning, howdy, how are things going for you? But acknowledge them. Introduce yourself. Let them know why you’ve entered their room and what you need to do, how long it will take, and explain anything to them about what is about to take place.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Employee Engagement, Leadership and Team Development.

How is Retention Related to Team Development and Employee Engagement?

Retention and Employee Engagement

Guess what?    No surprise here.  The higher the staff engagement, the higher the staff retention.  The more unresolved the conflict is on any given team, the more likely you are to lose your best staff, your “high fliers”.  High fliers tend to leave first.  They can get another job easily.

Team Development is one way to establish “rules of engagement” for a team, and one of those rules of engagement is how the team will deal with differences and conflict as they arise.

What have you noticed about your retention of staff related to staff engagement?

I would to love to hear your thoughts!

All good things,


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Posted by Donna Strickland in Employee Engagement, Leadership and Team Development.

How is Leadership Development Related to HCAHPS scores?

Leadership Development

When it comes to HCAHPS scores, nursing has a huge role. To expect that nurses will truly be engaged with patient care in the way that CMS is measuring it, Leadership has to be truly engaged with nursing. And, let’s face it, the higher the customer satisfaction scores, the higher the profits of that organization!

I’ll write about several of the most important factors when it comes to patient satisfaction scores. And, this really isn’t for healthcare only. These same principles apply to any industry when it comes to building a culture of service excellence.

There are a multitude of “customer service educational programs” out there.
Although there are numbers of things that matter to customers, one of the biggest is “Service Recovery”, which is the resolution of customer’s problems.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Employee Engagement, Leadership and Team Development.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The Most Potent Factor in the Success Equation

Star performers can be differentiated from average ones by emotional intelligence. For jobs of all kinds, emotional intelligence is twice as important as a person’s intelligence quotient and technical skills combined. Excellent performance by top-level managers adds directly to a company’s “hard” results, such as increased profitability, lower costs, and improved customer retention. Those with high emotional intelligence enhance “softer” results by contributing to increased morale and motivation, greater cooperation, and lower turnover. The author discusses the five components of emotional intelligence, its role in facilitating organizational change, and ways to increase an organization’s emotional intelligence.

Although rapid-fire change in health care continues to wreak havoc in organizations, it is now considered ordinary. In fact, the chaotic milieu in which health care organizations find themselves is no longer considered noteworthy.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Articles, Emotional Intellligence, Free Resources.

Energy Drains

In order to shift your energy from activities that drain you, to self-nurturing activities that energize you and reflect your priorities as a leader…you first need to understand where your time goes. Every action you take uses energy, and every action you don’t take use energy. Identifying energy drains means seeing both where you do things that do not serve you and where you do not do the things that you most need to do.

Which of these are you “caught” in?

Running on Adrenaline:

  • Rushing from one task to another
  • Living with the constant hum of anxiety–the chronic feeling that there is something you should be doing
  • Constantly checking voice mail or email
  • Having a special “Pet Peeve” or “Soap Box” that occupies a lot of your mental space 
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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.

What Kills You

After hearing Donna ask us the top 10 languages and then talk about health and wellness and humor, I thought she might want to share this with the class.

For those of you who watch what you eat…

Here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources, Just for Fun.

Tips for Times of Turmoil

What are your strategies for living well? 

  • Know your Adversity Quotient: Are you a Quitter?  Camper?  Climber?
  • Beef up your Resilience.  Give Extreme Self-Care the highest priority.
  • Change your language   (Overwhelmed, Pitiful, I can’t take it, Not enough time)
  • Be purposeful in Conversations: Choose the message you want to convey.
  • When in doubt, LEAN IN
  • Create opportunities for people to identify what they care most about in the situation at hand, to take some time to name what the most important issue or principle is at stake, and finally to identify what their complaint shows them that they are most committed to.
  • Change from the Language of Blame to the Language of Personal Responsibility, from the Language of Complaint to the Language of Commitment
  • Understand fully the “Impact Vs Intent” Model
  • Get clear about who is coachable
  • Emails cannot be your main method of communication…The important messages need to be done face to face
  • Find the Time
  • Relationships ARE Messy. 
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Posted by Donna Strickland in Dynamic Keynotes, Free Resources.