Minimizing Dysfunctional Behaviors

Health care organizations have to encounter dysfunctional situations that disrupt crucial workplace processes. The most common scenarios include self-defeating behaviors, toxic mentoring, etc.; as a rule, the specified behavior changes usually occur during merging, downsizing, and restructuring. Health care providers often speculate regarding their negative feelings at a workplace and experience difficulties in understanding the causes of such behaviors. Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2014) claim that the key issues are associated with “control, conflict, and adaptability” (p. 432). In accordance with the above statement, it is possible to identify one of the situations, in which toxic behaviors overwhelm the health care organization, thus decreasing employee satisfaction and causing tension. In particular, employees are given almost no power and control to manage the organizational issues; as a result, they feel suppressed and unmotivated due to a lack of understanding. Furthermore, in the identified environment, staff members are more susceptible to illness.

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To minimize the dysfunctional behaviors identified above, it is possible to apply several principles proposed by Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2014), including knowing thyself, walking the talking, and the willingness to listen. By using the specified tools, one will be able to create an environment that fosters collaboration, compromise, and efficient communication. As a result, a significant improvement in the management of dysfunctional behaviors can become a possibility (Gmelch & Buller, 2015).

The application of the concept of knowing thyself implies engaging in the process of self-cognition. As a result, the possibilities for regular self-appraisal are built. The identified change created the foundation for a successful self-monitoring process. Seeing that a larger amount of control is provided to the people whose behaviors disrupt the organization, the necessary principles of workplace conduct can be promoted to the employees in question successfully. Herein lies the significance of implementing the principle of knowing thyself in the organizational setting (Strathausen, 2015).

Similarly, the importance of walking talking as a crucial strategy in avoiding and managing workplace conflicts must be mentioned. The identified approach implies keeping one’s word and making sure that one’s actions meet one’s statements fully. The communication strategy based on walking the talk is bound to introduce the principles of transparency into the organizational environment and encourage the participants to share their knowledge and essential information with each other. As a result, the members of the organization will understand each other’s motivations and, thus, learn to find common ground so that a compromise could be reached and a decision that could satisfy the needs of all parties involved could be located (Menendez & Williams, 2015). The significance of the walk-the-talk principle lies in the opportunities for building the atmosphere of trust and cooperation that it offers. Consequently, it must be used to not merely minimize the number of conflicts but to provide the staff members with an opportunity to learn essential lessons for their confrontations. It is important to show the target audience that conflicts can be used to build new and improved communication strategies by creating a positive environment for communication (Burke & Noumair, 2015).

According to the principle of listening to employees, it is essential to initiate shared leadership and employ and the horizontal organizational model. As stated by Holloway and Kusy (2010), organizational level strategies are rather conducive while reducing dysfunctional behaviors. With this in mind, it is important to develop specific organizational values in collaboration with employees, whose attitudes are to be revealed in the course of open and honest dialogues. Perceiving every nurse as a potential source of information and as a unique person, the organization may significantly increase employee satisfaction levels.


Burke, W. W., & Noumair, D. A. (2015). Organization development: A process of learning and changing. New York, NY: FT Press.

Gmelch, W. H., & Buller, J. L. (2015). Building academic leadership capacity: A guide to best practices. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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Holloway, LE & Kusy, ME (2010). Disruptive and toxic behaviors in healthcare: Zero tolerance, the bottom line, and what to do about it. Medical Practice Management, 25(6), 335-340.

Menendez, D. S., & Williams, P. (2015). Becoming a professional life coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Porter-O’Grady, T., & Malloch, K. (2014). Quantum leadership: Building better partnerships for sustainable health (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Strathausen, R. (2015). Leading when you’re not the boss: how to get things done in complex corporate cultures. New York, NY: Apress.

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