Regardless of how you voted in the election last week, chances are you don’t see eye to eye with everyone in your workplace. Some of us may be a minority red voter in a blue workplace or a blue voter in a sea of red coworkers. Perhaps you didn’t exercise the right to vote and aren’t sure where you fit in. Judgments are likely to be present and some people may not be on their best behavior. So how do we get through the post election adjustment period?
Figure out what your unique needs are. If the Trump win has you celebrating, this is probably not a challenging time for you. Perhaps learning about his plan, cabinet choices gives you peace of mind. However, if you found yourself experiencing grief this week, you are not alone. People respond to grief differently and need different lengths of time to sit in it. If you experience grief, anger, fear, be with that as you need. Do not force yourself to come to acceptance prematurely. It never works to fast forward through our emotions. Find support with friends and family or email me.
Seek support with like minded and supportive community. Take an assessment of the people in your life. Who makes you feel safe in a way you can be completely yourself and say whatever you feel? We are in sensitive times and if you are struggling, it is really important that you be gentle with yourself. Stay informed as you can tolerate, minimize the news and social media until you feel stronger and get outside in nature.
Practice active listening If you are in a place of acceptance of President elect Trump, bring the awareness of sensitivity to the other person’s view and connect with others. Be a supportive ear for people who are struggling. When in discussions with people who think differently, try not to make things personal, listen from your heart to understand beyond the words, what emotions are buried under their viewpoint. Often it is fear. Do this in small doses because it can be overwhelming.
We all have the capacity to connect with each other. This is a challenge and you can handle it. If you signed up to be a Nurse, you don’t have the luxury to only care for people who see the world exactly as you do. You’ve been there before with your patients and you can do it again with your colleagues. Your coworkers need you to and so does the world.
Assess the sensitivity of your coworkers and respect their need for space. Not everyone is ready to talk about the election. Some nursing environments operate with strong boundaries leaving personal lives out of work. Most of the units I have worked in get personal – for better or worse. Be sensitive to the needs of your coworkers and give them the space they need. Regardless of your political views, if you are witness to any hate crimes in the workplace, for God sake intervene and support the victim. Bullying, lateral violence, microaggressions contribute to toxic workplaces. This is a constant challenge in the Nursing profession. We need to be particularly sensitive to our fellow healthcare professionals who identify as a person of color (POC), immigrant, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), Muslims and Jewish people. I do not identify as any of the above and that is exactly why it is easier for me to speak out and act as an ally. I am pledging to stand with all these vulnerable groups and I invite all of you to be a Good Samaritan and do the same.