Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid | Tennessee Advocacy Talk TAT

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What makes people not want to stick up for what is ethical?….. Well a lot. Sure, we all have anonymous hotlines and ethical call centers, but is everything really staying confidential and anonymous? Do you really think anything changes?

 

A strong risk management working environment keeps people safe. In an ideal risk management world, you have staff who is not fearful to discuss with leaders about problems. You have leaders who are not immediately pointing the finger at one individual, but is looking at the whole function of the system, a system in which the leaders are the front-line operators. Of course, there can be leaders higher up a chain directing orders tied to the stock market, but what that does is put a bigger responsibility on our front-line leaders to ensure a healthy working environment, a legally healthy working environment.

 

On top of that, what do you do when poor risk management is piled with unethical, unmoral profiting behaviors lessening the quality of service that is given? Well…. you have one big mess and a big batch of Kool-Aid.

 

There are 3 types of people in this situation. Those who make the Kool-Aid, those who realize they are drinking the Kool-Aid and stop, and then those who realize they are drinking the Kool-Aid and make a conscious decision not to stop, even if it means conforming to being unethical.

 

By far, the worse, is the one drinking the Kool-Aid and make a conscious decision not to stop. The reason sometimes lies in the fear of being retaliated on and losing their job if they speak up. The fear, you would never win because the culprit has a bigger influential status or funds than you do. The fear of not being able to prosper if you were to, “create some waves,” where people would not want to do business with you because of those waves, even if you are on the right side of the of the line. The fear, you cannot make a difference.

 

There are people out there right now who know someone or something is unethically harming people and pretending it doesn’t exist aka drinking the Kool-Aid. They also can be on a, “Bandwagon, “by conforming to a “group or person,” because they, “need,” something from that person, an opportunist in the most unethical way. For people who conform to unethical behavior and put their tail between their legs…they are not doing any good to society or to themselves, as well as, being exposed for a potential liability on themselves for neglect.

 

Just know, there are others out their like you.  What would this world be like if you spoke up and took a leap to stay ethical when others around you didn’t or were too afraid to do so? If we don’t stay ethical and stand up for what is just, then the other unethical side will keep being more powerful. Even if someone has billions of dollars and you have well…. not billions, does not mean you need to keep your tail between your legs. If everyone reported of unethical behavior, eventually there will be a pattern and when you think you will be the only one, there are actually hundreds. Don’t think you are the only one noticing or experiencing an unsafe working environment or unethical behavior. Let your light shine and you will see they are others out there exactly like you. And for those who realized they drank the Kool-Aid and still did not stop; the truth will come out eventually.

 

A friend of mine told me something a while ago when I was confiding in him about some political nastiness I was going through and it opened my eyes, he said,” How many people out there are against you,” and I answered, he responded,” but how many people are there out there for you,” I looked up and said, “ A whole lot more.”

 

When all is said and done. How are you going to feel knowing, if you didn’t speak up, someone got hurt, raped, or even died? In every industry and particularly in the social service industry we have an obligation morally and sometimes a legal duty to to speak up.

 

If you are working in unsafe working conditions, a nurse being worked past your legal time requirement, in an environment out of ratios, you have a duty to speak up. Do not be fearful to do so. It may cause stress for you now and be a long road, but if you don’t do it, nothing will change. Don’t be the person who realized they were drinking the Kool-Aid and choose not to stop. There are others out their like you and that has power.

 

What Is the rest of your life compared to a few years? Because you stood up for something, then others will benefit after you…. including patients. Sometimes things have to get a little ugly before they can get pretty, but there is no comparison to the feeling you have when you stay true to your values, that alone will give you strength.

 

One woman I worked with in the social service industry witnessed something unethical and illegal going on, but she said to me, “I am afraid to speak up because I will get fired.” How did we come to in this industry of having our risk management system BACKWARDS? It’s because we have people still drinking the Kool-Aid.

 

I don’t care if someone you think is more powerful, elite, or a billionaire, you have a right to value yourself and speak up and if those powerful people retaliate on you, then speak up louder. I promise, there are more people out there like you. Now I’m not saying getting rowdy and rude, but I am saying there is a way to speak up professionally.

 

Coming into this new year, I want you to speak up and stand up for what is ethically and morally just. There is a reason you were exposed to the situation, there was a reason it was you who picked up on the unethical situation. Listen to your inner voice and stay true to yourself. Following your heart and values will never be a wrong route to take, if anything, it will make you stronger and be able to give strength to those needing your strength……… And who knows……you might just create an awareness that created a crack in the door for the beginning of a huge change to millions of people all over the entire country.

 

Til next time,

Mel K