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Ron Ventura Case Study

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Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your own emotions and how they impact others (Leadership and Intelligence). Key components include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Ron Ventura is lacking in all of these areas. He is not aware of how he makes his peers and subordinates feel with his comments and harsh attitude. In the few times that Prescott had brought these issues like to his attention, he is unaware that there is even a problem – thus no need for change. Furthermore, Ventura lacks the ability to self-regulate. He makes no effort in controlling his impulses or emotions. His abrupt and rude comments have caused two of his three residents to drop out of the program and many of his peers are worried that his behavior will become the accepted norm with new residents. Ventura’s motivation comes from being a surgeon and the status that comes with that, not necessarily money, and definitely not relationships. This was apparent when several of his colleagues asked him to participate in writing an article. Ron’s comment was, “only if my name is listed first”. When explained that another surgeon would be doing all the leg work and analysis, making him the obvious choice to be listed first, Ron dropped out. It is his way or the highway.

One of Ventura’s biggest absences of emotional intelligence is with empathy. He has no ability to recognize and understand the emotional makeup of other people and treat them accordingly. His verbal and non-verbal behavior shows his lack of understanding and frustration for the staff (Wilkins, 2014). In one instance, he forcefully pushed a resident’s hand away when she mistaking thought he wanted her to assist. This humiliated her and definitely impacted her confidence. He has embarrassed people on numerous occasions by verbally berating them in front of others. His social skills are non-existent. His rude behavior, narcissistic attitude, and short temper has left him with very few allies within the hospital. One nurse said that, “Dr. Ventura’s temper is the worst I’ve experienced from a surgeon in my 15 years as a surgical nurse”. Ron has verbally said that he is better than everyone else in the hospital. He has even gone as far as to saying derogatory comments regarding the other surgeons to a patient. These traits, coupled with his bad temper, is evident of a person lacking emotional intelligence and is causing a toxic environment at Mitchell Memorial Hospital.

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Hypothesis 2: It may be that Ventura has developed a personal meme that a tough guy approach is the only way to manage in a high-stress environment like a hospital.

Memes are the ideas and beliefs that people develop and pass onto others over time (Why People Behave). Growing up, Ventura was the first in his family to attend college. He liked the fact that medical school was a challenging choice and not something that just anyone could do. This made him feel special and empowered as he finished each year. He said, “It was like I was part of some elite military unit that had survived to fight the next major battle”. He started developing a sense of superiority. In addition, early in his career, Ron worked for a surgeon who had been in the Army for 15 years.

This guy ran his operating room with strict command and control of everything and everyone. Although he was very hard on Ventura, he taught him everything he knew. Because of his respect and admiration for this surgeon, Ron mimics his personality and demeanor in the OR. He believes that this is the way to command respect and authority in the hospital. His grandiose confidence in himself, coupled with the idea that militant behavior is the way to lead, has made him a difficult person to work with. These memes that Ventura demonstrates are negatively impacting the hospital as whole. Emulating the practices of his Army surgeon, he had one resident so upset he was shaking.

Then, Ron berated him for shaking and basically told him he had no business being a surgeon. Also, similar to the Army surgeon’s control of the operating room, Ventura wants things his way and his way only. In one instance, his surgery was delayed due to another emergency that needed to take priority. Ron became so upset when he heard his surgery was being pushed back, that another surgeon was getting priority or him, he threw a catheter against the wall. Now, the nurses and residents do not want to deliver any bad news in fear of how he will react – perpetuating poor communication amongst the group. Finally, in a reflection of his superiority complex, he has been hypercritical of the work performed by the other doctors. His criticism has hurt feelings and reduced the morale in the vascular surgery division and cardiovascular center as well. Mr. Ventura’s subconscious memes are harmful to the staff and are making him a poor leader, teacher, and mentor. Again, he is negatively impacting the environment at Mitchell Memorial Hospital.

Hypothesis 3: It may be that Ventura is deficient in his change quotient, making it difficult for him to work within the environment and mission of the hospital. Teamwork and collaboration paves the way to success and Mitchell Memorial Hospital has worked very hard to establish this culture. It is their belief that this type of environment fosters innovation, safety, and quality care. It is the primary focus and backbone of their mission statement. Ventura is aware of the fact that he is different from the other surgeons and initially questioned whether he could fit into the culture of Mitchell Memorial. Even with this insight, he has been reluctant to conform. He sees the challenge of change as a threat instead of an opportunity (Leadership and Intelligence). Throughout his 360-degree evaluation, his peers have commented multiple times that, “Ron doesn’t consider others points” and that “it is his way or the highway”. He basically does not listen to others, wants everyone to go along with him, and is headstrong reluctant to give an inch when it comes to change. Ron’s boss, Prescott, has pointed his shortcomings a few times, but himself is uncomfortable approaching Ron. Ventura acts as if he is oblivious to the derogatory comments he makes and how they impact the staff. He is significantly lacking in change intelligence and because of this will never be a successful leader. Furthermore, he will continue to adversely impact the business.

Recommendations and Implementations

  • Ventura does not appear to be truly enlightened on how his behavior is impacting the staff; therefore, start confronting Ventura and stop defending and making excuses for his behavior. Initiate a process immediately where Ventura is calmly counseled, documented, and taken to task each and every time his interpersonal style is unacceptable and does not coincide with the mission/vision of the hospital. If Ventura wants to change, he will work on his behavior and ask for help where needed. If he does not want to change, he will more than likely quit, before more damage is done and minimize the possibility of losing other good employees.
  • Provide coaching to Ventura (either internal or with an outside facilitator) on ways to improve his interpersonal talents and raise his emotional intelligence. This coaching needs to include self-awareness, self-regulation, and improved social skills. Follow-up regularly on his progress and ensure he does not need additional tools to progress. Continuously reiterate the mission/vision of Mitchell Memorial Hospital and reinforce that unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Put steps in place to use the qualitative review process to make changes where needed in behavior and job execution. A training plan needs to be developed and in place to fully utilize the input and suggestions provided on the evaluation tool that will directly foster change and impact the culture of the hospital. The plan will emphasize policies and procedures for teamwork, provide feedback, and should be documented clearly. In addition, those with shortfalls should be paired with appropriate mentors for oversight and further evaluation.

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