Avoiding Blame and Judgement, an Interview with Katie Owens

Listen Now

Listen now:

Today’s episode of the Healthcare Experience Matters podcast is all about strategies for avoiding blame and judgement. We explore this topic with Katie Owens, the Co-Founder and President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF).

When we continuously place blame on others it damages relationships and negatively impacts our work environments. With efforts in place to avoid blame and judgement, we create an atmosphere that allows the patient experience to better thrive.

“If we’re not careful, blame creeps into our vocabulary and we leave an emotional wake behind,” Katie described.

As Katie outlines for us on today’s episode, there are steps we can take to reduce and eliminate blame. We can also establish more constructive ways to manage conflict.

“Placing blame jeopardizes relationships. Whether we mean to or not, blame and negativity activates our defense mechanisms so that we’re geared up for that fight or flight,” she said.

Katie describes the importance of avoiding small phrases of negativity that epitomize blame and can creep into our vocabulary. Simply being aware of these phrases may be the first step in riding them from our lexicon.

In times of a crisis and high stress, it is extremely important to avoid blaming others. During these tough times in the workplace, it is natural for people to have a “shorter fuse” than ever. We must exercise deep empathy and compassion for others in these times.

“When we are in crisis our need to double-down on emotional intelligence is probably its most prominent, and that begins with self-awareness,” Katie said.

When we can manage our emotions, we are less likely to blame other people and demonstrate resentment to colleagues. With emotional intelligence, we avoid hostility towards other people and we are more in tune to empathize and listen.

As noted by Katie, there is a major difference from listening to understand versus listening to judge.

How do we break these cycles? Katie recommends some simple steps, such as:

  • Begin and end every day thinking about what you are grateful for.
  • Take ownership and responsibility when you are wrong.
  • Spend time with positive people.
  • Give compliments and find the things that we appreciate in somebody else.

“Spend more time with the people who lift you up,” Katie said.

It has been a few months since Katie last joined our show, and we could not be more pleased to welcome her back! You can catch up on her previous episodes:

Listen Now

Listen to the entire episode of today’s discussion with Katie Owens here:

HXF Academy

Have you checked out the Healthcare Experience Academy yet?

With eCourses now available about Amplifying Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and empathy you’ll be able to explore these topics related to today’s podcast episode in more detail.

Healthcare experiences are made up of a million small encounters, each adding up to one big impression of your organization. The Healthcare Experience Academy from HXF empowers you to make sure the impression you and your team leave is a positive one.

More Podcasts

Interested in hearing more podcasts from us? The five most recent episodes are here:

For even more podcast episodes of this program, you can subscribe to us for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere you get podcasts! You can always visit the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) YouTube channel to view our entire archive of episodes.

We publish a new podcast every Thursday morning. Please stay tuned for more shows!

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

You can subscribe to our podcast for free on all major podcast platforms and for video of our interviews, you can always check out the Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) on YouTube. Catch up on all episodes of our podcast by subscribing and following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more.

Meet Katie Owens

Katie believes that the way we deliver and receive healthcare matters—not just for the patients, but for the caregivers, the providers, and administration, too.

As President of the Healthcare Experience Foundation, Katie is taking bold steps to assure that every organization has access to resources for engaging patients and developing their workforce to achieve results. Katie is an innovator, implementing new ways to deliver the best in patient-centered care.

She has influenced hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders to equip their cultures and instill competencies that create environments of person-centered excellence. Her fundamental tenet is that every person is worthy of an environment where they feel confident in receiving and delivering the best possible care. Known as a leader among leaders, Katie previously served on the HealthStream Leadership Team as Vice President of the Engagement Institute. She also served on the Baptist Health Care (BHC) leadership team in Pensacola, Florida, where she supported the system’s sustained journey to excellence. Katie has led teams of expert coaches dedicated to improving the quality of the patient experience and has been instrumental in creating leading-edge learning assets to support patient experience competencies. She is most proud of having grown Baptist Leadership Group to one of the most respected healthcare coaching practices in the country before being acquired by HealthStream in 2013.

Katie is the lead author of The HCAHPS Imperative for Creating Patient-Centered Excellence and is currently writing her second book about the importance of speaking the patient’s language. She is frequently quoted and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Financial Management Magazine and Hospitals and Health Networks. She is an energetic, internationally-recognized speaker and has presented for many highly-respected organizations, including American College of Healthcare Executives, Beryl Institute, Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy Summit, Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Connect with Katie Owens
More episodes with Katie Owens