Lean In or Lean Back?

When your quality assurance manager wants to talk with you about a call you ran, do you lean in or do you lean back?

When the local nursing home calls for a patient who’s been feeling ill, do you lean in or do you lean back?

When the monthly continuing education lecture starts, do you lean in or do you lean back?

When the E.R. doctor wants to talk to you about the care you just gave her patient, do you lean in or do you lean back?

When you are scheduled to work with the partner who’s has the social skills of warm Bisquick, do you lean in or do you lean back?

When it’s near the end of your shift and there are inter-facility transfers pending, do you lean in or do you lean back?

Today you’ll be presented with countless opportunities. There will be opportunities for growth, connection, effort and fulfillment. There will be opportunities to bring quality to your job. There will be opportunities to learn from your colleagues and coworkers. Most of those opportunities come dressed up like work.

When they do come, do you lean in, ready to hear what the next person has to say. Are you looking for the connection with your next patient, the new home medication you haven’t heard of yet, the next piece of advice from your Q.A. person that might refine your skills? Or do you lean back, scared of what it all might mean, upset about the missed off-time, frustrated by the weaknesses and failings of others?

Lean in or lean back. It’s a decision we all have to make each day.

What do you think about that?


  1. Grammar Nazi says:

    >the new home medication you haven’t herd of yet
    >haven’t herd of yet

  2. administrator says:

    Got it GN Thanks. Always appreciated.

  3. As a new guy I’ve found it hard to lean in too much. I’ve always felt like a new guy shouldn’t stick his neck out too far, lest get it chopped off. However I don’t think that shows much confidence, which can be hard in this line of work, at least for me. I suppose in all things though, whether you are right or wrong, be confident in the decisions you make.

  4. I lean back.

    So I can observe the bigger picture.

    Then I lean in.

    So I can get the detail…

  5. Lean forward… always forward. Everything is an opportunity to learn something new, learn what you do wrong, plant the seed of innovation and change, and an opportunity to advance and distinguish yourself. Everything and anything is an opportunity.

  6. I’d bet that 90% of the people reading this blog would ‘lean-in’. People who are EMTs because they enjoy it in some way or are looking to improve their skills. Sadly, most people go through life hating their job and always wishing they were someone/somewhere else… sad.


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