1. Cox, Sharon MSN, BSN

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Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself (Tawwab, 2021)


This best-selling book sheds light on the struggle to set boundaries: a root cause behind feelings of being overwhelmed (or burnout), a sense of resentment, lack of self-care, or problems with time management. Using well-researched ideas and best practices, the author offers practical advice for developing healthy boundaries and dealing with the discomfort or guilt that often comes in the aftermath of setting boundaries. She reminds us that without healthy boundaries we can't live the life we want or enjoy the work we've chosen.


In addition to providing a roadmap for setting boundaries, the author explores the cost of not having boundaries, why we have difficulty with boundaries, and how to identify and communicate boundaries even in challenging situations. Often called the "bible of boundaries," this book covers ways to handle boundaries at work, in friendships, with family, and when using social media and technology.


The author's years of experience as a therapist shine through in her compassionate, honest, and down-to-earth approach, giving the reader a sense of empowerment and clarity about how to do this all-important work. The included self-assessment quiz is enlightening and will likely pinpoint exactly where to start. Addressing the root cause of issues that many healthcare workers struggle with, this information is overdue and essential to reclaiming the work life we want and need.


Gratitude with Omar Brownson (A Bit of Optimism - Simon Sinek, Episode 44, December 28, 2021:


The ever-insightful business guru Simon Sinek reminds us that we can all use a bit of optimism these days. He developed this podcast to offer inspiration and silver linings from interviews across the spectrum of leadership. In this episode, Sinek talks with Omar Brownson, an urban planner, who left his high-stress, high-profile job and eventually reframed his career around the practice of gratitude.


Brownson describes how to experience gratitude when all is well and when we're caught in the headwinds of a difficult time. Although mindfulness or meditation didn't work for him, he found life-changing insights by practicing gratitude. He says that noticing the things we're grateful for makes us more mindful, less reactive to the triggers we experience, and more accepting of what is. The conversation between Sinek and Brownson highlights the value of a gratitude practice, which makes visible what we value. A takeaway from this conversation is that gratitude is more than an emotion, it's an action we choose, and it can be the lens through which we see life.


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Lencioni, 2002)


Effective teams make or break so much of what we do. In this leadership fable, Lencioni tells an engrossing story that feels familiar to anyone who has ever worked as part of a team. Lencioni's description of what it takes for teams to be effective has been used in healthcare, in churches, for sports teams, and fact, it's universally applicable.


Lencioni provides a framework that's easy to recall by focusing on five words: trust, healthy conflict, accountability, commitment, and results. It also includes a team assessment to help determine which aspect of team-building needs attention. He reminds us of the value of a peer group and the need for healthy conflict (a foreign concept for some). His ideas around building trust have become transformational for many as they've come to value vulnerability and openness.


By describing the dysfunctions of a team, Lencioni draws in the reader with specific examples that we've all experienced. Then he provides the next steps for moving from each dysfunction to a high-performing team. Over the years I've seen many teams adopt the best practices Lencioni describes to such an extent that they're woven into the fabric of how teams operate. If fostering teamwork is important to you, this book will likely be a keeper in your management library.