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Tuning in to Your Own Behavior: Are You Tone Deaf?

MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S dictionary defines “tone-deaf” as having or showing an obtuse insensitivity or lack of perception particularly in matters of public sentiment, opinion, or taste.

We are seeing an increase in contract language stating that employed physicians must “work cooperatively with others in the workplace.” This language is very general and allows the employer to terminate employees who are “bad fits” without necessarily having to give notice to the physician and an opportunity for the physician to correct the behavior. Of note is that this language is included in the section of the employment agreement that allows the employer to terminate the agreement immediately for cause (meaning no notice and opportunity to correct).

When a “bad fit” is used as the reason an employer terminates an employee, it is often because the employee is unable to communicate respectfully with the employer or is, in other words, “tone-deaf.”

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