Influencer Mistica Fraay

Interview August 2018

Mistica: “I am a 59-year-old mother of two sons. I have decided to dedicate all my quality time to these two sons as a single mother after my divorce and I am very proud of whom my sons have become. This is my personal wealth, and I love it like it is. I came out of a family of 10 brothers and sisters, with strong value based roots, like being respectful and caring of other people independent of their social background, but also being honest and humble were highly valued.

I am Manager of Care of SEHOS and I love my work. You know early on, when I was a child, I was afraid of becoming a nurse, I couldn’t imagine that I would become one. But then again, something kept pulling me to this profession. I always loved helping people, it didn’t matter how. If something happens and I can help a person, I would be the first to help. So, after overcoming my fear, I decided to go into nursery anyway and started working as a nurse at the basic level for three years. I was eager to learn and grow, getting to know the human body in all its different aspects. If you could describe my learning curve, I developed and grew for knowing the human body from within and then got to know the surrounding technology available for the patients and worked at the Intensive Care department for 7 years. But then I started to lose my footing and touch with people. You know, you lose humanity in a sense when you are very focused on technology. I missed that humanity, and I couldn’t find myself anymore in a technology driven environment. So I developed more interest in policy and management, driven by my desire and passion to do things better for our patients. So my first managerial position was in the children department. In those 4 years, I learned to know people much better.

One of the important lessons I learned is, that if a new head of department is recruited and appointed and comes from the group that this new department head has to manage, it can be a big challenge. So I figured out “a strategy for success” to win over the support of all the employees of that department. I deliberately focused on working bottom up. Gaining the respect and confidence from the lower echelons first.

Secondly, I always involved people in important decisions, I asked for their input and this gave me confidence and confirmed that I was on the right track. I learned a lot from “Intervisie” among colleagues and by putting yourself in a vulnerable position, making it possible that anybody from the work floor could give me as the department head constructive feedback – by explaining their points of view – this department became self-steering. In a sense, this was a huge win for me and my applied “success strategy”, that was enabling this department to become self-steering. In another sense, I became bored. I had almost nothing to do, other than staying in a coaching role. That department became a very respected department, I was often asked for advice by colleagues, my role was limited but my desire to grow didn’t stop there. It was then, that I became Manager Care. Leaping from being manager at the children department for a group of 60 employees to Manager Care responsible for over 450 employees consisting of 21 departments and 35 managers.

That has been my challenge for the last couple of years as we are preparing to migrate to our biggest challenge in the near future and that is migrating to HNO (Hospital Nobo Otrobanda = The new hospital) to be operational.”

We have come to know you as a very people centered person and caring person, where does that come from?
“Well, I can’t explain it, it might be a personality trait. People feel it when you are sincere in your intentions in your different roles, either as a nurse towards a patient or the mother of my sons or a leader leading employees in SEHOS and that I am responsible for. You can learn lots of things and I have learned so much from other people, but in the end it is all about application of this knowledge. As I can’t exactly explain where it comes from, my advice is: “Be human in your approach towards other human beings and you will win people’s hearts.”

What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now?
“As I still have 5,5 years to work before my pension, I love to transfer my knowledge and skills to the upcoming generations. It doesn’t serve me to leave with all this knowledge. When you share, you can make another person eternally happy because you meant something in their lives, and that also makes me happy.

To illustrate this, I come in early at work, for me that is at 7 am and the cleaning workers start even earlier at 5 am. When I am at the office, I always offer those cleaning my office coffee or tea. While making the coffee, I sing a lot. Of late, one of them gave me a stick with some songs, so I could play it in my car as a token for his appreciation for how I treat them as colleagues. I treat them with respect, that is probably why they come to me and ask for advice and I even help them write their application letter when they want to apply for new job opportunities in SEHOS. But then at times I also experience that some people I work with betray me and I have learned to “Love them anyway”. I am sure that one day they will feel the value I offered to them. At times when things escalate, you should park these challenges for a while and let it be for a while. And when at times they get stuck ….whom do they turn to for help?… They come to me and as “I love them anyway”, I help them as much as I can. My BIG WHY now? I would love to coach people. I want people to be good human beings and love other human beings, like they want to be loved.

You have started recently a movement for fitness in SEHOS? Can you expand on this and why you started this? And how is it going now after these three months?
“Yes, indeed some months ago we started the SEHOS Fit Movement aimed at making SEHOS employees be an example for our patients in terms of physical fitness. We started with a group of 22 and this group just finished their first level. This was so well received that when we opened the possibility for subscription for a new group, my secretary whom I have empowered to deal with the subscriptions, was overwhelmed with over 50 subscriptions for a new group. We don’t have enough room for all, but it gives you an idea on how well this project has been received.

Can you share with us what are your business goals for the short and long term?
“I would like all employees whom I am responsible for, to migrate to HNO preferably in their own functions or anyway in a function where they feel happy. For the very short term, I would like to continue to implement all the change projects we are responsible for successfully.”

What is your secret for this success up to now in an environment where there is negativity and lots of people fearing the unknown, that is being outside their “comfort zone?” 
“I now have been working for over 35 years in the hospital and you spend so much time at work, so you have to make it happen. I am not planning to come frustrated to work every single day and I would not suggest this to no one. My ability is to handle and deal with other human beings effectively. I am always open and transparent and my answers are clear, because I believe others need to know what you stand for”.

“I apply these rules:

1. Love yourself and love others anyway, whatever they do. This can be very challenging from time to time;

2. Apply Appreciative inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is about the search for the best in people, their organizations, and the strengths-filled, opportunity-rich world around them. It is not so much a shift in the methods and models of organizational change, but it is a fundamental shift from the overall perspective taken throughout the entire change process to ‘see’ the wholeness of the human system and to “inquire” into that system’s strengths, possibilities, and successes. I have always been a people centered person, so this approach serves me well;

3. I put people accountable no matter what rank they have, using crucial conversation techniques (keeping the environment safe and being respectful) when needed, because I can’t live with injustice.”

What are your biggest personal challenge that you foresee to reach your future goals?
My biggest challenge in HNO will be, “whom I want to be” and ultimately “what will I be” as a dilemma. Will I be a HNO manager or a person involved in coaching, making coachees become better versions of themselves, professionally and in their private lives?”

What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and other say about you, let’s say 10 years from now?
Mistica is a good person, a good mother and good colleague.

One of the 250 Influencers
As the coregroup of Share2Uplift we consider Mistica Fraay definitely one of the 250 ethical leaders that we connect with and align with creating collaboratively value for the whole of the island, SEHOS specifically.

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