Are You Brave Enough as a Leader?

braveryThis weekend my daughter (who is almost 5) asked me a thoughtful question at dinner.

“Daddy, what is bravery?”

Several thoughts flashed through my mind in an instant. I wanted to give her an answer simplistic enough for her to understand but accurate enough to address the complexity of her question.

Bravery is when you’re not afraid, I thought, then immediately rejected that answer. “Bravery isn’t the absence of fear!,” my mind yelled. “Most people who have to be brave admit to also being quite scared at the same time!”

I decided at that moment to use a definition of the word courage I’d heard years earlier. Continue reading

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Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores by Focusing on Employee Strengths

what are you best at?A high-quality patient experience comes from patients encountering employees who are in the right roles. This is the conclusion drawn by the employee engagement experts over at Gallup.

What are the right roles for employees? According to research, employees perform at their best when they are allowed to deploy their strengths frequently at work. Continue reading

Don’t Aspire to a Stress-Free Workplace

zen nurseI recently came across this Huffington Post article on ways to boost employee engagement. While most of the author’s recommendations are grounded in established research, one in particular made me do a double-take.

#4 Eliminate Stress. Impossible deadlines or excessive workloads will erode job satisfaction for even the most dedicated team members…Strive to create a stress-free environment by setting realistic deadlines and keeping projects manageable.

I’ve been training physicians and managers in healthcare for years. If I stood in front of an audience and told them that to achieve engagement they needed to eliminate stress for their employees, I’d get laughed out of the room. Recommendations like this are what cause leaders at all levels to view engagement as nothing more than an unachievable ideal. Continue reading

Healthcare managers: Less Telling. More Asking.

telling vs askingMany managers get caught up in the part of their job that focuses on the dispensation of information. Indeed too many managers think that is the job. What they fail to realize is that their jobs often become easier and their teams function more effectively when they reign in their instructing, advising, directing, and informing. To get the most out of individuals and teams, managers at all levels should remember this simple mantra: Continue reading

Infographic: A Guide to Strengths-Based Management

Strengths-Based Management is a key skill for managers and an important strategy for impacting employee engagement. Yet managers rarely get training in how to take a strengths-based approach day-to-day. This infographic can be printed and hung in the office of any manager looking to improve their supervisory approach. Continue reading

Cure For The Common Leader

I’m thrilled to announce that next month, in partnership with the Allegheny County Medical Society, I will be leading a robust leadership and people management seminar for healthcare supervisors here in Pittsburgh, PA. Healthcare leaders at all levels often struggle with people management questions like: Continue reading