This is a completely different process and requires different communication skills, influence techniques and leadership styles from those used to solve business problems.
Dr. A prided himself on being “straightforward.” He said it like it was and asked for what he wanted. “I don’t have time for cups of coffee,” he told me. He had their respect for him as a clinician – brilliant, analytical and nearly always correct in his clinical assessment. When he was the Acting Chair of his department he wanted his colleagues to do what he wanted. No questions.
Over time he realized he had to earn his colleagues’ engagement, which involved not only coffee; it also involved listening, compromise and maybe even lunch.
As a leadership coach for physicians, I ask questions to guide my clients into their own solutions. I spend a lot of time listening, either to words or to silence. I am a combination honest broker, translator, facilitator, adviser and teacher – all in service of my clients.
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