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Archive for March, 2017

Don’t Just Sit There Listening –Solicit Input

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 7, 2017

by Suzanne Gordon

Soliciting Not Just Listening                                                questions

Want to be a better physician or nurse leader? Enhance patient safety? Effectively lead teams? One of the current consultant prescriptions is the recommendation that leaders spend more time listening than talking. Whether in the larger management literature or in the articles and books that specifically target health care, listening is portrayed as a key to leadership. Employees want their voices to be heard,” one management guru opined in a Forbes article entitled “6 ways Effective Listening Can Make You a Better Leader,” and to “know that they (their leaders) have their interests at heart because they really listen.”

To emphasize this point psychiatrist Mark Goulston titled his bestselling book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. Listening 1.1 has, in fact, advanced to listening 2.1 wherein one is exhorted not to “just listen” – i.e. passively and unresponsively — but to engage in “active listening.”

I am all for listening. Of course people have to listen to each other rather than silence, ignore, dismiss, or denigrate one another. When it comes to the implementation of genuine teamwork and patient safety within the hierarchical environment of health care, I don’t think listening is enough. As Amy Edmondson has written in her book Teaming, “Research shows that hierarchy, by its very nature, dramatically reduces speaking up by those lower in the pecking order. We are hard-wired, then socialized, to be acutely sensitive to power, and to work to avoid being seen as deficient in any way by those in power.” Read the rest of this entry »

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