06 Dec Improve Your CONNECTion with Your Team

Functional, appropriate, and clear communication is the backbone of a well-run medical practice. It’s also one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the day-to-day life of any business. Words and tone can be misinterpreted, and phrasing can be unintentionally damaging to the relationship between clinicians, leadership, and staff, or between teammates.

We found a great piece from psychologist Catherine Hambley, PhD in Physicians Practice with what she calls a brain-based model to effective everyday conversations. She provides seven ways to have deeper and more meaningful interactions with staff and with each other, using the acronym CONNECT:

CONSISTENCY: Setting expectations and providing them in advance allows people to understand what you want or are asking from them. Creating positive patterns in communication can help those around you foresee changes and adapt to them when needed.

OWNERSHIP: Autonomy is empowering to both peers and staff. Hambley suggests telling people more about what you need, and reducing focus on the how, allowing them some decision-making power.

NOVELTY: Tapping into people’s inherent curiosity by asking open-ended questions can help smooth the path to achieving goals.

NEED TO KNOW: Sharing the “why” behind what you’re telling someone instantly engages them by setting them on a more equal footing. Providing insight into the bigger picture can spur creativity and reduce anxiety about the future.

EQUITY: The perception of unequal treatment can be poison to interpersonal relationships. While hierarchies necessarily exist in organizations, holding those on the same level to the same expectations goes a long way to prevent dissatisfaction from setting in.

CONFIDENCE: When things are busy, it’s too easy to only address what needs to be improved. Acknowledging and encouraging good performance spurs greater success by providing an incentive for best practices.

TRUST: Perhaps the most critical component- Hambley suggests fostering trust by helping your colleagues and staff focus on your common goal, which facilitates the removal of barriers to open communication.

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