A Nurse’s Story About a Leader Who Listened

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by Guest Blogger, Jim Murphy

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James Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote The Leadership Challenge, now in its fourth edition.  You can find many shelves devoted to Leadership in the management section of bookstores, but you don’t need to read any other of them if you’ve read this one.

The two also wrote Credibility, another excellent book, whose second edition was published last year.  Like The Leadership Challenge, it is a based on a vast of amount of research, including thousands of interviews. In the second chapter, “Credibility Makes a Difference,” they tell how they asked people to describe someone they admired and respected as a leader.

One interviewee told of her experience with a hospital administrator at the beginning of her career in healthcare as a nurse.  She was impressed and influenced by his honesty, generosity and compliments.  In particular she liked a method he used for organizational communication, called “floor conferences”.  He would get people together and listen to their questions, complaints and ideas.  In these, he would take notes, write them up and respond to the person within twenty-four hours.

What do you think of that technique for listening and communication? And isn’t good leadership based on good listening?

P.S. If you are interested in more about ‘listening’ check out these two earlier blogposts by Jim and I:

Why Don’t They Listen?  A Universal Problem:  Healthcare Safety, Educational Goals, Organizational Values & Family Relationships-Part I

Why Don’t They Listen? A Universal Problem: Healthcare Safety, Educational Goals, Organizational Values, & Family Relationships-Part II

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What are your thoughts?