Respectful Communication: Envision Extraordinary Teamwork for Patient Safe Care

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Investing in communication skill training and creating practice opportunities may be one of the single most important things healthcare leaders can do to impact:

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Staff Morale
  • Cost-effectiveness

In our busy, high-stressed and high-stakes day to day worlds of delivering heatlhcare it is easy to get caught up in clinically driven priorities.  “I-statements” and receptive listening body language are easily left by the wayside in the middle of a “code”. But, but, but….the  “soft” skills of emotional intelligence are also critical!

Insight, language and awareness about the value of such teaching will help leaders to be intentional about spending valuable resources on them.  Here’s a visionary look at outcomes associated with superlative communication and collaboration training!

Envisioning Extraordinary Teamwork

1.  Leaders and staff give each other constructive feedback in a respectful and skilled manner. There is little, if any, talking behind people’s backs, and stakeholders are contributing to each other’s success and growth.

2.  Leaders and staff are able to receive feedback from each other with skill and respect.  They are open to learning and growing from other people’s experience and perceptions.  Defensive behaviors are minimal, even when individuals may feel defensive.

3.  Everyone’s voice is heard, spoken, and valued. There is a community commitment to making this happen and may involve some individuals working at listening more, while others work harder to speak up.

4.  Change is welcome as opportunity and resistance is either short-lived or non-existent.  Given everyone’s input and respectful dialogue, folks are embarking on a new and, at least potentially, better way.  Best efforts are made to making the change work.

5.  Creative problem-solving is evident when problems arise.  Brainstorming is productive, even fun as all voices have the opportunity and skills to put their ideas on the table.  One of the most exciting results of positive collaboration is the emergence of new ideas.

Intellectually, listening and speaking up are fairly simple, but practicing respectful communication and creating workplace cultures that are supportive is not!  Nevertheless, the rewards of an organization’s investment in the training and practice of assertiveness and listening will impact everything else!




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