Hope for Chief Nursing Officers & Patient Safety Efforts: Transforming Middle Management Dysfunction into Collaborative Leadership Teams

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Are you a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) concerned about a gap between senior management and staff.  Are you worried about  disconnections that interfere with individual and organizational collaborative capacities to provide safe quality care?  Especially in such times of major change and uncertainty?

Direct care nurses complain about under-staffing, pay cuts, lack of full time opportunities, pressures to eliminate overtime, diminishing benefits.  Senior managers wish staff could understand budget limits, regulatory mandates, and consumer satisfaction.

Healthy connection or reconnection between nursing staff and senior leadership can happen with focused training for the nurse middle management team!   The secrets lie in communication training and small group process work, both of which can occur simultaneously with a brief series of interactive workshops on giving and receiving constructive feedback.

What are the steps?

1.  Make a decision to improve and standardize nurse manager’s communication skills and team functioning.

2.  Contact an Organizational Development Consultant who understands nurse management issues and healthcare culture.  An expert group process facilitator will be skilled at creating a safe environment and engaging the team in honest dialogue about challenges they face in communicating concerns from senior leaders to staff and visa versa.  A consultant who is objective and neutral may be critical for creating a safe environment and getting at reticent problem areas.  Sometimes external consultants can be more effective because of this.

3.  The consultant can work with you to gain insights into specific problem areas and plan a series of workshops that address underlying dynamics and build crucial skills in giving and receiving constructive feedback.  The art of effective outcomes includes creating a safe environment, clear expectations &  small group process work that a skilled consultant can integrate into the training while addressing any specific concerns that senior leaders and middle management have identified.

4.  Provide individual coaching to team members who need additional coaching support to develop and apply the skills to real world situations for a finite period of time.

5.  Create opportunities to practice new skills, reward successes, and ultimately disciplinary measures when abilities or compliance are lacking.

As a result, organizations will have a team that can set limits respectfully, advocate for critical resources, address disruptive behaviors, and develop supportive and respectful peer relationships. This will contribute to improved morale, safer care, and optimal patient experiences.

Your nurse managers will be well on their way to performing as collaborative leaders powerful change agents!

Beth Boynton

I love working with nurses at all levels in efforts to more effective communicators and team players.  Learn more about the kind of workshops I offer here.  Call for a free telephone consultation:  603-319-8293 EST.  

Get a close up view of my style with these two YouTubes!

“Why is Communication So Hard for Healthcare Professionals?”

“Interruption Awareness:  A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety!”





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