3, No Wait 6, No Wait 7 Ways You Can Stop the Silence in Healthcare Today

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conversationSpeaking up and listening are the keys to stopping the silence in healthcare.  Neither makes much sense by itself and each is essential for teaching the other!   In other words listening to others promotes assertiveness and assertiveness promotes listening.  To understand this better, ask yourself how feeling heard might impact your skill and safety in speaking up and how an assertive person might impact your listening.  Or conversely, what you would do if you speak up and no one listens or if you listen and no one speaks up? What if these are chronic patterns?

Ask any leader who has tried to promote assertiveness in a culture where respectful listening isn’t practiced!  Sure, some might speak louder and maybe even become aggressive, some may find someone else speak up to which may be passive-aggressive, some may shut down and stop speaking up all together, which may be passive or passive-aggressive.  Add to this psychological safety and power dynamics and the elements of respectful and effective communication become quite interesting!  If you are in a position of power such as a CNO, CMO, or CEO, you can have a huge influence on building assertiveness by listening!  Actually, you’ll have a huge impact on assertiveness if you don’t listen, but it will more likely take shape in one of those previously mentioned ways!

I recommend that any efforts to promote assertiveness be accompanied by efforts to promote listening!  And here are 7 ways you can10848019_10152938987321592_1735121683321704716_n Stop the Silence in Healthcare starting today!

1.  Speak up with confidence about a concern you have regarding patient safety.

2. Listen respectfully to someone who expresses a concern about patient safety.

3. Speak up with confidence about a limitation you have that exhibits self-care.

4. Listen respectfully to someone who shares a limitation that exhibits self-care.

5. Speak up with confidence about an idea you have that would improve patient care and/or your work environment.

6. Listen respectfully to someone who shares an idea that would improve patient care and/or your work environment.

7.  Join and share Mike Ackerman‘s Facebook Group called “Stop the Silence in Healthcare”  This group is for everyone and is a growing force for positive change!  I hope to see you there with your concerns, ideas, and limitations!  


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9 Responses to 3, No Wait 6, No Wait 7 Ways You Can Stop the Silence in Healthcare Today

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  2. Marsha Ann says:

    Hi Beth! This is a wonderful list. I especially love the theme of listening respectfully when someone share ideas related to patient safety. It’s also great when the environment is and the staff feels safe enough to do so.

    • Beth_Boynton_RN_MS says:

      You are right on, Marsha Ann. That safety for speaking up is key and a major responsibility of people in power.

  3. Kelly Payne says:

    We are working on this in our unit based practice council, our group over the past few years has lost their voice. I believe it is because their concerns are landing nowhere – it seems as no one is listening and therefore everyone is very disengaged. I am going to share the Mike Ackerman’s Facebook group & hope we can build a stronger group again. Thanks

    • Beth_Boynton_RN_MS says:

      You’re probably right, Kelly. When we don’t feel listened to it is as if we don’t exist! Keep the faith 😉 we are building a stronger group here and there and I’m glad you’ll share Mike’s FB page. Nurses have a lot of wisdom, experience, and knowledge to bring to the table and as we become better collaborators we’ll be developing stronger voices individually, organizationally, and as a profession!

  4. Elizabeth Scala says:

    Listening certainly helps us understand. To listen with presence ensures that we can relate to where the person is coming from. And when we listen in that way, it makes us empowered to speak with confidence in turn. Thank you for these great examples. Sharing!

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  7. allewellyn says:

    Great article and one that all should take back to their organizations. Together we can ensure healthcare is an industry that not only cares for patients, but also for those who work caring for others.

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