Leadership skills series

Monday, March 20, 2017 12:37 PM
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CMS members celebrate successful kickoff in February

by Chet Seward, Senior Director, Division of Health Care Policy

CMS members developed their skills in giving and receiving feedback and building social capital at the kickoff program of the Physician Leadership Skills Series on Feb. 11 in Denver. This was the first of eight exclusive programs in 2017 that provide free CME and necessary knowledge and skills for health care now and in the future to CMS member physicians, residents and medical students.

Speaker Kathy Kennedy, DrPH, explained to attendees why giving and receiving feedback is difficult, but important. Being able to give and receive feedback is an essential skill that every physician needs in order to build trusting relationships and improve the performance of their care team. “Feedback is critical to team and individual success. These conversations are some of the most important team members will have with each other, yet they are often wrought with anxiety and discomfort.”

When giving feedback, a positive experience doesn’t mean only sharing positive observations; it means creating a safe, positive environment where tough discussions can take place without derailing the relationship, she explained. Timing, permission, environment and thoughtful communication can all be factors in giving successful feedback.

Success in receiving feedback can be achieved by being open and inquisitive, avoiding defensiveness, appreciating the difficult process of giving feedback, and acting on commitments to initiate new behaviors. It’s a “thank you, tell me more” mindset: recognizing that the person giving feedback is interested in your success and, instead of a using a defensive “but” to diminish the negative performance and protect your ego, asking for specific instances or examples to continue to improve. That opens up a “space” for effective feedback.

Ideally, team members give feedback to one another and receive feedback regularly, on things that are going well in addition to things that need to be improved, Kennedy said. “Create a feedback culture” so it is easier to give or receive feedback when it is needed for improvement.

Speaker Aaron Templer explained that the world is a place increasingly influenced by groups constructed socially. Especially given the exponential growth of technology, groups convene and influence each other and others through social groups. The currency traded in these groups is social capital – a learnable leadership discipline that’s accessed and shared through social networks: communities, families and organizations. It is jointly owned and used, and cannot be easily traded. These networks of relationships create a valuable resource – “durable obligations.”

Those with well-developed social capital can use it for efficiency of action, knowledge creation and sharing, and maximized collaboration, and it can improve recruiting, hiring, career success, entrepreneurship and innovation, to name a few, and give a person access to privileged information and opportunities.

Building social capital requires maintaining trust by meeting expectations, and through shared values and behaviors. It’s a way to connect and align goals.

Make plans to attend future events online or in person. See the full schedule, register for an upcoming program and learn more at www.cms.org/events/leadership-skills.

Posted in: Colorado Medicine


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