Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Welcome back to the Therapist's Coach and thank you for the opportunity to write this forum for one full year! My hope is that you have gleened something useful from these postings, or expanded your mindfulness and skills in the area of leadership in our field.
One of my coaching clients had moved back from a successful marketing position in California to give it another try at her family owned engineering business. Father, engineer CEO, male engineering minds on the leadership team ,an incomplete view at best of what marketing actually is and what it could do better for their organization ...this was the snapshot of what she was entering. My client was struggling to prove her worth and to present her new bold ideas. Many of our sessions focused on her frustrations to be taken seriously, her frustrations to be heard . As Judith Glaser writes in Creating We , "Fear drives us into I-centric behavior and we find ourselves losing our voice or taking criticism to heart and retreating from moving forward." An artist and conceptual communicator was attempting to relate her ideas in a format and forum that didn't connect for these engineers. She was beginning to shut down.
Successful communication hinges on how well others understand what you are saying. Much of our inability to communicate and relate to others should be examined by tapping in to others' worlds and perspectives. Our coaching sessions challenged her to do exactly that.
In the therapy world have any of you come up with similar barriers? I believe you have. In any industry we will come up against situations where we need to communicate "uphill".
The Hospital Administrator unable to comprehend the need for physical therapy vestibular programming... The Director of Nursing who wants all of her SNF patients to receive Rehab Low minutes ... The supervisor who doesn't enforce the same standard of flexibility in weekend coverage for all your therapists...
Have you considered HOW you communicate your solutions, programs and alternative viewpoints to the INDIVIDUAL, and how you connect with their information processing and big picture perspective?
Most people think they understand and use words well. The reality is that most individuals walk away from a conversation with very different meanings during the exact same exchange. Our challenge is to use the best possible format, not for us , but for those we are communicating with.
A 1:1 conversation with the Director of Nursing with a written rationale to educate and discuss before presenting it to the leadership team...
A cost benefit analysis e-mailed to the Hospital Administrator illustrating not only the revenue but the local community members served with your program...
An informal cup of Starbucks with your supervisor before other staff arrive to propose alternatives to the current weekend schedule with a visual mapping for the next 3 months...
My client is having successes in her new position. It isn't occurring overnight but through each meeting, each conversation, she is considering the most meaningful mode of communication with her colleagues. And although she never wants to give up her creative artistic thinking for an engineering mind, she knows she can be heard by them.
I look forward to hearing about your own experiences.