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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

We forget that our nonverbals communicate to our colleagues just as much as our words do. These nonverbal cues can include eye rolls, looking down, a frown, a smile, nod, or good eye contact. When we get busy or tired, we may not have the self-awareness to realize we are giving these cues or getting them from others. There are so many communication strategies and cues that we sometimes go through our days in a blur subconsciously choosing not to use all the tools we have in our toolboxes.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Nonverbal cues help us gauge how a conversation is progressing and manage it appropriately. We can show appreciation or annoyance through our nonverbals, and we can identify these emotions in others based on their nonverbal cues.  Whether we are in a conversation with someone or we are passing them in the hallway, nonverbal cues can provide helpful hints as to how the other person is feeling.  Ensuring that we consciously manage our nonverbal cues is critical so we don’t show our frustration at work and that we do show our appreciation when good things happen at work.

How can you do it? 

  1. Pay attention to the other person. Maintain eye contact and watch for cues that give you insight into how the conversation is going.  
  2. Be self-aware. If something someone says is bothering you, be aware of your facial expressions and manage them appropriately.  Take notes to help distract you.
  3. Use the cues to direct your next steps. If you notice nonverbal cues from others that may help you progress a conversation, use them. You can also ask clarifying questions to help you understand the place from which those cues might be coming.

How do you use nonverbal cues in your communication strategies?

The post Effective Communication: Nonverbals Communicate Too appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

There are many reasons we choose to talk more and listen less.  Leaders often think we already know the answers. Sometimes we fall into the trap of only listening until it’s our turn to speak, rather than focusing on the words being said to us.  In this fast paced world with our ever growing task lists, we can allow ourselves to be hurried or dismissive at times.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Active listening helps leaders to avoid miscommunication. Careful listening shows the other person that you care about what they are saying and helps you to develop a stronger teamwork-based relationship.  Listening allows you to ask the right questions.  Leaders who subscribe to the mantra “listen more, talk less” will usually arrive at a better mutual understanding of the topic at hand, which will vastly improve your decision making and your communication.

How can you do it? 

  1. Take careful notes.  Taking notes helps you focus on what the other person is saying.  
  2. Make eye contact and avoid distractions. Avoid your phone, email, and other distractions and make eye contact regularly.  This will demonstrate that you are focused on the conversation.
  3. Listen to the words and tone of the message being shared.  Not only are the words being said important, but the tone in which they are said allows you to gauge a better understanding of where the person stands on the topic.
  4. Repeat back what you’ve heard.  In closing the conversation, highlight what you believe to be the key points of the conversationThis allows for confirmation of understanding from everyone in the room.

What strategies do you utilize to show that you are actively listening?

The post Effective Communication: Communicate by Listening appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

We think we can remember everything people tell us verbally, and we can’t.  For this reason and others, we fail to put an issue on our task list.  Or we may add the issue to our task list, but it isn’t a priority now, so we don’t share the timeline to follow up with our team.  Last, but not least, we may take care of the issue or concern, but don’t inform our team of the resolution. All these reasons happen to the best of us, but damage our leadership credibility.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Following up with your team on issues they bring forward builds your credibility. Your team will know their concerns are important to you and that you will let them know what has happened or why the process may not be able to be changed. Even an unfavorable answer is better received when you take the time to explain the why in a follow up message.  Following up closes the loop, which is critical in leadership, so there isn’t an outstanding item or tension from an issue that was never resolved.  Following up with your team also demonstrates to them the excellent customer service you want them to provide. It sets the tone and example for your team if they know you are going to serve them the way you expect them to serve each other and your customers.   

How can you do it? 

  1. Acknowledge that you can’t remember everything.  Consider a cloud-based task list with an app on your smartphone.  This will allow you to add important tasks on the fly while out and about with your teams. If you utilize a notebook, make sure you transfer tasks to your task list at the end of each day.  
  2. Give yourself time.  Clarify the priority level of this item with your team and give them a reasonable timeline. It’s better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver, so give yourself a little extra time to resolve the issue if needed.  Your team will appreciate you setting an accurate timeline for completion of the task and follow up communication.
  3. Make communication and follow up a task.  Include informing the team of the task or issue resolution as a task item with a due date, or don’t mark the task off your list until you have followed up with the key stakeholders. Doing this will help you to remember how critical it is to follow up with your team.

What are some strategies you utilize to follow up with your team effectively?

The post Effective Communication: Following Up appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

Taking the time to promptly, accurately, and thoroughly document key conversations requires discipline. We believe we are too busy to spend time documenting conversations we have already had or that it simply creates additional work or an additional step for us to complete.  It can be challenging at times to put conversations in black and white, especially if it was a difficult conversation to conduct in the first place. It can create additional conflict for you if the person involved is not expecting the conversation to be documented and shared.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

The case for documenting key conversations as a tool for additional communication are the following:

  • It protects you and the other people involved in the discussion by outlining the critical details, the timeline, and clear next steps.
  • It is an additional tool to help you communicate and confirm understanding with all parties.  You can even ask another person to document their understanding of the discussion to you if there is concern.
  • It holds you and the other people involved accountable.
  • It can outline tasks for everyone and confirm mutual understanding of next steps with clear timelines for completion.

These are just a few of the positive outcomes from documenting important conversations.

How can you do it? 

  1. Set aside time for important documentation daily.  If you do not set aside time to document key conversations each day, you are not as likely to follow through on this critical task.
  2. Share with the people involved that you will be sending documentation. If you let people know up front that you will be sending documentation of the conversation or meeting notes, they are more prepared to receive it and accept it.
  3. Send the documentation to key stakeholders.  Sending the documentation or meeting notes allows you to confirm mutual understanding of the conversation or tasks agreed upon in the meeting with all parties involved. It also serves as a tool to inform others who may need to know, but were not present to hear the information.
  4. Ask for confirmation of receipt, additional input, and agreement.  Having team members clarify their position and commitment in writing increases their likelihood to follow through and deliver on the commitment.

Do you regularly document conversations as a tool to communicate?

The post Effective Communication: Communication through Documentation appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

We often expect our teams to read our minds and to communicate with us the way we prefer to communicate; however, if we don’t attempt to agree on mutual expectations for communication, both you and your team may not be pleased with the outcome. We take for granted that everyone knows how to communicate professionally, respectfully, and effectively.  Clarifying mutual expectations for communication is hard work and requires ongoing management and coaching efforts.  

What is the case for doing it anyway?

By sharing your communication preferences and asking your team to share theirs, you can lead the way to finding common ground for successful communication within your team.  As we learned last week, effective communication leads to a more productive work environment.  Communicating regularly with your team in the way you and your team have agreed to communicate also leads to a more trusting and open environment in which to work and serve your organization.

How can you do it? 

  1. Write out your expectations for communication for yourself.  Are your expectations reasonable? Are they clear? Can you meet them with ease?
  2. Share them with your team.  Once you have finalized your communication expectations, share them with your team. Ask your team for their communication preferences and expectations.
  3. Ask the team for their input and feedback. Allow some time for input and feedback from your team. Determine the best communication strategies for you and your team based on mutual expectations for one another.  You won’t be able to meet everyone’s needs independently, but as a team, you should be able to find common ground from the feedback you receive.  
  4. Ask your team for their commitment to the expectations. Make your own commitment to your team as well.

How do you make your communication expectations clear?

The post Effective Communication: Establish Mutual Communication Expectations appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Kara Redoutey, MBA, CMPE

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

Communication is difficult.  How many details should you share, what is the frequency in which you should communicate, or who is the appropriate audience for the message, are all questions that make communication challenging for leaders. We do know one thing for certain. Our jobs require a significant amount of communication throughout our days. Just imagine how many times in your leadership career a difficult situation could have been avoided if only you or another leader had communicated effectively at the onset. Communication errors happen every single day, whether someone misinterprets your message, takes it out of context, we forget to communicate a critical detail, or at all. To complicate it even further, each person on your team may have a different communication style and different communication preferences, and we typically utilize our own preferred communication strategies when communicating with others.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Effective communication is an important part of everything we do as leaders.  Think about it.  How much do you communicate each day with your team members, other leaders, customers, or vendors?  There are messages to be delivered to many different people throughout an organization and a leader has the unique opportunity to frame and deliver that message in the best way for the intended audience to receive it. Effective communication helps the organization and team to achieve goals. So many of the SOMC Expectations for Leaders are rooted in a leader’s ability to effectively communicate.

As a part of this blog series, we will discuss a variety of tools and behaviors which support a leader in delivering effective communication.  We will also review some of the key Expectations for SOMC leaders that help leaders to improve their communication strategies.  Thank you in advance for exploring effective communication with me and commenting along the way with advice and strategies that you use every day to effectively communicate.

How can you do it? 

  1. Clarify your expectations and those of your audience for communication.  When you clarify your communication expectations with your team and with others and clarify theirs as well, you have a much better chance at finding common ground with communication.
  2. Keep communication in the fore front of your mind.  Any time there is a message or key decision to deliver, consider different communication strategies and tailor your message for the intended audience.
  3. Keep learning and keep improving.  To improve your communication over time, read articles or books and try new methods. It never hurts to explore new ideas or to incorporate additional communication strategies into your repertoire.

What are some strategies you use to communicate effectively?

The post Effective Communication: Why is it so Important? appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Justin Clark, MBA

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

I want to sincerely thank you for following along with this series. I know at times, the subject matter is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but I am passionate about efficiency and believe that the concept is critical to our ability to thrive going forward as an organization. Energy is merely one area where efficiency techniques and thinking can be applied to leverage better results for the organization.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

As a parting thought, I would like to leave you with this – the issue isn’t really efficiency at all, it is stewardship. More specifically, as leaders, how will we steward the resources at our disposal. Will we treat them like they’re our very own? Thus, choosing to think critical about how we expend them. Or, will we disregard this responsibility, and casually go one about our work while wasteful habits persist around us.

This idea of stewardship is central to them concept of efficiency. My hope is that after reading through some of the resources in this series, you will be better equipped to steward the resource of energy that we are given.

How can you do it?

Be intentional.
Make a commitment to leading with stewardship in mind. Resolve to see the opportunities for A Better Way in our daily routines and environments.

Be a participant.
My goal is to launch and organization wide energy contest later in 2019. Stay tuned for more information. When we do launch the contest, please support our efforts to further reduce our expenditures on energy.

Be a life long learner.
We are constantly coming up with new ways and ideas about how to be better stewards of energy. Be committed to learning about new opportunities when they are available.

Will you commit to learning more about how you can help us develop a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability at SOMC?

The post Energy Efficiency: Stewardship appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Justin Clark, MBA

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

As I begin to wind down this series on Energy Efficiency, I want to direct back in time to what we have previously talked about. Over the last few months, I have presented both the case for energy efficiency as well as some practical tips for how to lead with this in mind.

If you have been following along, it may seem overwhelming to try and implement each and every one of the ideas that we have mentioned. This is especially the case for leaders who have other functional responsibilities to be mindful of.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

I want to offer you some encouragement if those feelings are resonating with you. It was never my intention to try and convince you to implement all of the various ideas.

My primary goal was to move energy efficiency into the realm of possibility within your mind. I first hoped to accomplish this by explaining why I felt it was important to us as an organization and inviting you to join me in that belief.

If, and only if, I was able to successfully convince you that you and your team could have a positive impact on our bottom line, then I hoped I could persuade you to consider some practical steps to implementation.

For each of you, the reality is that many of the steps I suggested are either not feasible or offer little return on investment. As leaders, I hope that you will look for the idea that best fits with your area of responsibility while maximizing the benefit to the organization.

How can you do it?

See the waste around you.
Whether its lights being left on or temperature fluctuation, there is most likely energy being used that doesn’t need to be. Look for these opportunities in your areas.

Make a plan.
Work with Plant Operations to develop a plan to save energy. This process should include calculating the potential savings in order to determine if the juice is worth squeeze.

Sell your idea.
Once you have identified an opportunity and have a plan, it is time to convince your team to join you on this journey. Use the data you collected in calculating an ROI to compel them to participate.

Measure your success.
Track how your team does. If possible, put the item on your department dashboard in the Performance section.

Will you commit to learning more about how you can help us develop a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability at SOMC?

The post Energy Efficiency: Putting the Pieces Together appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Justin Clark, MBA

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

It has been 122 years since the novel Dracula was published by Bram Stoker. You might be wondering what this has to do with energy efficiency? Well, I am glad you asked. Dracula is probably the most famous vampire of all time, but he is obviously just a fictional character.

Today, I am going to introduce you to a real life vampires that probably lives in your and home and in your office at work. Don’t worry, they aren’t interested in your blood. They want something else – the electricity that you’re paying for. These vampires are called energy vampires.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

An energy vampire is any electric item or device that remains plugged in all of the time. Even when you aren’t using it, it is likely still consuming smaller amounts of electricity, especially if it has a visual or digital display.

Here is a nice write up on energy vampires from Energy.gov.

Some of the biggest offenders when it comes to energy vampires are computers, TVs, video game consoles, and device chargers.

You might think that this phenomenon would result in a relatively insignificant amount of energy consumption, but studies have indicated that as much as ten percent of electricity used in residential settings can be attributed to energy vampires.

How can you do it?

Computers.
Many of us need to leave our computers on for work purposes, even when we aren’t in the office. If you dont, the best thing you can do is to shut it off when you leave. If you do need to leave it on, make sure that Sleep Mode is activated.

Device chargers.
I can’t be the only person who leaves the charger to my phone plugged into the wall all of the time. As a matter of fact, I have multiple chargers that have a “permanent home” in their respective outlets. In order to limit the amount of energy that they use, pop that charging block out when you’re done charging.

Other equipment.
Sometimes we have multiple devices plugged into a common or central location. Consider using a power strip with an on/off switch for each item. When you aren’t using any of them, simply switch the entire strip off. Be careful though, in the hospital setting, their are safety guidelines pertaining to the use of power strips that will need to be followed.

Will you commit to learning more about how you can help us develop a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability at SOMC?

The post Energy Efficiency: Cord Management appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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Justin Clark, MBA

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this?

Most of us don’t give a second thought about energy efficiency when buying equipment – myself included. However, in most cases, there are many variables to consider before settling on the exact item to purchase. Because we so often deal with complex systems and equipment, we can tend to be dismissive of the more run of the mill items that we purchase. It is these very items (i.e. appliances, telecommunications devices, computer equipment) that can make a measurable impact on the bottom line and our energy usage.

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Energy Star is a name that is synonymous with efficiency. There are ratings for almost everything that uses energy, including buildings (more on that next week).

If something is rated Energy Star, it immediately can be considered more efficient than other similar items that aren’t rated. Energy Star is a government backed rating system devised to help consumers make smart and educated choices about their purchases when it comes to efficiency.

For the sake of our discussion, I want to direct us to the Energy Star website.

https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances

Here you will find links to dozens and dozens of different types of equipment. Within each link will be information about how to make the best purchasing decision for your application.

Not only will buying equipment under the Energy Star label result in less money being spent to run the equipment, the hospital is also eligible to receive rebates for the purchase of most Energy Star rated equipment from our utility companies. It’s a real win win opportunity.

How can you do it?

Do research.
When looking for new equipment, use the link above to determine the best type of device for your needs.

Narrow your choices.
Once you have options, narrow your list to the most efficient device that best meets your need. Obviously, cost is still a consideration and we should do a quick ROI calculation to make sure that what you’re about to buy is the best bottom line investment.

Ask questions.
If you aren’t sure what the best choice might be, seek out the input of someone else. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about a specific purchase.

Will you commit to learning more about how you can help us develop a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability at SOMC?

The post Energy Efficiency: Buying Equipment appeared first on SOMC Leadership.

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