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Be the change that you wish to see.... in your healthcare business meetings Part 5 of 5

By Adrienne Evatt

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Gandhi said that the best way to achieve positive change is to model the desired behaviors. This series of blogs discusses the 10 traits of effective meeting leadership, with the first eight behaviors discussed in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. In this blog, we move on to the final two critical behaviors.

9. Have an area of expertise / team up

Your health system meetings are a good opportunity to leverage your executive team as another set of audience members. When you have the support of a larger group in business meetings, you should discuss and agree on critical areas of focus in advance to maximize participation. For example, you might want to focus on determining the financial solidity of the proposals and programs, analyzing how well the presenter assumed stretch targets, leveraging the right stakeholders, setting a shared vision, mobilizing commitment, considering change controls, or other important areas. Once the audience members agree on these key aspects, it can be very helpful to determine who will question / interact in each area. A meeting becomes one-dimensional and boring when only one executive speaks and, frankly, each of the audience members should be engaged in the conversation or what is the purpose of their attendance? Determine the assignments ahead of time and help each other. Each executive needn't stick to their original assignment, as long as the dialogue is lively, engaged and relevant.

10. Say thank you

We can forget how stressful it is to prepare for a meeting with an executive. Planning how you conclude these meetings is an important consideration. I remember clearly a meeting I had with several vice presidents early in my career. I don't remember the topic we covered... in fact I could not recall what we talked about except that all of us presenters were challenged severely and were feeling a little deflated by the end of the meeting. We had worked hard for weeks on our presentation and it was based on several months of difficult work. We all had our game faces on and soberly took our feedback with all of the professionalism we could muster. It was the end of the meeting and we started to gather our things to leave. At that point, surprising us, one of the vice presidents stopped us to say a few words. He said some like this: "Hey everyone, I know you might feel like we all poked you in the eye a little as we went through this presentation with you, but I want you to know that you all handled it really well, I recognize the monumental amount of work required to do this and I think the progress you have made is terrific. It is our job to challenge you in these areas, and we do that to test you and also to learn about your work. I feel great about all of the progress you have made, keep up the good work, and thank you for an outstanding presentation." I walked out of that meeting sky high. I was so energized and could not wait to work even harder. A simple 'thanks, great job" is NOT enough for your presenters. You should try to 1) acknowledge their efforts and all of their hard work, 2) point out why you challenged them and why that is part of the process, and 3) say thank you. This minimal effort, when done with true sincerity, can pay big dividends in employee engagement and productivity.

This was the final blog in the series covering another set of leadership behaviors to leverage in your meetings that can change your organization. Performance Solutions' culture driven performance model can help your organization lead change in this and many other ways.

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi


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