Engaging and Changing Behavior: What Physician Leaders Can Learn From Research in Data Presentation

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Transformational Leadership

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I ran across this interesting TEDMED presentation, given by Thomas Getz, Executive Director of Wired.  Initially I was prepared to be skeptical (hey I’m a doc!) about what he might advise on the topic of “redesigning medical data.”  His recommendations, based on research his organization conducted on what causes people to change behavior when it comes to their health, were refreshing.  As he spoke about how to present lab results in a way that patients would be motivated to CHANGE their behavior, I couldn’t help but apply some of this lessons to changing the behavior of physicians. A key point he makes is that fear does NOT work!  What is more effective is PERSONALIZED INFORMATION, focused information that clearly guides the desired behavior forward along a path toward the ultimate goal.

As an executive coach, I am always interested in how I can better teach strategies and concepts in a way that makes implementation easier for my physician clients.  Much of coaching is personalized teaching. Therefore it is important to employ multiple tools, including color graphics, to emphasize important leadership strategies—specifically applicable to that one individual.  These teaching tools are just as important as assigning my clients a book or lengthy article to read.  The video below is only 16 minutes but packs a punch.

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