Doctor, You Don’t Have to Be Right To Be Valued

by Francine Gaillour, MD

in Career Resilience & Fulfillment,Transformational Leadership

One thing I’ve noticed about doctors, and I’m no exception is that we are addicted to being RIGHT. If we hear an idea during a meeting that condradicts our own, or even goes 30 degrees away from ours, we can hardly wait to jump right in and defend our position.

When you transition into business or leadership, though, it’s best to learn how to curb our enthusiasm and listen more respectfully.

Here is a powerful way to express your views in a way that is respectful of other people’s ideas and improves the chances that YOUR ideas will be heard. Substitute the word “and” for “but”.

For example, rather than saying: “I understand what your issue is, but I don’t agree with you,” say “I understand what your issue is, and my view is . . . .” Having someone “but” your idea is much like getting a mild slap upside the head.

A “but” often turns off effective listening in those very individuals that you want to influence. Another way to use “and” is to add to views already expressed.

Rather than saying, “That is an important point, but you left out the most significant point,” say, “That is important point and I would add to that these other points.”

Francine R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach for Healthcare Leaders francine@physicianleadership.com, (206) 686-4205

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