CVForward > Collaborating with the C-Suite
Communicating with the C-Suite is an essential skill for you and your department. Here are 5 proven strategies to help you negotiate in this sometimes challenging situation.
Put yourself in the C-Suite’s shoes. All day long, leaders from different departments come asking for things. Every department needs money, resources, staffing, etc.
Take a different approach. Start with their needs. Start with questions: What is on your mind when it comes to the CVSL? What metrics are you hoping the CVSL can deliver? How can the CVSL support the goals of the organization?
Find out what is top of mind for them and then see how your CVSL initiative can help them. This approach puts you and your CVSL on a different level from other departments. Where other departments may be coming with problems, you are coming with solutions.
In addition, being empathetic and understanding goes a long way toward creating a productive working relationship.
When you’re talking with executives, don’t lead with discussions about technology. The language of the cath lab is not the language of the C-Suite. Members of your C-Suite want to hear about value and growth in addition to improving patient care.
Speaking the language of the C-Suite is essential to gaining their support.
What actually happens in the CVSL is real to you. A powerful way to motivate the C-Suite is to show them the true impact of your CVSL.
Extend an invitation to a key C-Suite member to come take a tour of your CVSL. Put them in scrubs and let them see the technology, the team dynamics, and the coordination of care. Invariably, they will leave with a sense of pride over “their” CVSL and the clinical outcomes that it delivers.
Members of your staff may often see the C-Suite as being unapproachable. So bring one of your staff members with you to a key administration meeting. Let them see first-hand what really happens at those meetings.
They will see that members of the C-Suite are truly dedicated to patient care. They will see the conflicting pressures that the C-Suite is managing and come away with a far greater understanding and respect of the realities of administration.
They will bring these discussions back to their peers and present a more accurate portrayal of your job and the role of the administration which can make it easier to collaborate with all stakeholders moving forward.
Far too often, CVSL leaders find themselves competing against other departments.
Get rid of the silos and start approaching other departments as allies. Reach out to orthopedic or neurological service lines to learn where departments can overlap. Tour their department and invite their leaders to tour your CVSL.
Very often, you will find opportunities to join forces to spearhead an initiative that benefits both departments—and the entire institution. And when you come to the C-Suite as a leader who builds bridges for the good of the institution, you will be viewed in an entirely different light.
- Kevin C. “Casey” Nolan
Visit these websites for more helpful information from other industry thought leaders.
Center for Creative Leadership
This classic book, based on information from 191 accomplished and high-potential executives, describes key developmental events and the lessons that can be learned from them. This book was called out by the CVForward roundtable as an excellent resource on the topic of negotiating with the C-Suite.
Justine Varieur Cadet
This roundtable video features 4 physicians discussing the challenges that confront hospital executives in the cardiovascular field.
Want to know what is top of mind for your C-Suite? HealthManagement.org shares this report that calls out the major challenges facing C-Suites in 2017.
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