CVForward > Walking the C-suite Tightrope
Being a cardiovascular service line (CVSL) leader often demands a delicate balancing act. On one side you have your staff, on the other your administration. Both sides are essential to running a successful CVSL—and both sides are putting tremendous pressure on you.
Here are some proven strategies to help you maintain balance as you walk that tightrope.
As a CVSL leader, you would never tell your team to follow your direction “because I said so.” According to Mark Baker, “That doesn’t work with children and it certainly isn’t appropriate with adults on your staff.”
When you make a decision or roll out a new policy, you want to make sure you explain the rationale behind your actions. Even if your staff or administration doesn’t agree with you, they still appreciate hearing the reasons behind your decisions.
When people understand the “why,” it allows them to apply their own critical thinking skills to the situation. It also allows the opportunity to gain buy-in and alignment. You’ll be amazed at the unique ideas and solutions you hear from people when you take the time to explain your reasoning to them.
Your staff is coming to you with concerns about their rotations, salary, workflow, personnel, and more. So who can you turn to for solutions to these problems? Turns out the best problems solvers are often right there in front of you. Challenge them to come up with some proposed solutions. You will empower them, and you will find they bring ideas that you would never have developed on your own.
The last thing you want to create is a “culture of complaining.” Make it clear that if a staff member comes to you with a problem, they should also have a few ideas of how to fix that problem. That’s the way you want your team thinking and that’s the kind of solution-oriented culture you want to create.
A powerful strategy for combating an “us vs them” mentality is to bring a member of your team with you to your next administration meeting. Bring a future leader. Bring your chronic complainer. More times than not, they will come out of that meeting with a new respect for your job and for the administration.
They will see first-hand the demands and pressures that are put on you. They will see how you advocate for your staff and their needs. They will see how much consideration and thought goes into decisions that affect your department.
Additionally, they will often begin to see the administration differently. They become more human and more approachable. They see how much administrators really do care about the staff and the patients you serve.
It opens eyes and can lead to a new level of empathy and respect. Not to mention, that staff member will quickly share their experience with the rest of your staff.