You’ve been called to the C-Suite. How does that make you feel? Are you find with it, cool as a cucumber? Then, you are the exception. For many, it causes anxiety and stress, even when we are the ones who called the meeting.
Let’s start there. Say, you’ve called a meeting with your CEO. You’ve got a problem and you want to solve it. If you’re the head of a department, or even a physician in a hospital, this is not unreasonable. You have the credentials to be granted such a meeting. If you’re a nurse manager, this is your job description. That doesn’t mean it is second nature. It’s not something many of us were taught to do as part of our education.
How you approach this meeting is critical. You can’t wing this. You must prepare. You can’t be spontaneous about this. There are several rules you’re going to have to follow.
1. Set up the meeting in advance. People in the C-suite tend to be high in the Blueprint personality type, and they’re neither flexible nor spontaneous.
2. Be early! You cannot be late for this meeting. Blueprints consider on time to be late and 15-30 minutes early to be on time.
3. Know your information and present it in a stepwise, structured manner, without emotions. Blueprints and Knowledge types tend to believe that if emotions go high, knowledge goes low.
4. Bring a handout showing your plan. They love this.
5. Show the cost. If there’s a budget, come in under budget.
6. Acknowledge where there is risk and demonstrate how you are going to decrease or negate that risk. Blueprints are risk averse. It’s like an allergy for them. They hate risk.
If you’re an Action or a Nurturing type, none of this is going to feel normal to you. It isn’t going to come naturally at all. However, if you follow these steps, your meeting is more likely to be successful.
Why am I giving you these tips? To help you have a more successful meeting. We must have better communication in healthcare. I believe it’s going to start with small meetings like this. I’ve spoken many times about listening to and speaking to the values of the person across the table from you. This is implementing that into your day-to-day activities. This is walking the walk. If you do this in your meeting, then your CEO, or whomever you are meeting in the C-Suite is more likely to listen to you with an open mind. They are more likely to give your proposal a chance, a second look, and the time it deserves. This is a win-win situation. When that proposal puts patients first, or benefits the entire organization, then it becomes a win-win-win situation.
We need these win-win situations. This is where we start healing healthcare. This is part 1 of a 4-part series designed to help you communicate with your colleagues. If you have questions or concerns, let me know. If you need clarification, reach out to me. I’m Dr. Nan Nuessle of Beat Down Burnout.