5 Things You Should Never Say as a Leader in Healthcare 

Sharpening a critical tongue is one of the fastest ways to destroy workplace morale. In no place is this more true than in a complex healthcare environment where lives depend on the team’s ability to trust each other in stressful situations.

Any leader in healthcare must nurture team talent so that every member performs at their best. Motivating a healthcare team begins by knowing how to choose words carefully.

5 Statements Leaders in Healthcare Should Reframe

The wrong words can have tremendous consequences, damaging the trust and respect fostered over time.

“Leaders don’t apologize for their decisions.” 
No leader is infallible. Acknowledging mistakes with humility makes you approachable and human. Try, “I’m sorry, that didn’t work.”
“That’s a stupid idea.” 
Avoid immediate judgment. Instead, ask for more clarification, listen and ask questions.
“We don’t allow for failure.” 
Hospital systems must aim for high success rates but also remember that failure produces learning. Use, “If you see a process or treatment not working the way you expected, let’s figure out how to fix it.”
“Do what I say because I’m in charge.” 
Your healthcare staff knows your job title and the power it gives you. Recommend, suggest, urge — but avoid commanding.
“You look ridiculous.”   
Change the word “ridiculous” to comments about weight, age, or any other physical characteristic, and the effect remains the same: you’ve steered the conversation away from healthcare and made it too personal. Anything derogatory about appearance is off-limits. Focus on behaviors, not appearances.

A highly trained healthcare team needs support and encouragement, not accusations and attacks. Leaders who communicate about skills are more likely to develop a positive work climate where staff and contractors feel like significant contributors.

Highly Effective Skills Used by Healthcare Leaders

  • Keep these necessary skills in mind when hiring healthcare leaders:
  • Using clinical judgment to make decisions
  • Implementing evidence-based strategies
  • Planning strategically
  • Providing patient-centered care
  • Using data to implement QA and QI initiatives
  • Accomplishing objectives promptly
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions before choosing a response
  • Identifying complex challenges and collecting data to develop and evaluate options and implement their solutions
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions

Top leaders in the healthcare industry communicate effectively about the skills necessary for patient care. They rely on evidence and current research, not personal judgment, to make informed decisions and relay their decisions thoughtfully to professionals who work with patients.

Healthcare systems and hospitals perform at their best with leaders who communicate well.

By working with an experienced recruiter, you can search for, find and attract a leader in healthcare who knows how to create a positive work climate for your healthcare or medical organization.