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Introduction

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If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then communication is the key to action. As a healthcare leader, you will find staff engagement through communication to be linchpin to all of your activities. As we discussed generally in the preceding chapters, the strength of your communication will directly reflect the effectiveness of your performance efforts.

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Communication training and development for a healthcare manager must go beyond platitudes and clichés to become a style that is both comfortable and natural and one that will provide maximum impact. It is also vital to use a communication strategy that allows you to get information on a timely basis and to provide needed work direction in an efficient manner.

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This chapter will explore the essential dynamics effective to healthcare management communication and the interpersonal dynamics essential to the healthcare leader's role. The use of the title the C-Formula and its handy alliteration of the letter C will assist you in the practical application of proven strategies that can help you maximize the communication process with your staff and other important players in your sphere of influence. Also provided will be insight on specific communication dynamics, including written communication, group communication, and interactions between yourself and your superiors. By exploring both the virtues of good communication and the pitfalls of poor communication, this chapter will provide you with valuable guidelines as you undertake your management role.

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Dynamics of Effective HealthCare Management Communication

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In your role as a healthcare or physician leader, you must master four essential dynamics of communication: climate, community, content, and challenge. Climate refers here to the workplace environment, which you help define, and the overall atmosphere throughout the healthcare workplace. The term community as used in this chapter relates to the team orientation of your department and to the overall organization in which you work, including all lines of communication within the organization. Content refers to the way you deliver messages—the style, message, elements, and manner in which information is provided and direction is given. Finally, challenge refers to how critical communication, vital work parameters, and directives are delivered to appropriate members of the organization.

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In each of these four areas, a set of essential components comprises the dynamics of communication in the healthcare environment. These components are summarized throughout the following subsections and offered as guideposts for your own approach to effective communication in your new role.

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The Climate of the Work Environment

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For a work climate to be prosperous and produce good results on a regular basis, a certain amount of coaching must take place as the leader acts as a mentor to his or her staff as a unit and as individual staff members assist one another in attaining growth and development. In effect, coaching entails encouraging others to perform better, pointing out their mistakes constructively, ...

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