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Communication: More Than What We Say

One of the most valuable, and all too often undervalued, talents every healthcare leader should possess is effective communication. This is especially true for the patient-centric healthcare environment, where communication directly impacts the speed and delivery of quality healthcare. How teams collaborate, how resources are consumed and how results are conveyed – it all comes down to communication. Everything that happens in a healthcare setting either directly or indirectly affects patient outcomes—and communication can either be a finely machined wheel, or a broken cog, to those outcomes.

For the healthcare leader, communication presents specific challenges tied to what Michael E. Frisina, PhD, president of The Frisina Group, refers to as behavioral styles: “the way we conduct ourselves in front of others…how we present ourselves to the world.”  Each member of a team gives and receives information (communicates) based on his or her particular behavioral style and the behavioral style of others.

In his book, Influential Leadership: Change Your Behavior, Change Your Organization, Change Health Care, Frisina indicates that diverse behavioral styles are necessary “because the team faces many issues that demand multiple, varied approaches. The challenge…is to learn each member’s behavioral style so that all communications take advantage of the strengths of each style and yield productive or desired results.”

Being able to identify your own behavioral style and the style of others greatly improves your potential for clear and precise communication. When you are aware of the different styles participating in an exchange, adjustments can be made to both verbal and non-verbal cues, ensuring information given is being accurately received. In short, understanding behavioral styles may be the very key you need to unlock the wheels in your team’s communication.

Join Michael Frisina to unlock the potential of your best communication at ACHE’s Physician Executives Forum Program, Improving Communication to Optimize Healthcare Outcomes, Friday, August 3, immediately following the New York Cluster, July 30—Aug 2.  You’ll leave with the tools and techniques necessary to identify your communication “blind spots,” build on your communication strengths and assess essential behaviors for connecting with your team.


ACHE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ACHE designates this live activity for a maximum of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

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