Doctor's Orders

Based entirely on anecdotal evidence from my own personal experience and those of friends, family, and co-workers, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there’s a shift happening in the American healthcare system. Today’s younger generation of doctors are not like the doctors that treated our parents, or even the doctors that treated us as children.

They’re more casual, more laid back, more personable, and open. They can joke around, and show real empathy, and they go to bat for their patients. Overall, they take a much more holistic approach to medical care.

The end result is a better doctor-patient relationship, and better care.

Ok, cool, but if you get near a relevant point…

I’m getting there!

You know who else could learn from these young new doctors? Managers. Management is seen as a position of authority, which it is, and the old style of rigid, impersonal managers needs to change. Some companies are doing this already, and the trend is catching on. But if you’re still leading the old fashioned way, consider bringing a little more humanity into the equation.

You won’t lose the respect of your subordinates. It will increase.

Throwing it back toward the realm of healthcare for a moment, the defining moment when I knew I’d found the right therapist was when he showed genuine empathy over the clinical detachment I’d seen from other therapists.

Managing isn’t about telling people what to do. It’s about helping to empower them to do the things they need to do. I’m a big fan of service leadership over a traditional top-down approach.

Servant leaders:

  • Empower those they lead
  • Share knowledge freely
  • Encourage growth and learning
  • Take care of others’ professional needs
  • Remain mindful and respectful of their personal needs
  • Bring people together and form tight teams

In all of these, a little bit of empathy, humility and, and respect for others goes a long way.

It’s helping our doctors practice better medicine, and it can help us practice better leadership.

I know, this may have been a “preaching to the choir” article, but it’s still food for thought that’s worth remembering and reflecting on from time to time.