Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Performance Improvement Tip of the Day: Influencing People

Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age", an updated version of the "time-tested" leadership primer, lays out many simple, ayet profound concepts that apply rather well to performance improvement.

Influence is often not discussed overtly as a performance improvement tool or principle - generally bundled within "leadership" or "developing a multidisciplinary team". However, influence is clearly the key to motivating people to change behavior or processes.

Everything else we discuss in performance improvement - data, feedback, profiling, multidisciplinary team, clinical redesign - may be moot if these elements don't help in "influencing" the staff, medical staff, and leadership to support the desired change.

One of the book's chapters on "connect with core desires" delivers a particularly powerful message for how to influence people: "True change is born of an interpersonal reach that takes hold of the deepest part of an individual".

This is something that is "known" to all of us, but still manages to evade us, particularly in the plethora of media, volume of connections, and numbers of projects that we are all trying to maintain. However, the advice couldn't be more pertinent.

In the course of working on a performance improvement project, think about how to "connect with the core desires" of the staff you are trying to influence. Here are a few simple tips:
  • Understand the real needs of the people: Its not just a project you're managing; its change you're advocating; change affects people; and you need to understand what they're experiencing and desiring before you can try to change it. 
    • Get out to the front lines. 
    • Talk to the staff, and get their opinions. 
  • Include staff opinions in the design, goals, initiatives of the project. 
  • Capture the stories: Data is key for building a framework, but stories have the power to influence. 
  • Be sincere about what you are trying to do: You can manipulate, threaten, or cajole, but no change is more lasting than that which comes from the "core".

    No comments:

    Post a Comment