This Article is About
cushy chairs
closed doors
narrative form
little man
Meetings About Nothing
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Communication between departments and people is necessary for optimal success of an organization. Sometimes it is good to regularly communicate with groups even or people even if no specific information is being delivered. Over the past 20 years I have had a successful career in health care in both senior leadership and entrepreneurial positions, and I believe much of my success was because of my ability to have open lines of communication, or meetings about nothing, with many departments and people. The merits of this will be discussed below in narrative form.

"Hey, Elain," I said flopping down on one of the cushy chairs that faced her desk.

Elain was the director of nursing on the medical-surgical floor. She was not a direct report of mine, but a person I liked to visit regularly. I had developed a great deal of appreciation for Elain's insights and observations regarding the hospital's nursing operations. The regular visits not only gave me a view from the outside of my departments, but some insight and understanding as to how things were going with the nurses. We used each other as sounding boards, offered suggestions when it seemed fitting, and offered support for the other when needed. Lots of time we just joked back and forth.

"Not much right now, Jay. I am pretty much hiding in here, hoping that Ben doesn't find me," she said. Ben was the director of nursing and whom Elain reported to. He was a little man with an enormous head for his size. He was pleasant to everyone in public, but alone, behind closed doors he was not as pleasant. I pretended to look both ways. "Man, I don't want to see that guy either. I am having a pretty good day to this point," I said.

"What are you up to?" Elain asked.

"Well, I have had a pretty busy morning meeting with Elliott, Natalie, and Cecelia, and I thought I would take a bit of a break and stop up here." Elliott, Natalie, and Cecelia are all direct reports of mine.

"Yeah," Elain said. "I was talking with Marilyn this morning about the project team she is on with Cecelia."

Marilyn is the director of the emergency department. She is not a direct report of mine, but another director level person I visit on a regular basis.

"Did she say how it was going?" I asked. Not doubting the words I had heard from Cecelia moments before, but just getting another perspective.

"Marilyn said that things were a bit shaky at the start, but the team seemed to have evolved and gotten over the hump," Elain answered.

I smiled and nodded. "That's good."

"You knew that already though, Jay," said Elain. "What is the real reason your here?"

I shook my head, "Honestly, Elain, I got nothing. I had a good morning, and I just thought I would come up and visit. I like to visit sometimes even when I don't have something pressing. If I only came when something was the matter, then no one would ever want to see me."

"Makes sense," she said.

"If I visit regular, then we have open lines of communication, and you don't ever mind when I show up. If I did come with a pressing issue, well, we know each other and could work it out amicably."

"I wish Ben would do that. Only time I see that guy is when he is furious about something," Elain said.

"Well," I said, "He has got a lot on his plate. He is putting out fires left and right."

"Fires he's making," Elain interjected.

"Some he did have a hand in," I said to her, "But many he did not. I imagine that once he gets things a little better in control here, he will visit with nothing in particular to talk about. Just like I am doing." I made a note to tell Ben next time I saw him to make rounds without an agenda. I hoped he listen.

"I guess your sort of right, Jay," Elain said. "I hope it happens soon."

"Me too," I disclosed. "Well, I guess my visit here is about over, Elain. Thanks for listening to me.

"It is always good to see you, Jay. Just to recap so I can put it in my file to Ben, we visited to keep the lines of communication open, to talk about my department's interactions with your departments, and to ferret out any other burning issues that may on the horizon."

"You can put that in your file if you want to, Elain," I said. I got up to leave.

"Good. What are you going to put in your leadership file?"

"What file?" I answered. "Have a good day, Elain."

"You, too, Jay," She said laughing, and I left.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

Do you think there is value in small talk?

  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
Why You Should Consider Dumping Your Office Chair
If you are a fan of television you’re more than likely familiar with the once popular sitcom Seinfeld. In an episode on this show, George, one of the lead characters, was concerned that a security guard, who worked at one of his father-in-law-to-be stores, was standing all day and sought…
By: Des Forbes in  Health and Fitness  >  Exercise   Sep 11, 2013  
  Likes: 1

Can I Get My Husband To Love Me Again
Are you asking yourself, "can I get my husband to love me again?" It's probably killing you inside to even think he will never love you again. Good news for you is that he can and he will, only if you go about bringing his feelings out for you the…
By: Saytue Saye1 in  Relationships  >  Marriage   Oct 27, 2011  
  Likes: 5

Certain By Saytue Saye
When certain things go wrong, you can't help but to fight. That struggle to make it a little bit alright. And even though this fight is hard, you make it so easy behind closed doors. Only certain people will tell you the truth, something in them telling them to believe…
By: Saytue Saye1 in  Relationships  >  Communication   Sep 06, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Choosing Catering Cyprus Service Provider for Holding A Cocktail
If you are to host guests for a cocktail reception in Cyprus, you have all the reasons to find and hire the right catering Cyprus service provider who will be able to handle the event. In order to create a lasting impression on your guests, you would need to find…
By: jfab7 in  Business  >  Team Building   Apr 01, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Leadership: Getting Your Team Or You Back on Track
"J., what have you been doing the past few weeks?" said the voice I was all too familiar with. It was my conscience."Are you talking to me?" I answered, not sure I was alone or not."Do you see anyone else in here," my conscience said. I have a way of…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Oct 18, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Don't Defeat Yourself Through Petty, Personal Rivalry: Team Building Advice We All Could Use
Here is an important piece of team building advice for more success and satisfaction in your workplace experience: rise above petty personal rivalries. You waste energy, stress yourself out, and distract your attention when you engage in a vain ego-conflict with a corporate team member. This relates to one of…
By: Bob Lancer in  Business  >  Team Building   Jan 31, 2012  
  Likes: 1

How To Build A Great Team: Aspects Of Team Building Too Often Overlooked
Team building for success means more than just gathering a bunch of people together. It means gathering the RIGHT people together. By “right” I don’t mean it in a moral sense, but rather in the sense of lining up people whose strengths match up well with the work that needs…
By: Bob Lancer in  Business  >  Team Building   Jan 18, 2012  
  Likes: 2

Teambuilding: How to Select Your Team
Teams are groups of people assembled to overcome obstacles. They are typically comprised of people with varied backgrounds and skills and they are accountable unto themselves. Should you ever be asked to assemble a team, you may be curious as to where your team members will come from. I have…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 24, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Balanced Leadership Development – Avoid The Pitfalls Of Micro - leading
Great leadership development training is about preparing leaders to respect people, to help people feel free, and help people grow more responsible. Today’s most effective leader promotes his or her followers’ sense of freedom to explore their possibilities and test their abilities. Cutting edge leadership seminars train leaders in recognizing…
By: Bob Lancer in  Business  >  Team Building   Jan 04, 2012  
  Likes: 1

Creating A Code Of Conduct Helps Focus A New Team
Have you ever been part of a group or team at work that had no focus or direction? Where people had their own agendas and ultimately the group failed? Starting your team off with a well-defined code of conduct can help minimize unsuccessful outcomes and improve results. I have over…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Team Building: The Phases to Expect With the Evolution Of A Team
Teams can often address challenges that are too large or complex for an individual. But teams, themselves, can be a challenge as they evolve and mature from the infancy of formation to a unit that overcomes obstacles. I have over twenty years of senior leadership experience in health care and…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Quick Guide to Disc Assessment
Sometimes there are those training programmes that everyone seems to know a little bit about, and no one seems to know everything about. DiSC Assessment is one of those training programmes! Here is a quick guide to what DiSC Assessment is, and how it can help your company. DiSC Assessment…
By: Linda Jackson in  Business  >  Team Building   Oct 20, 2014  
  Likes: 0

How to Build A Dynamic Team In An Organisation
Building a productive, diligent and committed team in any organisation is a big task for many companies. A team can be anything from two depending on the size of the organisation. It is not usually a straight forward issue but adopting some proved approach and tactics can help you to…
By: Felix Odiogor-odoh in  Business  >  Team Building   Jul 27, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Handling the Office Troublemaker
The term "troublemaker" sounds like someone is simply being overly energetic and mischievous, but the reality is far from amusing and endearing, particularly when the troublemaker is, well, making trouble in the workplace. The last thing you need at work is to deal with a difficult person who is affecting…
By: Lynn Lopez in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 20, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Working With A Lazy Coworker
It's no secret that many of us feel too lazy to work from time to time. Yes, I can almost hear some of you saying, "From time to time?! Try ALL the time!" Despite any misgivings we might have about going to work or any laziness we might feel about…
By: Lynn Lopez in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 26, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2629    Report this Article