Guest post: Refine your ability to adapt and increase your awareness to lead growth and change
By Barbara Anderson, RN, MSM, CCDS
In my last Blog post, we talked about the importance of reflecting on the past year, and then developing a CDI department plan for the fresh new year, one that leads to even greater success this time around Now, let’s look at how to fuel inspiration and stay in that mode through the year.
- Create your own read-a-book-a-month club. Make a list of 12 books you will read in the new year for fresh perspectives. Half the fun is determining what your unique book list looks like. Do you look to Bill Gate’s annual reading list, Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, CNBC’s list to read if you want to be rich, New York Times best sellers along with ACDIS book offerings?
- Identify role models who demonstrate attributes you would like to emulate or who have achieved goals you are setting out to achieve. You can find role models everywhere—in the news, in history, in the movies, in one of those books you are reading, perhaps at an ACDIS conference or even in the neighbor next door. Write down those attributes you want as your own and observe these attributes in action. Visualize yourself with those qualities as the better version of yourself that you are now becoming.
- Pick one topic on which you will become an expert. Perhaps this year you want to become expert in an area you are developing as increased emotional intelligence such as communication with your staff and with your leadership team. Maybe you want to become more of an expert in coding complex surgeries or more of an expert in delivering presentations. Whatever it is, set a personal goal for yourself with actions to get there and check in on your progress frequently. Tweak actions as needed to assure you get an optimal result. Be sure to celebrate as you recognize growth in the area(s) you targeted. For example, if becoming an expert presenter is your goal, start by taking a free online class for developing effective presentations. Then, ask permission to conduct research and provide an educational session to the CDI staff. Next, ask to shadow an existing CDI educator on the team or join the ACDIS educator networking group. Later, you might offer to provide a presentation to physicians, your local ACDIS, AHIMA, or AAPC chapter, or even on the national ACDIS stage.
- Identify two strengths you want to develop and one weakness you would like to bolster. Hopefully you know your strengths and can pull two favorite ones out to take steps to develop even further. Let’s say your strengths are coordinating and collaborating and you want to use these strengths in new ways to rally and engage your hospitalists who you lost some ground with over the past year. You might identify ways to optimize those strengths such as serving on a committee where you can get to know them better, coordinating some educational sessions, identifying their specific education needs and addressing their requests. Perhaps you take a collaboration and communication course to expand skills and use what you learn in day-to-day practice. Likewise, let’s say your weakness is confronting the hospitalist chief when there are issues with his team not responding to queries. You might use your collaboration skills in your approach in order to be non-threatening yet firm. Practice in this area instead of avoidance will go a long way to your own performance improvement. As you make gains in outcomes from these conversations, you will gain confidence and the weakness might even become a strength in the long run.
- Identify ways you can be more adaptable and put into daily practice. All of us fall into routines. You might find one day surprisingly that you are holding onto a process or way of thinking that no longer serves the work or your team. It might take an outside reviewer or a leader or someone on the CDI team to bring it to your attention. Adaptability is something all of us need to continually assess and address to be sure we are not wasting time and resources. At regular intervals, it is good to evaluate the “whys” of your daily processes, so you don’t get caught in meaningless loops of action. Keep yourself nimble by changing up routines you seem to be stuck in, like travelling the same way home or eating the same lunch. Mixing everything up a little gets us in the mood for change. It is the perfect time at the beginning of a new year to take a closer look into your habits and routines—and see how you might change something that no longer works or something that keeps you and your team in a rut.
Editor’s note: Anderson is an RN by background, having worked in various roles and settings. She has worked in performance improvement consulting for more than seven years, specializing in CDI, and currently is a Manager at Huron Consulting Group. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily represent HCPro, ACDIS, or any of its subsidiaries.