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Leading Through Chaos

I know, the title is dramatic, but I feel calling the past two years in healthcare anything less than absolute chaos would minimize the situation we faced and continue to face. Leading through change is the single most important skill a leader can possess. You can be a stabilizing force for your team if you know how to lead them through the storm. So how can you learn to lead in times of chaos (or hopefully just in times of change)?

  • The first step is simple, remain calm, even if you feel like you are on a roller coaster on the inside. The way you respond to change as a leader sets the tone for your team.

  • The second step, do the next right thing. What is the right thing to do when you are unsure what is happening? Let your instincts guide you through the decision making process, research what was done when this happened in the past and learn from previous mistakes. Research similar situations but don’t get stuck in the research rut. Call meetings and listen to your team's concerns and seek out their ideas. You have a smart team and they need to be a part of the solution. The most important thing to do in these situations is to be decisive and to communicate that decision, even if the decision is to do nothing. I know… doing nothing seems counterproductive, however, there are times when you can move too fast and cause a bigger problem. Consider the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your decision and work to mitigate the risks.

  • Then you have to implement the solution, and believe me when I say, this is the phase that will take the most effort. You have to communicate with your team why you are doing what you're doing, how you are going to do it, and how you will know if it is successful.

  • Finally, be ready to pivot when new information becomes available or if your previous solution is not working. One solution may not be the final solution.

The one constant we have in healthcare is change. Learning how to embrace and navigate it will mean the difference between success and failure for you and your team.

Looking Forward,

Janae Wright MSN, RN

Owner and CEO

WrightCare Consulting

P: 806-680-4172


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