4. The medical environment can be demanding and stressful, which makes it all the harder to engage consultants in occasional casual and relaxed conversations in an attempt to earn their respect, trust, and even friendship. The best way to optimize relationships with consultants is to occasionally spend time with them at social functions or gatherings. There are usually plenty of opportunities throughout the year to attend a professional social function where you can engage your consultants in more casual and relaxed conversation. There is no better way to forge amicable relationships than sharing an occasional appetizer or glass of wine (perhaps two for the grumpier ones) with colleagues.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 04 – April 2015
5. Despite your best efforts to accomplish the above, there are times when consultants’ behavior, demeanor, and actions cross the line of professionalism and common courtesy. Rather than endure this type of abuse, it is necessary to appropriately confront it. This is a crucial conversation that requires good preparation, timely execution, and, above all, tactful discipline. These types of conversations are most successful if you avoid accusatory statements and rather construct the conversation around how you can work better together. The key to these conversations is to ensure that you have developed and exercise good emotional intelligence. This involves being self-aware and accurately perceiving your emotions in the moment and predictable tendencies, managing those emotions and impulses using self-control to be flexible and stay positive, being socially aware by accurately reading the other person’s emotions, and combining all to effectively influence, manage conflict, collaborate, and lead change. Of all the skills needed to forge good working relationships with consultants and staff, having and exercising good emotional intelligence is the most important to your success. There are many excellent references on emotional intelligence. One easy and informational read is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
If you follow all of the above suggestions, there is a high probability that your medical career will be blessed with many solid and rewarding consultant relationships. We all know how satisfying that can be!
Dr. Schynoll is vice president for performance improvement at TeamHealth in Knoxville, Tennessee.