In the course of every provider’s medical career, there is a certainty that we all have to face: the challenge of managing a relationship with a difficult consultant. This also begs a broader question: how do you forge a good working relationship with consultants in general? There are several proven methods to successfully accomplish this.
1. You need to better understand their world. Take every opportunity to learn and appreciate their workload, schedule, and career demands. The easiest way to do that is to simply round on them from time to time. Spending a few informal minutes “off the clock” talking with consultants about their lives, careers, or interests can facilitate the start of great professional relationships. Ask them how their day or week is going. Ask them what makes their work challenging or difficult, and apply their answers to internally asking yourself what you can do to minimize these stated challenges. Ideally, do this when you aren’t asking anything from them.