#HCLDR Chat – May 21 2013 – Good People

“Good people are so hard to find”


In both our personal and professional lives, there is no greater challenge than finding “good people” to surround ourselves with. When we were children our parents told us about the importance of having good friends. When we got into high school, college and university we learned how important having the right lab/project partners could be to our grades. When we got into the working world we experience first-hand how difficult it is to be on or build a team of good people.

In short, finding good people is something we all strive to do.

But how do you define a “good person”? Is the definition so intensely personal that it cannot be articulated? Or is it as simple as the definition offered by the Merriam Webster dictionary – “of a favorable character or tendency”. Or is it something more philosophical like the great Martin Luther King Jr said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Or perhaps it is more literal as Mahatma Gandhi once said “The good man is the friend of all living things.”

Defining a good person is just the first step. The real goal is to surround yourself with good people – both in your personal life and in your professional one. Steve Jobs, the inspirational leader of Apple Inc. made it a personal goal to be surrounded by the most talented people he could find. Sonia Kapadia, a woman entrepreneur, wrote an excellent Forbes blog post on the same topic.

As leaders in healthcare we know that it takes a team of good people to deliver care to a patient – the better the team, the better the care[1]. The challenge, of course, is to attract and keep a team of high performing “good people” in the pressure-cooker that is our healthcare system. So what do these people look like? Allhealthcare on Monster.com offers a top 10 list of characteristics:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Emotional stability
  3. Empathy
  4. Flexibility
  5. Good attention to detail
  6. Interpersonal skills
  7. Physical endurance
  8. Problem solving skills
  9. Quick response
  10. Respect

Finally, once you have a great team together, the challenge becomes how to retain your people. The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA)  offers dozens of tips in this fantastic article including:

  • Listening to your staff and responding to their requests
  • Foster a supportive environment
  • Hold people accountable
  • Let people know they matter and make a difference
  • Maintain open communications

This week on #HCLDR we’re going to discuss the challenge of defining “good people”, what characteristics make a person ideally suited for healthcare and what healthcare leaders can do to keep good people in their organizations.

  • T1: We all seek to surround ourselves with “good people” How do YOU define a good person).
  • T2: What are the characteristics of a good person in healthcare? (Physician, nurse, administrator or volunteer)
  • T3: What can healthcare leaders do to find and keep good people in their organizations?

Please join us on Tuesday May 21st at 8:30pm Eastern for the weekly #HCLDR tweetchat.


[1] Yes I’m over-simplifying. A good team also needs supporting infrastructure, management buy-in and the freedom to act…along with dozens of other work factors to be effective…but it starts with good people.

Image credit: Forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2013/03/30/five-critical-team-members-for-business-success/)

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