Value of Professional Relationships



You all know who said this, right? If not, it belongs to the one and only Dale Carnegie. His seminal How to Win Friends and Influence People works as well today as it did in 1936!

In healthcare, we work nonstop for our careers, advancement, making the healthcare system work for everyone, creating access for those without, reducing waste, creating efficiencies with new technology, making the patient the goal and not the product (HT specifically @nickisnpdx and in general @CancerGeek), creating new ways of delivering and paying for services, connecting others, empowering patients (all of us really), reaching everyone who needs reaching, and much more.

Where in this list do YOU fit? No right or wrong answers, no mission or goal is more worthy than others, we are all human.

I’ve been “home” at #HCLDR since 2013. That’s an eon in internet-time, and I value every interaction since the start. A common refrain of comments I have heard about social media in healthcare is that social media has “changed my life” – HT @_FaceSA:

Untitled picture

Has every interaction brought value to me? That’s not as easy to answer. Even as I value each interaction, when I think of the value created, I pause. We have all navigated the field online and considered friends, levels of friends, relationships, and so on. Sometimes the signal to noise ratio can really work our nerves and we have to consider why we are here, our goals, our mission, our vision. Wow, that got complicated fast, didn’t it? I’ll distill it down – every interaction has brought value to me, but not every interaction is all puppies and kittens as they say!

When I try to sort out the conflicts, the feelings, and the connections, I often refer back to Dale’s quote:

You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than in two years of trying to get people interested in you.

Look at that! We can’t operate and make true progress, I’ll argue, without friendships – personal and/or professional. Sure keeping things just business is good for business, but what about our passion for healthcare? That’s personal and requires more buy in. This isn’t a popularity contest to be sure, but it IS about learning from others – not just looking inward. Communication and learning IS connecting to others, and while we don’t assign equal value to all communications, we must remember that each interaction has value – otherwise, we are just looking for an echo-chamber. And we all know passion is displayed in myriad ways!

Here’s a chart I just love! It covers the Stages of Online Professional Relationships:


Read more about it here in this wonderful discussion by Jeff Quipp, “Theory of Types and Stages of Online Professional Relationships.”

Finally, I enjoyed this well-written and easy-to-understand discussion by Jeff Haden over at Inc. magazine in 2013, “9 Habits of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships.”

My favorite has to be:

Give consistently, receive occasionally.

This week on #hcldr, let’s remember why we are here and reflect on ways to continue to leverage this wonderful opportunity to learn, grow, engage, and find new horizons previously unseen by us!

Let’s chat along with the #hcldr community of professionals, friends, patients, clinicians, administrators, lurkers, counselors, social workers, designers, and advocates! Please join us on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:

  • T1: What was your original reason for getting online to chat about healthcare? What is your reason now?
  •  T2: Do you feel online relationships bring value to you? Personally? Professionally? Examples?
  • T3: How do you handle online connections that don’t seem to bring value to you? Does this mirror face-to-face?
  • T4: What do you see happening in the online arena in the future? How will these relationships/connections evolve?



“Theory of Types and Stages of Online Professional Relationships” Jeff Quipp, Searchenginepeople, Oct 9, 2007.

Accessed April 18, 2016

“9 Habits of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships” Jeff Haden, Inc., April 3, 2013.

Accessed April 19, 2016

Image Credit

Dale Carnegie

One comment

  1. great topic and point of consideration Joe! Should be an interesting discussion.

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