One challenge all Nurse Leaders face at some point in their career is getting others to buy into their ideas. New ideas require team support to execute the changes and establish the new routines. To get the team support you need as a Nurse Leader you are going to have to get others to “buy in” to what you are proposing.
There are three tools I always consider when working to get the support I need as a Nurse Leader. Develop these tools so that they become second nature to you and you will be well on your way to getting the support you need to make a difference in your field.
Connect: First think, how will this person be affected by this idea? Can I put their mind at ease right away, before presenting my new information by connecting to them? For example: “Your support and role is vital to this team. I appreciate _________ about you here at work. I want to bring about some changes that I think you will benefit from. There will be some challenges along the way but I think if we work together we can get through them. I’d like to tell you my idea.
Clarify: Next, provide a framework for the issue you’re wanting to address or solve. Now that they know you value their role and you want their support, their mind is open to listen and learn. This is when we establish the problem. Be clear about what the issue is, whether it's a new initiative or a problem that needs solving. Nurse Leaders can overlook explaining what seems obvious to them but might not be as clear to those they lead. Be aware of this tendency and be sure to convey all the information prior to sharing your solution so that once the solution is posed, it’s a no brainer.
Communicate: Now is the time to explain your idea. You’ve connected to the person, this teammate or colleague now feels valued and you have clarified the issues about what is lacking or what needs attention or change. Now they have a vested interest and you have their attention. This is the time to present your idea as the logical next step and ask for support.
Be sure to listen for and be open to the feedback and the concerns your teammate/support staff have regarding your idea. Don’t be defensive. Just listen. Oftentimes as Leaders, if we let our team state their concerns, their expression of the concern is half the battle. Take a breath, pause before responding and then offer consideration if you can. If it leaves you in conflict, you can look back to the earlier connections you made. This can help get them on board as they see you are considering them in this idea too.