July 8, 2018
What Makes an Effective Manager
Managers are often portrayed as someone who oversees appointing roles and tasks to other individuals and are considered to be in a higher position than those within their management. This tends to lead to the manger-to-employee relationship to feel like a “cog in a machine” and a “controller”, in which the manager dictates directions to the employees who have no say in what their tasks are. This can cause unwanted tension in which employees cannot effectively communicate to each other or their managers. The miscommunication in the work place can lead to unwanted outcomes that could be prevented if the manager were to build better relationships with their employees.
One problematic field in which a manager-to-employee relationship is the medical field. In the past, hospitals have been known to have poor communication between doctors, who act as managers, and nurses, who are under the doctor’s orders (Mackay, Matsuno and Mulligan). As a result, many avoidable injuries and deaths have occurred due to the lack of communication and hierarchy of command that the doctors had over the nurses. In turn, the nurses were unable to provide medical treatment without prior consent with the doctor, who may not have been available at a critical time for the patient. It has also been noted in a study (Linebarger) that nurses are not included in doctor rounds (patient strategy sessions between doctors assigned to that patient).
Over the years, the medical industry has acknowledged that there is a problem with doctor-nurse communication and have passed regulations to attempt to alleviate these communication inefficiencies. Instead of nurses required to wait for a doctor’s approval or instruction for each task, the nurse is entrusted with decision-making based on their skill and knowledge level (Linebarger). In time, some clinics have adapted an iterative learning process to improve the communication process to improve client safety, called Sensemaking (Manojlovich). Sensemaking is a process in which a professional can deviate from an already-defined process with buy-in of other coworkers with the appropriate knowledge in the event that the new process makes sense: either for safety, speed, quality, or patient satisfaction (Barach and Phelps). The communication between...