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Recalibrating Communication for healthcare teams

Transparent Leadership

Since lockdown began, we have run online support and training sessions for almost 1,000 NHS staff.

Our experience confirms the research; when the established status quo is threatened, teams need to be communicated with differently.

Team members need communication that is not only more frequent, tailored and specific, it also needs to major on anxiety containment and horizon scanning. Team members need to feel more supported and ‘held’ through the uncertainty.

Old school management doesn’t work here; the ‘command and control’ style of communication, with information cascaded down as and when you consider it necessary is a poor fit for today’s world.

Particularly in times of uncertainty, people become acutely aware of what they don’t know, what they can’t see, and what could be lurking in the areas of uncertainty. You have the opportunity to do your team a great service by revealing to them parts of the map that you can see, but they can’t. What might you have knowledge of, that others don’t, that they would really appreciate knowing?

So – how can you do it? A great first port of call is the ‘Transparency Checklist’.


We’ve found that Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson’s work on transparent leadership really resonates with healthcare leaders. Her mantra for leading in uncertainty: “Step 1 is transparency… What you know, what you don’t, and what you’re doing to close that gap”.

Channel Edmondson’s transparent leadership now by going through the checklist.

Are you being transparent with your team about:

  1. What you know and what you can share: What you can share, what you can’t and showing your working out.
  1. What you don’t know: A fabulous way of generating trust and authenticity.
  1. What you think about the current circumstances: People want to know what you think; it breeds a common humanity.
  1. What you are being challenged by: Being candid about what you’re challenged by is liberating to those around you.
  1. How you are working to help them: What steps are you taking on their behalf, perhaps that they cannot see?
  1. What you need from your team: How they can help you all pull together.

Interested in transparent leadership in your team?

Get in touch to discuss MMF’s two hour ‘Team Communication Recalibration’ session, delivered over Zoom for your team.

Contact: admin@medicalmediation.org.uk

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