“Be yourself.”

Simple advice. It can be challenging to do.

Carol McCormick, Director of Facilities, Plant Operations, & Maintenance for CHI Health Immanuel and CHI Health Mercy in Omaha, NE, offered that advice, be yourself, during our latest High Reliability podcast.  

During High Reliability, Carol also offered nuggets accumulated over 40 years of experience, including the importance of effective staff communication with internal customers.  

“It is a journey that takes patience,” she says.

When Carol first started on this “journey” with staff, she would accompany them into the field as they met with clinical staff. She modeled for them the communication method that she wanted them to use.

“Hello, I am {insert name}, I am here to change your lock.”

Carol utilized the carrot, not the stick, to achieve staff buy-in. She said communication did not improve because  “Carol said we had to it,” but because the staff was able to see how improved communication made facilities work more efficient, creating better relationships and improved work order efficiency.

“By going up there, being personable, introducing themselves, and saying I am done when the work was complete, it helped make a difference.”

As a leader, Carol says it is vital to “know what you know, and know what you don’t know.  Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know.”

She said that this approach did not always come naturally to her, especially early in her career. It is an approach, however, that has grown and benefitted her over time. 

Our conversation touches on females in healthcare facilities leadership, college basketball, and violins. Listen to the full podcast, Leadership Lessons: A conversation with Carol McCormick, here


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