4 leadership tips for tough questions

Leaders at companies across industries must face tough questions. And healthcare is no exception as the industry has grappled with workforce challenges and difficult financial circumstances, forcing some hospitals and health systems to cut jobs or services. Amid today's environment, industry leaders must be prepared to handle difficult questions from workers and others about the future of their organization.

Allison Shapira, who teaches "The Arts of Communication" at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass., and is founder and CEO of Global Public Speaking, a training firm, penned a piece about tough questions in Harvard Business Review Dec. 19. She shared four strategies for addressing tough questions.

They are:

1. Preparation is key. Ms. Shapira recommends anticipating tough questions before they come up in a meeting. "Invite a few peers to role play: Have them ask you challenging questions and work on answers that feel comfortable and authentic to you," she wrote. "Put yourself in your audience's shoes and ask yourself how they may feel in response to those answers."

2. Pause before answering. Ms. Shapira recommends that leaders take seconds to gather their thoughts before answering a tough question. She wrote that doing so may avoid fumbling over words and allow for greater clarity when providing the answer.

3. Use empathetic language. Ms. Shapira recommends acknowledging the question and using empathetic language such as, "If I were in your shoes, I would be asking the exact same question." She advises against saying, "That's a great question."

4. Recognize uncertainty. Ms. Shapira recommends recognizing uncertainty and using phrases like "Here's what we know at this point." She also said it's OK for the leader to acknowledge that they don't have all the answers, at least right now.

To read the full article, click here.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars