Everyone Matters — Patrick L. Green, FACHE

One of my earliest leadership lessons was to always remember that ‘everyone matters.’ As a young aspiring administrator working in the hospital billing department, I can vividly recall my eagerness to meet the CEO for the first time. One morning by happenstance, he and I were the only ones in the hallway. I walked up to him and extended my hand to introduce myself. To my surprise, he did not acknowledge me, in fact, he did not even make eye contact. He walked briskly by without even saying a simple hello. Needless to say, that was an extremely demoralizing experience, but I quickly recovered and made a personal commitment to never treat anyone like that, no matter my position or theirs.

Twenty years later, I believe that experience helped shape my leadership style. It reminds me that our personal interactions with each other can have a lasting impact. This is why I encourage people around me to make a deliberate effort to acknowledge each other and find ways to support one another.

The desire to feel connected to one another on a basic human level is often a prerequisite for positive mental health — our psychological systems are highly responsive to positive social interactions (Umberson & Montez, 2010). Encouraging and nurturing said positive interactions have always influenced my leadership style.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to have engaging conversations with people in different settings. These conversations and interactions help me learn and see things from a variety of perspectives. Despite the challenges, the deadlines, and the competing demands for our attention and time, taking a moment to be kind and acknowledge each other is time well spent.

However, to create the culture we all seek, it is incumbent upon us to foster an environment of mutual support and respect.

Imagine a time when a colleague brought forward an idea that would ultimately change or modify a piece of our process. Did we slow ourselves down and fully provide our attention to give it open consideration? As new colleagues adjust to their new workplace, do we greet them with a smile and spend an extra few minutes guiding them toward the resources to make them successful? Or, do we assume they will figure it out on their own?

Through respectful and caring relationships with one another, we can build a culture that recognizes that ‘everyone matters,’ regardless of title or job function. We are in this together, and we must demonstrate that we care for each other. It can all start with a simple “Hello.”

So that everyone knows — and believes — we care.

*****

Patrick is the President and CEO of Lawrence and Memorial Healthcare and Executive Vice President of Yale New Haven Health. He has extensive board service experience that focuses on improving the community’s health, education, and leadership development, making him an effective results-oriented leader. His purpose is to create value for those around him by nurturing others to achieve their full potential and developing high-performing teams, putting the right people in critical roles, and creating an environment where they can thrive while realizing their own purpose.

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