listening | Danny van Leeuwen Health Hats

First, We Listen

By Advocate, ePatient, Clinician, Leader No Comments

As a blogger, I talk. Every week, I talk. I talk about what I experience, what I think, and what I think I know. As my web/social media coach says, “You’re a content machine.” Now that I’ve started podcasting, I realize that I know enough to be dangerous. Podcasting is an opportunity for me to listen and learn. Listening has always been a challenge for me. Read More

Listen to the music

By Caregiver, ePatient, Clinician, Consumer, Musician One Comment

Yesterday I played in a recital with my jazz combo-dedicated amateurs. Musically we have greatly improved.  The devil is in the arranging. Who plays when and where, in what order. Trying to get it right one player sent an email to everyone with the arrangements. We rehearsed one last time in the morning, making a few changes. He sent the revised arrangements out just before the gig.  I printed and didn’t review. One tune was a complete disaster.  The changes were not what we agreed to, I was the only one that printed the changes.  I noticed the discrepancy in the middle of the tune and chose to play as written, not as I remembered what we agreed to. I messed everyone up, the tune fell apart. Disappointment, irritability.

Alignment is tough in music and in health.  Everyone’s talent, passion, and goodwill goes up in smoke when the alignment / arrangement isn’t there. How do we align in health care?  The person at the center and their team knows and agrees on the goals and the action steps. They communicate the inevitable adjustments as they occur. A small tight group that plans is no guarantee that the alignment will hold. Sort of surprising that we expect it to be smooth or flawless. Sometimes if we listen well and hear the mismatch we can adjust and realign and sometimes we can’t. Listening. Anyway, three out of four tunes sounded great. I guess that’s not too bad. But it’s not my health.

First, we listen

By Leader No Comments
First, we listen. The tagline for the organization I work for now. Inspiring! Challenging! As an e-Patient and professional change agent in health care, it’s music to my ears. How do I learn about a new organization in a new environment? How do I listen? At what pace do I jump in and participate? Much of what I hear leaves me an enthusiasing teenager: OMG (Oh my God), that’s fabulous! Every hour I discover something else that I didn’t know I didn’t know. Some of it starts my wheels turning to solve the low hanging puzzles of organizational alignment (everybody rowing in the same direction). But a new guy, is a new guy. He’s curious for only a minute. Then the team work begins. So, I’m listening, integrating (cataloging and categorizing) what I hear and see, building relationships, asking, What can I do for you?, taking a breath, playing some music, hanging out with my grandsons.  Life is good.  Listening – a magic lever for best health.