Just One More Degree

You’re Not Just a Doctor Anymore: The New Art of Leadership is a pre-conference workshop I had the pleasure to attend. Everything you didn’t learn in medical and nursing school you learn from Kevin O’Connor, is how it all
started. Mr. O’Conner led with a metaphor that informed and shaped the content for 5 hour session. “What a difference a degree makes! From 211 to 212, water goes from being hot to powering a train. What matters if we add an extra degree to what we do everyday? That email, conversation, or phone call…just one more degree.:”

Mr. O’Conner offered a practical approach and a reframing of mindfulness to our roles as leaders in the organizations we all serve. Not surprisingly the entire session was about relationships.

The Extra Degree Starts Here

These are my take home notes, not to be place in a folder in a box in the basement. Rather these are action points to be incorporated in my daily life and shared in this blog for others who may have like interest in this practical approach to a reframed leadership mindfulness to our own relationships and social styles; personal or professional.
1. Paraphrase as a first response. Shine your light on the other person.
2. Consider questions first before conclusions.
3. Encourage: Affirm what you heard that you liked: You know what I like about what you said… Remember you can build a fire on embers……..focus on their pilot light and perhaps it will glow more
4. Link and connect with the word “and” and not “but”. I also avoid the word “just”.
5. Respond with a thank you or a paraphrase
6. Ask and listen…..everyone loves hearing a good listener
7. Listen in meetings, pause, summarize the content and add in a new thought
8. Know, understand and align with the language of other social styles.
9. Think about the product of the product. The obvious product from the American Girl store is the doll. The
product of the product for the parent is the day of memory making with their daughter. What is the product
of the product of a palliative care consult?
10. Use emotional narrative to get around the prevailing winds of organizational talking points.
11. Demonstrate interest, support and encouragement in others.
12. Be a student and not a teacher.

This workshop has been a transformative experience that lends itself well to the practical implementation in my daily work. I welcome comments and questions about the workshop.

Cory Ingram, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Family and Palliative Medicine
Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine

Medical Director – Palliative Care
Chair of the Palliative Medicine Specialty Council
Mayo Clinic Health System

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