Sunday, November 24, 2019

Better writing for nurse managers - Emphasis

Better writing for nurse managers Better writing for nurse managers When most people think of Leonardo da Vinci, they think of him as the artist who painted The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. But da Vinci was also an inventor, an architect, a musician and an engineer. To be successful as a nurse manager, you need to adopt da Vincis Renaissance approach. Aside from your main leadership role, you also need to be a resource allocator, go-between, disturbance handler and innovator. Unfortunately, there is no definitive manual for managing these roles. And being in charge of people, policy and paperwork can sometimes be a case of trial and error. But honing your written communication skills can go a surprisingly long way to making things run more smoothly. For example, it can help you persuade people to see your point of view, clarify complex issues, or simply write instructions that people actually read and follow. Here are seven ways to turn writing into a powerful health-management tool. One Listen carefully to your team to ensure you fully understand their problems and issues. Then brainstorm your response using the headings who?, what?, where?, when?, and why? before you write it. This will help you clarify your main message so that your writing is clear and concise. Be sure to look at all your options and dont just choose the first one that comes to mind. Two If you foresee that an issue will be challenged or youll be questioned for more information, prepare a detailed explanation. Use the Four Ps technique, which stands for: position (where they are now), problem (why they cant stay there), possibilities (where they could go) and proposal (where they should go). Three Avoid playing office politics and dont mislead the reader in any way. Use jargon only if youre certain your readers will understand it. And use the active voice to make your writing more specific. For instance: we are implementing a new shift system is more effective than a new shift system will be implemented. Four Widen the reader audience when necessary, to make sure you address all problems and everyone understands the context. Email is often a good vehicle for this. But beware of copying too many people in on mass emails. And avoid heresay or writing as if youre chatting on the phone: email is a permanent medium covered by the law of libel, so you should write only what you dont mind being broadcast on the 10 oclock news. Five Enlist the help of other departmental services (such as legal and human resources) to review your writing when appropriate. Make sure you write only things you believe in, and that youre willing to be accountable for. Six Ensure facts and figures are as accurate as possible. Even it takes 24 hours to obtain figures you dont have, its worth spending the extra time to ensure you build a reputation for accuracy. (Dont let waiting for the fact hold up the writing process though: just put [To come] in the text and come back to that bit once you have the details.) Seven Finally, coach your staff to become better writers, so that your time as a manager is spent effectively. Theres a host of free online writing resources at to help you. If you decide to traing your staff, see our courses for individuals or our courses for groups. Alternatively, send us a message or call one of our friendly advisors on +44 (0)1273 961 810 Good writing may not always come easily at first. But with practice, it can become second nature. And once it does, it may well be the glue that holds your da Vinci set of roles together. Robert Ashton is the Chief Executive of Emphasis.

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