Patient experience (PX) champions are no strangers to resistance. Many people in PX leader roles struggle when implementing change because they hit resistance from a number of sources. Moving beyond resistance is something they must accept in the name of progress. But it’s not easy.
To me there is nothing more irritating than hearing someone shoot down an idea before it ever has a chance. I tend to be a big ideas person and have spent most of my career bringing new ideas to fruition.
If you are a patient experience leader who is becoming discouraged by the resisters, try these suggestions:
- Anticipate resistance and be prepared. Have conversations in advance of the change with key people and try to build buy in. Building buy-in is always the first, and most important step, especially among key stakeholders and influencers. If you can’t get their buy in, you can at least ask them to not resist or sabotage. Sometimes when you pose it this way to chronic resisters, they are less likely to sabotage. I realize this is a bold move, but it’s important to lay the cards on the table.
- Be prepared with some specific responses. For instance:
- Someone says, “We’ve tried that and it didn’t work.” Say, “It’s a new day here at <organization> and it’s worth another try.”
- Someone says, “Another flavor of the month.” Say, “We’ve learn a lot from past efforts. I’d love your suggestions about how we can make this stick.”
- Seek support from others in a similar role who can share their experiences.
Patient experience champions must be resilient in order to endure disappointments, setbacks and resistance. When you experience these enthusiasm killers, try not to let it get you down. Just keep the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead in mind. She said,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”