Lessons in communication I learned from watching Andrew Cuomo

Posted by Kristin Baird

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been drawn to the daily updates from New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Although I am not a New Yorker, my Wisconsin-based company works with several of the providers in the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. These are our partners that are struggling through the most challenging time of their careers. Throughout the crisis, I have tried to never miss a Cuomo update. Why? He messages are well-framed, data-based, and inspirational. I hadn’t really analyzed why his updates resonate so deeply until I read an article in Entrepreneur magazine, by Gene Marks. It comes down to communication.

Lessons to Learn

There are important lessons all leaders can learn from Cuomo’s style, but especially healthcare leaders who need to communicate with constituents daily through phone or email, and is when the use of email management tools are helpful for this. Author Marks identifies five effective communication techniques Cuomo uses, including:

  1. He begins with, and then consistently refers to, objective data
  2. Cuomo simplifies complex problems
  3. He repeats himself
  4. When he gives opinions, he says so
  5. He makes it personal…and inspirational

If I had to predict which healthcare organizations will weather the pandemic storm and which ones will struggle to maintain a healthy culture, it will come down to how well their leaders communicated with their employees, patients, and community members. Politics aside, we can all learn from Cuomo’s communication techniques.

  1. Leading the Patient Experience Takes Good Communication
  2. Nurse Communication and Ratings of Care
  3. Communication is Like a Dance
  4. What I Learned at AONE 2014
  5. Hope is not a strategy, communication helps
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