The Art of Showing Up – 3 Leadership Perks of Rounding

Actor Woody Allen said, “Just showing up is half the battle.” I know he wasn’t talking about rounding when he gave that famous line, but it sure fits. Why? Because if you just get out there, you’ve made all the other benefits possible.

Leaders I coach frequently give me a litany of excuses for why they do not make rounds routinely. Time, of course, is at the top of the list. When we drill down, they usually end up realizing that they don’t schedule rounds, so they fail at fitting them in. By getting them blocked on the calendar, it’s much more likely you will do them. What gets scheduled gets done.

There are many benefits of rounding, but here I focus on just three that I feel are most crucial. They include: Direct observation, coaching, and recognition.

Direct Observation

One leader recently told me that by rounding, she picked up on a subtle change in dynamics between two people on her unit. That observation led to a discussion that revealed a conflict between two nurses. One of the nurses was actively seeking other employment because of the rift.

Rounding gives leaders the opportunity to watch interactions between staff, as well as between staff and patients. Direct observation is the precursor for the next two perks; coaching and recognition. When you observe, you can give specific examples in coaching discussions and can give on the spot recognition that shows staff you see them doing great work.


Coaching moments don’t just happen during private, scheduled coaching discussions. Healthcare leaders have known for years that rounding is essential in building relationships and employee engagement, but they also provide in-the-moment coaching opportunities that are missed by staying behind a desk or behind a closed office door. When you see things, you can discuss them.


People want to feel valued. When leaders round and give kudos for good work, they build morale and engagement. Sure, you may hear stories second hand, but it’s much more powerful when you see things first-hand and act in the moment.

Showing up is one of the most important things leaders can do in building unity and understanding. How are you showing up?

In the 8-week course, Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave – 8 Transformational Skill-Builders for Busy Leaders, you’ll learn the power of visibility and presence. It’s more than just rounding skills. You’ll also learn the art of showing up, being visible and fully present.

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