Leaders Mentor by Creating Safe Spaces (Video)

Begin by establishing a culture of feedback, reflection

In medical school, Margaret McKenzie, MD, President, Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital, learned that in women’s health, if students approach patients in the wrong way, patients will leave that health system at the drop of a hat. From there grew her belief that those caregivers must really have “heart,” a principle she took with her as she led a group of advisers creating a new medical school.

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“We established a beautiful learning community,” Dr. McKenzie says, “a place where it’s safe to say what you know and don’t know, to mentor one another in a very safe space. It defined who I am.”

As a result, Dr. McKenzie is interested in helping develop others wherever she goes. “Success means nothing if you don’t give back,” she says. From her perspective, giving back means creating safe spaces, where mentors establish a culture of feedback and reflection.

Dr. McKenzie believes it’s important for caregivers to feel safe about putting any idea on the table or asking any question without being judged. This allows other people on the team to offer help.

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“We should become multipliers,” she says, “When you’re a multiplier, you allow creativity to come from your group. You value the input and expertise they bring to the table. Usually they will reward you, because the overall performance will be as a team.”

What could your teams accomplish if every member was a multiplier, helping improve the performance of the team? Cleveland Clinic leadership programs encourage creating safe spaces for innovation. More information on today’s programs is available at The Cleveland Clinic Way: Intensives, Samson Global Leadership Academy or Executive Visitors’ Program.