In my article Hallway Chat = Boardroom Meeting, appearing in the Advisory Law Group e-Alert for October, 2008 (accessible from this link to the advisory e-alert archive), I wrote that there is no such thing as an “informal” conversation with a hospital administrator: Any communication with, or within earshot of, an administrator is a part of the negotiation process.
Understanding this rule is the first step. It allows physician leaders to both protect their negotiating positions and to use “informal” communication with administration proactively to inform and dis-inform in the context of a controlled negotiation.
The second step is for physician leaders to make certain that group members engage in a coordinated effort to consistently apply effective language — specific language that furthers the group’s interests — in that communication as well as in communication with other interest holders within, and outside, the facility.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss