Let Go & Lead
Bernard Tyson President & COO
Kaiser Permanente

On Creating an Environment for Listening and Feedback (2:15)

MARIL:
You also mentioned that when you’re communicating with employees through your internet or intranet that many of them communicate back, both positively and sometimes saying I’m struggling with something or it’s not feeling right to me.  That to me says they believe you’ll listen.  How have you actually created an environment of listening?

[0:00:43] BERNARD J. TYSON:
Yeah, yeah, um, it requires engagement —

and um, in my case it requires me to go out and go across the organization and go in to environment and where — and in which a lot of the time I’m listening and paying attention ah, to what people are saying —  and what they have to offer … when people write me I respond.

MARIL:
Yeah.

BERNARD J. TYSON:
And, and um, and it’s not all the time I’m in agreement, I mean I — you know I can show you some of my emails where we’ve had healthy debates … I know it’s some person, wonderful person in this particular area, I’ve never met them before —  but they had a strong reaction to something that I wrote about and they took a position.  At times I’ve challenged their position.

[0:02:34]
I’ve said you know I hear you ah, here’s my interpretation of what you’re saying um, here’s why I would um, respectfully ah, differ from that perspective.

And so, I acknowledge ah, in my communication that um, just like me you’re thinking and I respect your thought process and I appreciate that you were willing to share that with me, now let me show you the respect that I got it and I may have a different point of view.

[0:04:07]
…And what I have seen in — over time is um, number one, people have a lot to offer and if they feel like you’re willing to listen and you’re willing to hear what they have to say, people are um, very much willing to engage.