• Article
  • May 14, 2019

Leadership Tip: Finding Common Ground Begins with Respect

For Johns Hopkins Children's Center's Chief Medical Officer, Maggie Moon, assuming the best intentions of everyone on staff is a great starting point for productive conversation.

As Johns Hopkins Children's Center's first-ever chief medical officer (CMO), Maggie Moon, M.D., M.P.H., is focusing on managing a balance between the hospital's research, educational and patient care priorities. She says sometimes communication gaps stand in the way of achieving the hospital's mission, especially when people work in different "silos."

The key to finding common ground, according to Moon, begins with respecting your colleagues.

"It's about respect," says Moon. "It's about starting every meeting and every question with the sense that the people around you are good people trying to get the right thing done. If there's disagreement or misunderstanding, it's not because there are bad guys in the room—it's probably because people aren't understanding each other's objectives."

Moon points out that those objectives may not always seem clear because health care clinicians are often juggling multiple professional obligations. But assuming the best of your counterparts is a great starting point for those conversations.

"Recognizing the quality of the people you're working with is a key point," Moon says. "I presume the intelligence and integrity of everyone in the room when I start. By offering them my sincere respect, I'm able to build a bridge to the conversation on that basis."

Read more about Moon's experiences as CMO, including her thoughts on the current pediatric health care landscape and how it shapes her approach.

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