Risk Managers Can Be Influential, Even without an Executive-Level Title

October 19, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Risk managers do not need to achieve an executive-level designation with "C" or "VP" in their business titles to be influential within their organizations, said Ann D. Gaffey, MSN, RN, CPHRM, DFASHRM, president, Healthcare Risk and Safety Strategies, at a session on how to be viewed as a trusted advisor at the October 7-10, 2018, annual conference of the American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM) in Nashville. Gaffey shared the podium with Barbara McCarthy, MPH, RN, CIC, CPHQ, CPHRM, FASHRM, enterprise risk officer, Beverly (Massachusetts) Hospital, to describe the traits, habits, and strategies of influential individuals. To prepare for the presentation, they surveyed 30 influential people, not all of whom are in healthcare, to learn about successful strategies to be heard within an organization and about strategies that failed. Among the 17 responses were the following "words to live by," they said: watch and model others and learn from both the good and bad; acknowledge the value of others; listen to your internal voice; recognize and manage unintentional hurt; learn a skillful way to disagree; avoid taking sides; express gratitude for colleagues and for opportunities; don't judge success on how often things go your way, but on whether you had the opportunity to explain your position; and take care of yourself.

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