By Kimlyn N. (Sorrell) Queen, MSM, CRA, RT(R)(CT)(MR)
January 2010 — I would like to start by wishing everyone a happy New Year. I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful holiday season. During the holidays I like to spend some quiet time reflecting on the many blessings in my life. I’m thankful for my family, friends, colleagues, and all those who had an impact on my life throughout the year.
Giving thanks or saying thank you is a very important and powerful tool, yet it is also one of the easiest things for us to forget to do when we are in a hurry, stressed out, tired, or pre-occupied with our next meeting or life in general.
Being a CRA defines one as a leader and an expert in radiology administration. Being a CRA means that you possess a strong knowledge base and important skills in the areas of: 1) human resource management, 2) asset management, 3) operations management, 4) financial management, and 5) communication and information management. All of these attributes define a well rounded leader; however, what they do not do is persuade folks to follow our lead.
You are probably wondering by now what being a CRA has to do with being thankful or saying thank you. Being an expert and a leader in radiology administration is a prestigious title; however, if no one is willing to follow your lead, the title holds little value or meaning.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud to be a CRA and I encourage fellow colleagues on a regular basis to become CRAs, but being a leader requires more. As we all know, respected and effective leaders need to be continuously learning and at the same time encouraging others around them to learn. However, I have come to the realization that it takes more than the next self help book on leadership and a college degree to become a respected, effective, and successful leader.
Getting an entire team to move in the same positive direction with one common goal and purpose should be a focus for all leaders and a measure of successful leadership when the goal is achieved. This can be achieved by creating a culture of teamwork, caring, appreciation, and dedication.
In order to move an entire team in the same positive direction, a leader has to gain the trust and respect of the team and show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of all team members. Effective leaders also need to reward and recognize team members on a regular basis, even if it is just by saying thank you.
One of the most powerful tools in our leadership tool boxes is the ability to say thank you and to reward and recognize employees for a job well done. This can be accomplished many different ways:
- A face-to-face thank you
- A personal thank you note or card
- Mailing a thank you letter or card to the employee’s home for their family to read
- Naming someone employee of the month
- A lunch coupon
- Public recognition
- Saying thank you during a meeting
- A kudos board posted in the department
These are just a few simple ideas that, at the end of the day, can start to build trust, respect, appreciation, and dedication between radiology administrators and the teams they lead. This type of relationship between leaders and team members can also lead to the mentoring of future leaders and, importantly, future CRAs.
So the next time you sit down to check emails, listen to voice mails, update your calendar, or prepare for that next meeting, take just one moment and ask yourself: “Who can I thank today?”
Kimlyn N. (Sorrell) Queen, MSM, CRA, RT(R)(CT)(MR) is the director of imaging services at Marion General Hospital in Marion, OH where she received the distinguished honor of Manager of the Year for 2006. She is also a director on the 2010 Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC). She has 19 years experience in radiology,9 of which have been in management,and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.