As president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, I interact every day with other leaders from the institutions that comprise the largest medical city in the world. Because I work with such a diverse group of constituents—more than 60 member institutions, representing more than 100,000 employees—I often reflect on an experience I had nearly a decade ago that influences my approach today.
The Harvard University Program on Negotiation taught me important lessons that help me to understand the unique needs of each of our members. Before the three-day program, participants prepare for roles they’ll play in simulated negotiations. The exercise forces everyone to take a position and argue for it, regardless of their personal convictions.
For example, one person might represent an offshore drilling company while another makes the case for environmental protection. As you might imagine, the facilitators encouraged us to defend our positions vigorously. But we soon saw how that passion led us to move swiftly away from any chance at reaching a mutually beneficial outcome. We became entrenched, and our own opinions became obstacles to progress. I learned a great deal about myself and how to better engage in productive negotiations.
The lessons I learned long ago continue to help me better understand the Texas Medical Center institutions I work with in this unique ecosystem. Some CEOs and leadership teams are naturally collegial, while others may view collaboration as dilutive or contributing to a loss of full control. Fortunately, the Harvard program identified these different styles of negotiation, and I often find myself recognizing them in the course of a discussion.
So what’s the key to negotiating? The answer seems simple, but it requires a great deal of commitment and much more time than a three-day program. My life experiences have taught me that it is most important to patiently build meaningful, trusting relationships over time. In both our personal and professional lives, it is the richness of these relationships that determines our happiness and success. I recognize that this seems obvious, but so often I observe people either intentionally or unintentionally creating barriers that obstruct the path to forming sound and productive relationships.
I continue to learn every day. Some of the most challenging situations I face are often the most exciting and satisfying to work through. The journey continues as I learn more about myself and the incredibly diverse talent at all levels of the Texas Medical Center.
William F. McKeon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Texas Medical Center
Harris Health System@harrishealth
Happy Fall! https://t.co/wjF8teaVxm
Learn more about the rise of the anti-vaccination movement in @TexasChildrens second season of Outcomes. Listen here: https://t.co/4a9hcW4WyQ #OutcomesPodcast #TexasChildrens https://t.co/MxsKLH8Ory
RT @MoveItMonday: You don't have to leave your chair to #MoveItMonday! Try these three simple chair yoga exercises to stretch away stress,…
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @houstonalumni: Naming the mascot “Shasta” was an idea that came in 1947 when Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity bought UH’s first live…
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
#Clinicaltrials are at the core of our mission to #endcancer. Learn from our Dr. Patrick Hwu how they help us discover new treatments to benefit future and current patients: https://t.co/ENqWbPrvNt https://t.co/Jkuu9JlXbg
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Charles J. Gestrich, who served as a railway mail clerk during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953: https://t.co/6mzBvGdZtR
@USMC Veteran Kionte lost his leg in an IED blast. During recovery, he experienced depression and sought support. Visit https://t.co/tBxE005jeW to hear more about Kionte’s journey back to physical and mental health.
Malawi’s national adoption of affordable neonatal CPAP technology developed at @Rice360atRiceU resulted in sustained improvements in the survival of babies with respiratory illness, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. https://t.co/mYtNlEf8uz
@USMC Veteran Kionte lost his leg in an IED blast. During his recovery, he experienced depression and sought support. Visit https://t.co/tBxE005jeW to hear more about Kionte’s journey back to physical and mental health.
RT @RiceUNews: Here's to 10 years of fun and fitness!@ricerec is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a week of events, starting today…
Happy 20th Birthday to the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative! Find out how this program has grown over the last two decades. https://t.co/S5PSODwhVt #BIPAI
@lesmiskid @blummer27 @JuliaMorales @RealToddKalas @astros Thanks for sharing this great pic!
MD Anderson Cancer Center@MDAndersonNews
How researchers, led by our Dr. Rodabe Amaria, are working to make pre-surgical treatment an option for more #melanoma patients: https://t.co/ljUwUPQxav #endcancer
Each year, our faculty and staff are given a work day to pursue a volunteer activity they are passionate about. Learn about some of their experiences. https://t.co/xErhwmEeds #volunteering #community https://t.co/uupd0H3YVS
RT @RiceUNews: Wondering about the new #art going up inside Brochstein Pavilion this week?It's the first in @RiceUniversity Public Art’s…