I love watching children interact, especially my own. My kids spent their early years in a small, comfortable environment with a babysitter we called “Gramma Donna.” As my older son approached age four, we took that huge step – for us, not him – and enrolled him in pre-kindergarten. That first day was his first time in a huge group of kids, and I was allowed to stay and watch from another room. In between sobs, which he couldn’t see, I marveled as I watched him just walk up to other kids and start chatting away. Who knew he could be sociable in a room full of strange kids. The preschoolers looked at their newcomer differently: some approached with enthusiasm and started playing right away, some hung back to watch before going all in and others ran the opposite direction. By the end of that first day, he had at least six new friends and the count grew with the days. This was his first experience building relationships with strangers, a particularly easy one as the all the kids in his class seemed to like each other. This all changed when he entered kindergarten – the dynamics were drastically different and he had to learn new relationship-building skills.
As I look back on my son’s experience, I see it as a microcosm of how adults build relationships. The relationships you have at work, at home and with friends are different, each with their own dynamic. That’s because every human is unique and each interaction is tailored to your relationship with that particular person. You tell your spouse or best friend things that you wouldn’t say to your minister or boss or child’s soccer coach, yet you have a mutually beneficial relationship with all those people. When you successfully navigate those waters as they simultaneously flow in various directions, you’ve mastered the art of human-to-human communication.
Over my career, I’ve had implementations go smoothly and others that didn’t. I’ve dealt with difficult end users – both the kind that had legitimate gripes and others who just needed to complain. I’ve taken on existing teams that were humming along happily, teams that had a 75 percent threat-to-quit rate on my first day and teams I had to build. In all of these situations, good or bad, there was only one approach that worked: I met people precisely where they were and we went forward from there, together.
Communication involves two people, the giver and the receiver. We learned this in preschool and heard it again in college communications classes. Both parties are human and make mistakes, but both usually want the same thing, which is almost always a positive, successful outcome.
It’s been easy to bring this mindset to my work at Geneia. It’s a company value and is an integral part of our corporate culture, from coaching each other through difficult conversations, a topic of significant training for us over the last year, to really listening to a client and understanding their need. If you’ve read my previous blogs, this is going to sound like empathizing to really understand someone’s articulated and unarticulated needs. That’s because it is exactly the same thing. It’s human-to-human interaction that meets people where they are to figure out the best path forward.
At Geneia, it’s not enough that we provide a platform for one of the most innovative concepts in healthcare. We truly partner with our clients and together advance toward their definition of success.
For example, during a recent implementation, our clinical consulting team completed a professional services engagement that involved observing the client and really understanding the care management team’s day-to-day needs, mapping their journey, capturing current state, bringing in industry best practices and making a recommendation for a successful future. As we walked through that recommendation in the context of our existing solution, the Geneia team noticed a significant need that isn’t met by anything on the market today. In response, we created a new product feature, defined the minimum viable product, partnered with the client on various aspects, connected it seamlessly to existing functionality and had the enhancement ready within six months. So far, the feedback is positive and we will continue to map their journey as they use the product to identify more opportunities for innovation and client success.
Geneia has time and again responded to the market through the relationships we’ve built. We are all ambassadors for our cause We’re here to make healthcare better for payers, providers and employers…and ultimately, patients and members. We are healthcare experts who work to truly understand our clients’ pain points. We take that to heart – as humans do – and work hard to mitigate those needs.
I always say that my work at Geneia is personal and it’s not just me. I see this everywhere in Geneia. The company is filled with people who care deeply about everything we do and everyone we touch. We don’t just work for our clients. At Geneia, we build relationships so our clients can build success stories.