Effective communication and Interpersonal Relationships

Efforts to maintain healthy relationships at work are made by organising activities in order to have experiences to share away from the workplace

We all go to work with a different perspective, positive attitude and with the feeling of knowing each other.”

Most participants acknowledged the importance of working with people that have different personalities and needs. Efforts to resolve problems that might emerge leads to good relations with others, although these relations are…

“…mostly professional and only maintained in the hospital. There is no social interaction after work.”

A recognition and efforts to keep good relations with other doctors and nurses are seen as essential qualities in their profession to demonstrate care for them, especially when working many hours or in busy days. Getting to know each other out of the workplace is achieved through organising special events

Spending time with the team is something that benefits our personal and professional life.”


A particular situation was described in which signs of empathy were shown through the difficult decisions to be made when treating Jehovah Witness patients

I feel frustrated because my main priority is to protect peoples life (…), but I need to obey to individuals desire.”

A case description was made where the clinical leader had to make a difficult decision regarding a life-threatening operation. The risk for the patient was high, but he empathised with the family who was pushing for an operation

I did my best to improve the last few months of his life and also to be supportive of his family.”

Examples described by the participants were referred to as demonstrating empathy during constructive feedback on unprofessional practices and also when having to make a decision that was going to have a direct impact on others

I always struggle with decisions where patients are at risk and also when I do have to select one colleague to participate in courses to develop their medical skills. I have a restricted budget, and I always found it very difficult to choose which one from my team I would send for a conference or a development course. I feel responsible that my decisions have an impact on group synergy.”


Being resilient and flexible is seen in how an international health leader adjusts and adapts to a new healthcare system. All participants in the programme mostly highlighted those essential qualities. Even though all participants recognised the complexity of working in a very dynamic sector, they recognise their ability to be “open and flexible” to cope in a multicultural environment.

In terms of flexibility, some clinical leaders stated that coming from a different European country tested their ability to adapt to different working environments effectively and efficiently.

“Coming from a different system to the one established in the U.K., I have no doubt that working in the well-structured health system in this country enhanced my professional experience, helped develop important skill-set and personal competences and deal effectively with different organisational culture. Cultural and working differences only affected me when I had to work back in my home city for a couple of years”.

Most participants provided useful insights into the importance of being flexible and easily adaptable to fundamental competence changes in their professions.

There are a lot of imposed changes in the health care service all the time, and I need to follow them in order to perform at the desired NHS quality standards.”