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Take the leadership back! (after having lost it)

Hello guys,


Today I did the lesson on PU about Denzel Washington and social dynamics. I don't want to spoil it as it is part of a paid product. I'll just say that there is one concept which is about taking the leadership back after you lost it. Lucio: let me know if I'm spoiling anything.


Today, I was in a patient's room with a female colleague of mine. She's an equal and basically she brought us a case but is not in charge of the patient. We were in the patient's room and she was taking the leadership. In front of me. I was calm and did not want to be confrontational with her. However, after she was done talking. I took the leadership back, then I used a collaborative frame and I ended the interaction by thanking her.


Power move? Yes. Justified? Yes. She was claiming that we were in charge but was behaving as the leader. So I took over. End of the story.

Short story but it's to tell that if you lose the leadership you can always take it back if you're aware you lost it. Powerful stuff. It works.

selffriend has reacted to this post.

Rock on, John.

And it's all good about the spoiling. Actually, the more details the better, so we can learn more.

What did you say/do?

John Freeman and selffriend have reacted to this post.
John Freemanselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hello Lucio,

here are the details:


My colleague is a resident in immunology so she's part of a specialist team. We're on the same level but they brought us the case. So basically, we're now in charge of the patient. She never met the patient nor the parents. She was tasked by her supervisor to hand us the case off (give us the relevant information) and bring us the documents (two sheets of paper). That's it. However, since she does not have a lot to do (true statement), she came to see the patient. But she has no ground to do it because they don't have more investigations nor treatments to propose. So basically, it's tourism. That's the context.

We go into the room as I walk in front of her. And she goes to the end of the bed and starts to talk but turns to me and say: "They're in charge" but speaks loud with big gestures as I listen to her. I say something and she slightly contradicts what I say, giving a correction. That's the moment I thought about Denzel Washington and thought: "I have to take the leadership back".

So I let her finish and say:

"Their role is to help us when we have an immunologic question. Our job is to formulate such question. It's like with our colleagues from neurology. We first do our job and then we see if we need their help or not. It's teamwork!"

I don't remember exactly what I said in addition of that, but not much more. As my colleague understood the shift in power and had nothing else to add, she left. As she was leaving, I said: "Thank you!" to solidify my leadership frame. She did not answered anything because she understood that I upgraded my power awareness and dynamics game. So I basically beat her. Now when we interact, she knows I'm the dominant one. It was actually a showdown and I won.

So what I did was to go from the frame: "I'll explain to you what the role of my colleagues are" to me saying: "No, I'll explain to you what the role of my colleagues are. If we need them, we call them, otherwise we don't. End of the story. We are happy to collaborate though. Now you can leave the room because we don't need you right."

That's the trick with specialists: because they have specialized knowledge, they will try to put themselves above others. Even if they are peripheral to our work. We need them, yes. But we are in charge of the patient, the consultant is not. Yes, we will likely do what they propose but we are in charge.

Lucio Buffalmano and selffriend have reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmanoselffriend