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Don’t Let Passive Agreement Hamper Your Progress

Convincing an audience that a strategy or a particular course of action is attractive without asking for their active agreement may seem desirable. However, this passive agreement could actually hamper the progress of your primary care network.

Passive agreement can occur for many reasons. Colleagues may:

  • Misunderstand

  • Not care enough to actively agree

  • Feel it is too hard to say no (peer pressure, perceived ranking in the hierarchy, lack of expertise etc)

  • Fear conflict

  • Want to appease you

  • Feel that their point of view will not be valued

  • Feel there are no other alternatives to be explored.

This passive agreement may lead to decisions owned by a person and not the network, poor financial implications and a lack of trust in the network.

Positively, colleagues may passively agree because they trust the source.

With more financial implications, decisions regarding new roles, commissioning partners to deliver services, and the development of partnerships to co-produce services, primary care network leaders should actively agree, to ensure all key parties:

  • Are brought into the decision

  • Understand the financial implications

  • Understand the requirements and expectations of the service, contract or project.

How to foster active agreement:

  1. Be transparent when giving information

  2. Follow the network’s governance

  3. Allow enough time for decisions to be made

  4. Be open to seeking the view from all parties

  5. Be open for discussion and debate

  6. Create an environment that allows for decisions to progress without 100% agreement but enables everyone to get behind the decision that is ultimately made.

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Tara Humphrey is the founder of THC Primary Care, a leading healthcare consultancy specialising in workforce transformation and the host of The Business of Healthcare Podcast.

Tara provides project and network management to Primary Care Networks and coaching support to clinical leads. Please visit our services page here.

Tara has over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sector and has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and is the author of over 180 blogs.

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