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  • Jessica Ovadia

The #1 Skill Every Leader Needs

Behind every successful healthcare startup is a leader who can communicate between the lines 📃.

Are you one of them?

I’m a lover of words and the impact they carry.

In fact, the number 1 way I help clients is by crafting their messaging foundation. The foundation provides the framework from which they can communicate effectively to any audience, in all settings.

However, even I'm the first to admit, words are not the whole story.

In fact, there is something profound about the space between the words and the nonverbal cues which accompany both oral and written communication. Those who hone this skill and lean into its potential, reap the benefits greatly.

Here is how to become a master nonverbal communicator and ensure your foundation in the best-dressed strategy in the room:


Your body language, listening skills and expressed emotions all impact the delivery of a message. Paint a picture around the words you say by standing straight, making eye contact, and wearing clothes that promote professionalism.

Btw - your body language isn’t the only language to read. Notice the people around you & pay attention to the signals they send. Interacting with and responding to others is an excellent way to connect and engage.

In his book “Being Mortal,” Dr. Atul Gawande illustrates the importance of non-verbal communication, especially in the healthcare setting:

An elderly man suffering from terminal cancer was gearing up for surgery. As such, the patient’s family and surgeon met for the pre-op. Immediately, the family’s body language and off handed comments screamed unease, forcing the surgeon to slow down. In the end, rather than spend the “pre-op” planning for surgery, the physician took a step back to discuss the goals of treatment, illness management and quality of life measures, more broadly. The decision was made to cancel surgery and focus instead on quality enhancement measures. Had the physician not tuned in to the specific signs in the room, all that would have remained hidden.

Sometimes, what’s not being said is the most important part of the conversation.


Did you know that nonverbal communication has a role when writing as well? An email with white space and a clear call-to-action helps to project the main purpose of the email. This is compared to written communication full of run-on sentences and structure-less “updates.”

The design and layout of a message is critical, especially when navigating complex regulatory environments, patient needs, or rapidly changing technology.

So before sending a message, pay attention to what’s not being said on the paper and ensure the most critical elements are up front, clear and bold.


Hi. I'm Jessi and I'm a content engineer. For over 15 years, I've helped countless healthcare leaders, founders and writers break the cycle of messaging mayhem to effortless engage with their audience and finally grow revenue, investments, partnerships & more.

Here are 3 ways to get started:

+ Subscribe to The Checkup: Healthcare communications' best kept secrets, simplified and synthesized for you.

+ Join the waitlist for Engineer Your Foundation, The Digital Workbook: A step-by-step manual, 25+ templates and guided expertise to help you build your foundation or share it with the team

+ Book a discovery call to work with me directly - 6-week intensive where I build your messaging foundation, guide you through implementation and for those interested, stick around for consistent, strategic support

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