Being a leader in the healthcare industry takes
hard work, dedication, compassion, and time. Healthcare leaders utilize their knowledge to improve the health of people in their communities; leading healthcare teams requires professionals who are committed to putting others first. The following outlines several characteristics of effective healthcare leaders.
1. Put Others Before Yourself: To be a great leader, you should focus on the success of your team; take the time to recognize those individuals who have helped the group succeed and provide feedback on an ongoing basis. You want to lead people who have the passion for the project or organization, and who want to see it succeed. Because as a leader, you are only as strong as your team; it is important to keep them motivated.
2. Be Trustworthy: A leader should be trustworthy and honest to build meaningful relationships with followers. If a leader lies or is dishonest, it is likely that team members will quit; trust is developed by being honest, reliable, and honoring your word.
3. Listen to Others: Taking the time to listen, ask questions, and admitting when you don’t understand something can be beneficial; it demonstrates to your team that you value their input and are willing to work with them to find a solution.
4. Live up to Your Values: Leaders must have a clear understanding of their personal values as a key driver of their success; it is important to take the time to reflect on those values before making any decisions. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you to manage your team better.
5. Be Realistic: Guard against unrealistic thinking and set attainable goals. As a healthcare leader, you will make many difficult decisions; it is important to approach every situation with a clear mindset.
6. Show You Care: Rarely, are arrogant individuals successful leaders; to lead others, one must be charismatic, personable, and possess the ability to get results. When you are receptive to your employees, they will be more open to discussing ideas and identifying areas of concern. Taking time to recognize them for their work and providing feedback as necessary helps to build rapport.
7. Be Prepared: You may be required to make quick decisions; therefore it is important to be prepared. When making a plan, for example, having input from others can be a valuable asset.
8. Be a Team Player: Although leaders are in the position to delegate, they should also be willing to roll up their sleeves and work with their team members to get the job done. Leaders are here to listen and motivate their team members, but they also must get the job done. Being involved in the daily operations of the project, while being careful not to micromanage can help you to connect with your team.
9. Admit Your Mistakes: If something goes wrong, acknowledge the mistake and accept responsibility for the error. By being honest, you can quickly work with your team to find a solution. Also, errors can result in a teachable moment for your team to help improve in the future.
10. Take Time to Self-reflect: You are not perfect, no one is; taking the time to assess your strengths and weaknesses makes you a better leader. Daily reflection on what you could have done better or differently helps you to improve. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your team and supervisor.