Leadership is not for the faint of heart. It requires a number of different skills, many of which are not formally taught in any book or class. These soft skills are what differentiate employee from manager and good bosses from bad. Possessing these attributes help strengthen your leadership abilities as a whole.
Work ethic is one of the strongest driving forces a person can have when it comes to their career. Having a strong desire to accomplish goals and caring about the work that one does can take some one from the bottom and raise them to top management in time.
Communication plays an extremely important role in leadership. The Center for Creative Leadership describes communication as a “core function” (n.d.) of leaders, noting that good communication skills play an integral role in effective leading. It is also important to remember that communicating is equal parts speaking and listening. Hearing and digesting what others are trying to tell you is just as important if not more important than speaking and delegating.
Another soft skill that is crucial for leaders to possess is problem solving. Good leaders are able to think critically and resolve unexpected issues as they arise. In patient care, this happens often and typically at the worst possible time.
Additionally, many decisions that need to be made urgently involve the patients themselves; our job as healthcare leaders is to make sure our choices produce the best possible care for the people we work to treat. Wishy-washy simply will not due– leaders need to be confident in their answers they come up with and take responsibility if the right call was not made.
Good communicating skills, critical thinking and the ability to problem solve are essential pieces in a leader’s toolkit. The sum of all of these things equate to a responsible healthcare professional who is able to lead others in the field.
Even with technology rapidly changing medicine and how it is practiced, these soft skills will never go out of style. The development drive, confidence, problem solving and communication skills is necessary for anyone to rise up to the task of leading others. There are two very human aspects in healthcare that will never change: the patient and the clinician. As long as there are people on both sides of the healthcare spectrum, there will be a need for soft skills.
Unfortunately, these attributes are difficult to teach but, fortunately, can be learned. Not everyone possesses these important skillsets and not everyone is built to lead. Good leaders will see these qualities in others and nurture them to grow into the next generation of leaders in healthcare. Ultimately, we do what we do for the benefit of the patient– striving to be a better leader in healthcare can only help in their care.
ReferencesCenter for Creative Leadership. (n.d.). Why communication is so important for leaders. Retrieved from https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/communication-1-idea-3-facts-5-tips/