Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 3 — Soft Skills & Leadership

This post reviews social qualities necessary for medical leadership. “Soft skills” are far from easy to acquire and practice with finesse but integral to providing quality health care

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 3 — Soft Skills & Leadership

Today we have the third post in a three-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article and you can find the first post in this series at http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/12/31/leadership-in-the-medical-field-series-part-1-what-it-is-why-its-critical/, the second post is at http://wisewolftalking.com/2013/01/07/leadership-in-the-medical-field-series-part-2-how-is-it-demonstrated/

In Part I of this three-article series, we introduced the concept of leadership in the medical field and explained how critically important the ability is for healthcare providers to demonstrate. The strong and unmistakable correlation between effective leadership in the medical field and the subsequent quality of patient care and satisfactory outcomes was established. That aspect of quality leadership’s immediate impact on patient care was used to justify educating all levels of healthcare personnel, from students in a medical assistant program to those in their first year of their internship. The diagrammatic tool developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement and the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (ARMC) was introduced as a tool to help professionals self-evaluate their leadership skills and identify any areas of weakness that might require attention. This visual tool, deemed The Medical Leadership Competency Framework, was described in brief detail. Now, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll turn our attention to a single wedge of the pie, “Demonstrating Personal Qualities” necessary to be an effective and capable medical leader.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series of articles, we’ve defined the concept of leadership in the medical field and why it is particularly important as it directly impacts quality of patient care. Because leadership has such a pronounced and direct correlation with patient care and shared leadership is even more beneficial than regular good leadership, this skill is one that needs to be taught at all levels of health care, from the students of a medical assistant program to postdoctoral attending neurosurgeons. We reviewed the the NHS and the AMRC’s Medical Leadership Competency Framework notated diagram, developed to help health care workers self-assess their leadership abilities when divided into five categories:

· Demonstrating personal qualities.

· Working with others.

· Managing services.

· Improving services.

· Setting direction.

In Part 2 of this series we reviewed the components of the leadership aspect “Demonstrating Personal Qualities” which included:

· Developing self-awareness.

· Managing yourself effectively.

· Continuing personal development.

· Acting with integrity.

Social Qualities for Medical Leadership

Part 3 and the final article of this series will review some of the social qualities necessary for medical leadership. Although sometimes referred to as “soft skills,” they are far from easy to acquire and practice with finesse. Yet they are integral to providing quality health care to a population that rises daily with unfilled openings for their providers. These social skills are virtually identical to those identified by Dr. Len Sperry’s work, “Becoming An Effective Health Care Manager: The Essential Skills of Leadership,” so we can assume that the social leadership skills necessary in Great Britain and the United States—despite the different medical systems each offers—are approximate.

 4 Aspects of Medical Leadership in Social Qualities

According to the NHS and ARMC’sMedical Leadership Competency Framework tool, there are four fundamental social quality aspects necessary for healthcare workers to demonstrate in order to be considered effective leaders. These aspects are:

· Developing Networks

As the Competency Framework wisely points out, developing networks means more than just meeting more of the same type of people. Rather, real networks break out of established habits to facilitate collaboration across an entire team of caretakers, regardless of the initials after their names.

· Building and Maintaining Networks

This action speaks more to treating one’s colleagues and team members with respect than it does slapping backs and shaking hands. Real network maintenance requires respect and communication.

· Encouraging Contribution

By demonstrating the respect suggested above, communication and contribution from all team members is facilitated.

· Working Within Teams

Far too many individuals misunderstand “teamwork” and “leadership” as the leader directing the team’s tasks. The real challenge of effective socially grounded leadership is the ability to work within a team as you encourage contribution and communication.

Conclusions Regarding Personal Characteristics of Leadership

As concluded time and again through repeated research, shared leadership provides the highest quality of health care. Our American health care system faces enormous changes over the next decade. A tidal wave of demographic change is already upon us, as the Baby Boomers grow older with better health care and medications. The nursing shortage remains, however, a tremendous issue as health care facilities rush to train paraprofessionals to help supplement nursing care.

Further, the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010 by President Obama is designed to do nothing less than overhaul the entire health system with major changes to take place each year, over a decade’s time. The National Center for Health Care Leaderships emphasizes that the current health care providers who want to survive the upcoming changes secondary to the ACA must plan now for that change with effective leadership.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

 

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

“Demonstrating Personal Qualities” necessary to be an effective and capable medical leader

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Today we have the second  post in a three-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article and you can find the first post in this series at http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/12/31/leadership-in-the-medical-field-series-part-1-what-it-is-why-its-critical/

In Part I of this three-article series, we introduced the concept of leadership in the medical field and explained how critically important the ability is for healthcare providers to demonstrate. The strong and unmistakable correlation between effective leadership in the medical field and the subsequent quality of patient care and satisfactory outcomes was established. That aspect of quality leadership’s immediate impact on patient care was used to justify educating all levels of healthcare personnel, from students in a medical assistant program to those in their first year of their internship. The diagrammatic tool developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement and the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (ARMC) was introduced as a tool to help professionals self-evaluate their leadership skills and identify any areas of weakness that might require attention. This visual tool, deemed The Medical Leadership Competency Framework, was described in brief detail. Now, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll turn our attention to a single wedge of the pie, “Demonstrating Personal Qualities” necessary to be an effective and capable medical leader.

Personal Qualities for Medical Leadership

According to the NHS and ARMC’s Medical Leadership Competency Framework tool, there are four fundamental character aspects necessary for healthcare workers to demonstrate in order to be considered effective leaders. These aspects are:

  • Developing self-awareness.
  • Managing yourself effectively.
  • Continuing personal development.
  • Acting with integrity.

The four identified characteristics correspond very closely to the second of three key skill sets for an effective healthcare manager, as identified by Dr. Len Sperry’s textbook “Becoming An Effective Health Care Manager: The Essential Skills of Leadership.” We can thus dismiss any objections that the Medical Leadership Competency Framework is applicable only to the U.K.’s socialized medicine standard as opposed to the U.S. model.

Developing Self Awareness

This aspect of leadership seems hardly worth mentioning, until one considers the usual negative effects of a self-absorbed or socially incompetent manager has on a department. Although self-awareness is partly an aspect of maturity, it is also one that can be accelerated with various “reflective practices.” The goal is to perceive one’s own “values, principles, and assumptions” and understand the influence this has on decisions and behaviors.

Managing Yourself Effectively

Translated across the Atlantic, this subtitle speaks to a leader’s ability to demonstrate excellent time management skills, efficiency and establish and maintain both short and long-term goals. This information then needs to be clearly and regularly shared with the team a leader manages.

Continuing Personal Development

Never stop learning might be an alternate subtitle for this suggestion. Aspects of leadership can be taught and learned, either formally or informally. Whether one takes a class or adopts an informal mentor, there is always something to learn that will, in turn, improve your leadership abilities.

Acting with Integrity

Acting with integrity is expressed in Green and Gell’s article as being a role model worthy of your subordinate’s imitation. It also speaks to a type of direct communication that precludes passive-aggressive behavior, innuendo or purposely-misleading statements.

Conclusions Regarding Personal Characteristics of Leadership

As Green and Gell, authors of the article for BMJ Career’s website, “Effective Medical Leadership for Consultants: Personal Qualities and Working with Others,” emphasize, “Research has shown that, within healthcare, shared leadership delivers the best results through a shared sense of responsibility for the success of the organization and the quality of the services provided.” This type of personal and shared leadership will be particularly necessary for those health care organizations experiencing disruptions from mandated changes of the Affordable Care Act.

In the third and final article in this series, we’ll discuss how the above personality traits can be used to effectively communicate with others and to ultimately cultivate and develop a successful career in the medical field.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It's Critical

Effective medical leadership and good medical care is “well documented” and the “key to delivery high quality care and a positive experience for patients.

Medical Leadership – What and Why

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1 —What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Today we have the first post in a three-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article.

Leadership in the medical and healthcare field is a critically important subject. It is important for healthcare personnel, those interested in the field and the public to examine at some length. Leadership determines the quality of healthcare provided to patients even during periods of relative stasis. Thus, the topic needs to be provided to all healthcare provider students. That is from those currently completing a medical assistant program to postdoctoral physician fellows. Further, the authority provided by effective leadership helps maintain measured calm. That is through the upcoming periods of change scheduled to take place in the US through 2020 according to the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Through this series of three articles, we plan to examine what’s meant by the term “medical leadership.” We will discuss why it’s so important to both professionals in the field and patients. What personal attributes are required to be an effective leader. Also the means by which effective leaders work with other healthcare providers.

What is Effective Medical Leadership?

Effective medical leadership is more than the ability to bark out instructions and orders for subordinates to follow and complete. Rather, as Matt Green and Lynne Gell indicate in their recent article for BMJ Career’s website, “Effective Medical Leadership for Consultants: Personal Qualities and Working with Others,” the term is best defined through a theoretical framework that includes the many qualities required of the term and the interactive ways in which it’s demonstrated. As O*Net Online indicates—for a representative healthcare position, a registered nurse (RN)—leadership in the healthcare field also includes aspects of “strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling…. and coordination of people and resources.”

The Medical Leadership Competency Framework

In order to illustrate the qualities, types of qualities and the means of demonstrating leadership, the National Health Service (NHS) Institute for Innovation & Improvement and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges together developed the Medical Leadership Competency Framework  annotated diagram above. This figure allows physicians and other healthcare workers to visually review the different aspects of medical leadership. They can self-assess themselves as to areas that might require improvement or training. The diagram is in the shape of a circle to represent the holistic ideal of quality of medicine. Within the circle’s core is the ultimate goal, “Delivering the Service.” The center of the circle opens to the outside via five separate lanes. These effectively divide the outer aspect of the framework’s circle into five wedge-like areas that represent the ways in which leadership is demonstrated:

  • Demonstrating personal qualities.
  • Working with others.
  • Managing services.
  • Improving services.
  • Setting direction.

Each of these wedge-like areas is further comprised of four primary characteristics. These indicate how leadership in that particular area is best demonstrated. In Part II and Part III of this article series, we’ll explore what the four primary characteristics are for two of the areas “demonstrating personal qualities” and “working with others.”

Why is Effective Medical Leadership Deemed “Critical?”

As Green and Gel summarized in their paper cited earlier, the connection between effective medical leadership and good medical care is “well documented” and the “key to delivery high quality care and a positive experience for patients.” In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss further the specific personal qualities that make a good leader in the medical field.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Why Get a Master's Degree in Accounting?

Why Get a Master’s Degree in Accounting?

If you are considering graduate school, you may have some doubts about how it may benefit you. There is the risk of being forced deeper into student loan debt and ending up overqualified for certain fields. However, there are many careers in which Master’s degrees are the expectation and a necessity, and often pay very well.

If you are interested in teaching, a Master’s degree will offer you the opportunity to teach college students. Currently, it will only provide entrance into careers at community colleges; most universities require professors to have PhD degrees; however, as an instructor at a two-year college, you can expect to make $45,000 or more, which will increase over time. You can even continue school for your PhD if you would like to earn more.

A big question is  Who Hires People with a Master of Accounting? One of the best Master’s degrees in health care is in physical therapy. Right away, a certified physical therapist with a Master’s degree can plan on a salary of at least $50,000; however, most physical therapists make about $70,000 or more. This is also a very rewarding career, providing those who are interested in health with the chance to rehabilitate many people in hospitals, private practices, and outpatient centers.

Statisticians are a group of mathematical experts who have Master’s degrees in math or statistics. It is their job to interpret results of surveys or experiments, as well as many other important things. They are included in this list because they may begin their careers making $64,000. Average salaries for these experts are often well over $71,000. They are usually hired by government agencies, but may find many positions within private businesses and industries.

Those with an interest in politics should get their Master’s degrees in political science. Political scientists do well after graduate school, entering fascinating careers in government research and earning over $80,000. Their jobs are to perform research on the structure of different governments, public policy, and more. This is a highly valued position that can be offered pay over $100,000.

One good career to enter is in library science. With a Master’s in library science, you can become a librarian. Librarians are experts at research, and work in libraries helping people find what they are looking for in books or on the web. This job is becoming more advanced, with librarians now often referred to as “information professionals.” Many do not realize that this is actually a very well-paid career. Librarians may get paid over $40,000 in the beginning; this pay can go up to and over $60,000.

You can enter a lucrative career as a school or vocational counselor making over $44,000 a year, a high salary that can go well above $70,000. These careers are very rewarding, as they involve counseling students who are experiencing a variety of troubles. You may work at secondary or post-secondary schools, in your own office. This career is growing faster than most right now, so it is a good one to enter.

This is a sponsored post

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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