Running a hospital or health system comes with a great deal of responsibility and considerable challenges. Although there is an abundance of advice available for healthcare leaders in running their organizations, sometimes it’s more important to talk about what not to do. To create an environment in which providers can successfully practice, here are a few behaviors to avoid:
- Don’t create a negative culture
Culture comes from the top down, so leaders must be conscious of their behavior and set a positive example for how everyone should be treated. Effective communication is important and should always be straightforward, never passive aggressive. Don’t hide behind technology to avoid difficult conversations; when necessary, make time for face-to-face interactions.
Most importantly, be sure to circulate the positives and little wins in addition to serious news. By solely addressing the negative, you could damage morale and undermine the efforts of your team. As a leader, it’s important to recognize every effort and celebrate the victories along the way.
- Don’t be blameless
In addition to recognizing positives, an effective leader works to generate a culture of humility. It might seem better to point fingers at a prior leader, but blaming a predecessor lacks integrity and creates a culture devoid of accountability. As a leader, making mistakes is inevitable, so weigh your decisions carefully and be prepared to confidently take responsibility for the state of your organization. Owning your choices, accepting failure, and acknowledging room for growth shows you are a strong leader worthy of respect, both internally and externally.
- Don’t lead with ego
Avoid penalizing those who disagree with you; it’s important to foster their trust. Learn to incorporate their expertise and use their input to enhance your organization’s strategic plan. It’s important to develop a sense of community within your health system and show your team members that you value their opinions in addition to your own. Putting your ego first could cause your team to lose respect for you. They must feel empowered to speak their mind and disagree with you. Their unique perspective could help advance the mission of your hospital or health system.
Effectively running a hospital or health system is not an easy task, but consciously avoiding these three “don’ts” will help you lead with integrity, improve your physician retention, and encourage personal growth as a healthcare leader.
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