Modern healthcare administration literature has focused on competency development as a tool to accelerate a leader's development. Using resources published by organizations like the National Center on Healthcare Leadership and the American College of Healthcare Executives, recent graduates and young leaders can optimize their professional ability.
One of the most commonly-extolled qualities in these competency analyses is a leader's ability to successfully communicate.
Communication skills make an impression
A strong ability to communicate is perhaps the most influential factor to the direction of a young leader's career. For example, eloquence can persuade an audience of a speaker's intelligence; carefully constructed messages can communicate mission, vision, and values without their explicit mention; and conciseness keeps an audience engaged. Any of these aspects of communication can have a stronger effect on an audience than words alone.
Communicating weakly does not destroy a speaker's relationship with their audience – instead, it simply sours potential. Because truly bad communication in healthcare is rare, and because the perils of passable communication are so few, this skill is often overlooked.
Different forms of communication have practical purposes
Not only does communication entail writing and speaking, but also facilitation of discussion, an ability to receive and discern messages, and competency in receiving feedback. Consider these applications:
- Powerful presentations can galvanize a group of associates to pursue a new strategic approach.
- Persuasive proposals give way to approval for innovative projects or research plans.
- Lively one-on-one discussions could foster lasting relationships with employees, motivating them to impress.
The importance of strong communication is present at and between every level of an organization, a unique facet in the eyes of the ambitious leader.
Strong communication builds a strong reputation
Communication is an opportunity, a path upward – it's an elevator to the C-suite beside the staircase your coworkers are stuck on.
Beginning the moment you enter an organization, as the new consultant that's built an undeniable rapport with every client she speaks to, or as the HR manager whose presentations are consistently enthralling, developing a reputation as a strong communicator can catch the interested eye of senior leadership.
If we enter the field confident in our ability to communicate complex messages, we demonstrate immense value.
Strategic messages make communication more effective
In effective communication, your message becomes the pillars that conveyance rests on. Even the strongest, most persuasive politicians would struggle to galvanize followers behind a weak or underdeveloped message. Here, strategic planning becomes relevant.
Another of the most important competencies for a young leader, strategic planning involves a nuanced understanding of an organization at its core, the challenges it faces, and the vision to tackle those challenges in a direction that embodies organizational values and history.
The importance of competency in strategic planning cannot be overstated to the young healthcare leader. Our industry is ever-changing, with roots in clinical care, technology, finance, labor, politics, and scientific developments. Business plans recognize and address how these fluid spheres interact and coalesce, balancing an organization's demands with the world around it.
We can only establish ourselves as strong leaders if we understand what strong leadership entails. Especially as college graduates, finding a place in an organization can be strenuous, but keeping these competencies in mind should guide us to success.
This article was originally published on my personal blog.