It’s undeniable that physicians have to take on leadership responsibilities when it comes to guiding their team and taking proper care of patients. Unfortunately, medical school and residency do not emphasize leadership skill development. Far from it, in fact. This leads to a lack of skills and knowledge about leading a team, which translates to fewer growth opportunities while out on the field.
The medical industry is in a constant state of development, though, and so too must you. Constant education is key for a physician because their field undergoes change all the time. It’s true that many employers don’t offer leadership rewards or career goals in this sense but until you find the right employer, educate yourself. Leaders aren’t born, they are taught.
Below, we’ll give you 5 tips to become a better leader as a physician. Keep reading!
- Take on a Mentor and Learn All You Can
There’s no better way to learn about leadership than from someone who’s in a leadership position and performs well. A senior physician can be your mentor and help you overcome challenges and cover for your weaknesses. This will help you correct your mistakes and achieve specific goals in your journey to becoming a better leader. Their insights will pave the path to your future success
- Master Self-Awareness
One of the first steps in becoming a good leader is being aware of your strengths and shortcomings. Know what motivates you, what you’re best at, what you need help with, and how to build steady relationships with those around you. Emotional intelligence is key in occupying a leadership position, and self-awareness automatically leads to more emotional intelligence.
If you want your team members to trust in your abilities and follow you through the most difficult of situations, know who you are. Only by knowing who you are can you expect things from everyone around you. Climbing the leadership ladder doesn’t necessarily translate to more self-knowledge. So, if you start early, you’ll be ahead of many others!
- Accept Your Vulnerability
True leaders aren’t those who don’t have weaknesses or who hide them but those who, in spite of their weaknesses, manage to succeed. The medical industry applies a harsh stigma on admitting your weaknesses and showing that you’re vulnerable. And this leads to feelings of inadequacy, depression and burnout. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Brené Brown, a motivational speaker and bestselling author, performed a 7-year study on leadership and courage. She found that vulnerability is a key component of a confident leader. She says that “By cultivating our courage to be who we are uncensored, compassion to others and to ourselves, and connections with people through both good times and bad, we can begin to recognize our self-worth and live with meaning and satisfaction.”
- Accept Feedback
A good leader accepts and even seeks constructive feedback from those around him/her. Practicing humility will build your self-confidence and make you knowledgeable. Ask for feedback from your team members and accept the bad one gracefully. Remember, your goal is to learn more about yourself, your field, and leading a team more performantly.
- Be Confident in Your Experience
Many high-level specialists suffer from Imposter Syndrome where the person is doubting their own abilities and think of themselves as a fraud. New doctors will often go through these feelings. However, you should remember that you have all the necessary knowledge and experience to do your job well.
To become a physician leader, you must understand and apply all these tips because they will allow you to gain more self-confidence and build longer-lasting relationships with your team and patients. Your role is to have a positive impact in the lives of those around you, and becoming an influential leader is the best method to do so.