Changing your leadership style in 4 steps

Although changes in responsibilities can cause healthcare leaders to change their leadership styles, even those who remain in the same position for many years need to use reflective learning to adapt to change at their organizations.

There are four steps leaders, including members of the healthcare C-suite, can use to alter their leadership style, according to a recent Forbes article written by Jeff Boss, a coach on adaptive leadership and a board member of the Navy SEAL Future Fund. 

1. Detect. The first step to changing your leadership style is to identify why a change needs to take place. By developing a better understanding of their capabilities and listening to input from stakeholders, such as employees, at meetings, healthcare leaders can discern what changes they need to make. "Don't be that guy or gal to enter into a new situation assuming you know everything, because once you do, there's no turning back," wrote Mr. Boss. "Instead, you want to calibrate the most effective way to deliver results, so take the time to let every situation unravel to better understand the situational dynamics."  

2. Adapt. Completing the detect step is vital to moving on to the second step, which is to adapt and "have a flexible mindset." This step requires healthcare leaders to improvise on a situational basis. However, this step can be extremely difficult, because many people "are anything but flexible in their ways," wrote Mr. Boss.

3. Choose. This step requires making a firm decision about which leadership style to use. Healthcare executives can pick out the best leadership style for the situation by answering a course of questions. Mr. Boss recommends asking the following questions: What objective am I trying to achieve? What objective are we (the organization) trying to achieve? What and who will be impacted the most? Is this impact in accordance with our intent?

4. Adopt.Once a leadership style is chosen, the act of implementing the style must occur. "Adopting a new leadership style into your repertoire allows you to call upon that style and its associated skills at any time and under any circumstance," wrote Mr. Boss.

More articles on leadership:

The best of Quint Studer: 10 must-read insights for healthcare leaders
Facing a big decision? These 4 lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis may help
4 questions all CEOs should ask themselves each year

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