Previously, we examined how having a good knowledge of the healthcare environment could help healthcare professionals navigate an increasingly complex operating environment. In this issue, we explore two connected skillsets: Professionalism and Communication and Relationship Management and the roles these play in strengthening the capabilities of healthcare professionals to meet the needs and challenges of the new decade.
Professionalism: Beyond knowing the current practices and developments in the field, how well you understand both the formal and informal expectations and requirements of conduct as a healthcare professional is vital. Professionalism speaks to your ability to maintain ethical and professional values that promote an attitude of responsibility and service towards others including patients, colleagues, and the society at large. At an individual level, are you able to effectively manage personal resources like your time, energy, and expertise to provide care that you can be held accountable for? Are you increasing the value of your personal resources in a way that enables you to give back to the profession over time as a thought leader, mentor, advocate, or positive influence in the field? While this competence may be strengthened at any stage of your career through involvement in relevant professional groups and interactions with colleagues, activities that enable you to actively seek and provide feedback, cultivate constructive work relationships, and contribute your time, expertise, and other personal resources both within and outside the organization are particularly valuable in enhancing this skill.
Communication and Relationship Management: Effective communication and relationship management makes productive interactions with individuals and groups possible. Healthcare professionals that are able to develop and sustain relationships with others are better able to thrive and handle the changing complexities of their operating environment, more so as successful relationship management is hinged on the ability to listen, engage, and coordinate multiple stakeholders that often have conflicting interests. As a result, how well you know your stakeholders – the people who are directly or indirectly impacted by your work – and the extent to which this knowledge is applied as you interact with them, contributes to the quality of your working relationships and overall performance as a healthcare professional.
Adapted from ‘Common Competencies for All Healthcare Managers: The HealthcareLeadership Alliance Model’ by Mary. E. Stefl, PhD