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5 Skills Every Health Care Leader Needs

health professional holding hand

Health care leaders make decisions that shape caregiving in the United States. They help team members and organizations perform optimally in a constantly evolving environment. These professionals may oversee business units such as operations, human resources, accounting or oversee specific disciplines or regions. These professionals possess special talents that give them an ability to guide individuals, groups and organizations through challenges. They understand others beyond the expressions gleaned from direct statements by dedicating time to understand the individuals they interact with daily. Effective health care leaders also recognize how technological innovation supports positive patient outcomes and equips frontline caregivers with the latest available hi-tech tools. Through professional resources, leaders gather intelligence and build networks to help caregiving organizations obtain their objectives. Leaders use these skills, tools, and connections to make countless daily decisions affecting a health care organization’s service quality.

Helping Health Care Organizations Achieve Goals

Effective health care leaders possess rare talents combining key medical and business competencies. [1] Together, the competencies allow leaders to gather resources and support that produces outstanding organizational productivity. Individuals who master these skills drive organizations toward goals in noteworthy style. Whether an organization attracts health care leaders with these skills often determines how well a provider performs. These talented individuals help caregiving organizations manage the many daily corporate tasks and responsibilities arising during service delivery; talented, effective health care leaders are critical to organizational success.

Skill 1: Emotional Intelligence

Health care leaders have an enhanced ability to recognize spoken, unspoken and physical cues and take necessary steps to manage employee and patient concerns. [2] These intricate clues reveal deep personal and cultural needs. By evaluating the context in which staff members or patients express their concerns, health care leaders interpret the cues with speed and clarity and truly comprehend how an individual feels about a subject. Leaders also understand when an individual’s statement does not align with the corresponding context.

To understand individuals this deeply, effective health care leaders learn about others and their genuine interests and feelings. Effective emotional intelligence requires a sincere interest in others and their opinions. This genuine intimacy permits health care leaders to more easily understand what an individual expresses.

Effective health care leaders demonstrate sensitivity toward cultural and social backgrounds and support and encourage the strengths in different individuals. Through close professional relationships, effective leaders also understand the factors influencing staff member and patient behaviors. Leaders develop this cultural and social understanding by building diverse relationships in their personal lives.

Skill 2: Technological Management

Effective health care leaders recognize how current and future information technology improves administrative operations and decision-making. They proactively pursue opportunities to introduce technological improvements. These leaders learn and understand the technological developments that improve operations and continuously search for workplace innovations.

With this technical background, effective health care leaders advocate technology innovations and information sharing. They understand how these tools streamline operations and improve patient outcomes and also incorporate and utilize new advances in their daily work.

Organizational leaders procure technology resources to enhance staff member productivity, such as tablets and other handheld computing devices. They also facilitate patient access through technology, such as online portals. Additionally, effective health care leaders implement long-term plans to ensure organizational technological advancement. They persistently follow developments that improve caregiving, while seeking opportunities to incorporate advancements into standard operations. By consulting with medical technology services and organizations, health care leaders discover advancements that reshape and improve caregiving practices and policies.

Skill 3: Adaptive and Quick Decision-making

Effective health care leaders evaluate complex problems by breaking down and analyzing the individual facts and issues culminating into the matter at hand. They methodically organize facts and compare how each one affects the given situation. With this analysis, they prioritize tasks and resolve matters in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

They begin the process by breaking down the challenges into individual concerns, then identifying how they relate to each other. This segmentation allows health care leaders to pinpoint how each detail impacts organizational objectives by weighing positive and negative attributes, then using this data, they determine the order in which to deal with each issue.

As thought leaders, these individuals gather numerous and disparate facts to unearth new concepts and improve caregiving operations yet recognize when it is more efficient to keep present practices in place and solve similar problems using previous solutions.

Health care leaders balance innovation and experience to find the most effective way to manage problems. When necessary, they create new solutions that are not readily apparent. As each challenge arises, they observe the issue from various perspectives to decipher the best alternative for mitigating organizational threats. Whether a solution is old or new, leaders clarify complex concepts in terms others understand easily.

Skill 4: Relationship Development

To support organizational objectives, health care leaders build professional and personal relationships with like-minded individuals. Effective leaders attract these individuals naturally with an amicable personality. They know how to build sincere, mutual relationships with individuals to help each other reach personal and organizational objectives. Leaders meet these individuals at formal and informal professional gatherings, using their astute networking skills to find commonalities and develop connections. When necessary, health care leaders initialize or organize these gatherings, which are critical for nurturing important professional contacts.

Health care leaders also pursue professional community connections and other acquaintances likely to support medical advancement. They typically identify and associate with influential individuals in the medical field. The leaders build networks, allowing them to accomplish goals that they cannot realize independently. These connections also serve as a strong support and referral network. Through these relationships, health care leaders build their reputations as medical field frontrunners.

Skill 5: Powerful Communication

Health care leaders communicate with individuals and groups skillfully. They use proper grammar to express their thoughts professionally. In written communications, they use proper punctuation and text construction that relay clear ideas and thought patterns. Leaders present their communications factually and completely, using logical and revealing positive and negative facts as appropriate. They also present their communications succinctly and deliver logical, fact-based arguments.

Leaders are also adept at communication with groups. They manage all sized meetings efficiently and productively. Health care leaders hone this skill by communicating with others frequently. [3] Despite the medium, verbal or written, they understand it is important to reach out to associates regularly and consistently. As expert communicators, health care leaders motivate staff members to vigorously pursue organizational goals and improve client and community wellbeing. They develop these powerful skills by making the most of every professional relationship in their circle of influence.

Quality Leadership Makes the Difference

Effective health care leaders guide organizations through service delivery that consistently improves patient outcomes. Leaders help organizations thrive in an ever-changing environment. Due to the dynamic nature of caregiving, medical institutions will always seek capable, innovative leaders to guide the organization through human resource, technological and service quality concerns and improvements. These individuals manage many complex operational arenas to maintain service consistency and help organizations keep pace with medical advancements. However, finding this impeccable talent is a challenge for health care organizations.

Caregiving organizations assertively seek the rare talent possessed by health care leaders. Their ability to lead others toward organizational goals is a highly sought after skill. Leaders build this value by using their ability to forge relationships with individuals who likewise wish to advance the health care profession. Additionally, these professionals use and promote new technological innovations to improve service delivery. Health care organizations need individuals that can help employees understand and accept new developments that improve service delivery. With the United States health care needs rising steadily, caregiving organizations will continue to seek the services of these gifted professionals.

Learn More

At Regis, we give you more pathways to pursue your goals in health care administration. As a dedicated leader of health administration education, we welcome ambition-driven, self-motivated professionals like you from all health care settings. Gain special insight into areas like management, communications, health informatics, and health policy through our Online Master of Health Administration.


[1] People Fluent
[2] National Center for Healthcare Leadership
[4] Dovepress