3 Steps to Growing Your Leadership Skills

When you hear the term “leadership” in relation to your career, are you overwhelmed at the thought of advancing toward a higher role, or do you cringe in association with cheesy motivational posters or cliché phrases? You shouldn’t do either! In reality, good leadership is simply the result of completing many “little things” – things that you can do consistently, and that can make a powerful impact.

Here are three ways to lead, while still contributing to your clinic or department’s growth:

1. Mentor and Teach

Being a leader means sharing knowledge, learning from others, supporting the advancement of the profession – all for the sake of building healthier patients and communities. Mentoring may mean dedicating focused, one-on-one time with a teammate or student to review a technique, case, or process, but it could also be:

Encourage Collaborative/Productive Communication

Whether through email or conversation, encourage the discussion of interesting articles to discuss your shared findings.

Organize Your Collaboration

Scheduling a weekly five-minute “stand-up” meeting where you and your teammate(s) share one thing you each learned this week or something you are going to work to improve.

Keep the Conversation Going Beyond Your Practice

Open yourself to mentees beyond your setting. Skype, email, and phone conversations are all great means of staying in touch and opening your circle beyond co-workers.

Act as a Community Ambassador

Get into your local community and schools to promote awareness of what a physical therapist is and does, or how to pursue a career in PT.

2. Own Your Career

Think about how you treat your own car versus a rental car. We often take pride in and care for, what we own. When you have ownership mentality, you invest in the clinic as if it’s your own.

This could mean doing simple things like cleaning/organizing the space when needed, to offering more time for activities like representing your team at a local health fair or participating in other marketing activities outside of the clinic.

Owning your career can also mean continually striving to advance your career and practice through education. This can mean keeping up with the latest course offerings from MedBridge or pursuing board certification (MedBridge can also help prep for these exams!).

Ownership mentality not only increases the likelihood of a more positive patient experience, it can also lead to greater job satisfaction.

3. Embrace Change

One thing we know for sure about our profession – it’s always changing. Strong leaders don’t avoid or resist change; they embrace it. You may be challenged by a perceived “failure” – accept it as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve.

You might feel discouraged by innovations that seem to make life more difficult – use them as chances to learn from others and know that things often get worse before they get better. Model the kind of attitude and creative thinking that you want in your teammates.

Part of embracing change is being resourceful and finding innovative solutions to complex problems. Luckily, MedBridge offers many of these answers within their single platform. Whether it’s managing learning across your organization, implementing a compliance program, or a simple initiative to improve patient adherence to home programs, MedBridge provides the necessary tools.

Lead Every Day

Embrace opportunities to lead every day. You are already leading with your patients. Translate these same skills – strong listening, collaboration, flexibility, relationship-building – to leadership with others in your clinic. Your career path and engagement will likely be better off for it.