Overall, I learned more about myself as a leader than I had ever expected. I was able to grasp the ideal leader that I strive to be within my career. By reading chapter two in “New Leadership for Today’s Health Care Professionals” I was able to learn more about leadership competencies. I was able to learn about an organizational leadership pipeline, and the five guiding principles of best practices for building one the five being actively focus on developing talent, identify key assignments and positions, maintain transparency, implement assessment on a regular basis, and engage in continual improvement (Esparza et al, 26). Through the group work on the padlet wall, I was able to create a list of leadership competencies that we found to be required by healthcare leaders. Some of these competencies were managing change, solving problems, making decisions, and managing politics and influencing others (101-5 Leadership Competencies). Through my learning of competencies I learned more about the leadership qualities I wish to obtain and the leadership qualities that don’t work well in an organization. I was able to understand how every leader isn’t going to obtain every competency known to man, but which ones are the most valuable to an organization.
By learning more about emotional intelligence I was able to learn how I want to use that within my leadership plan. In the video by Dr. Mitchel Adler I was able to understand that emotional intelligence is the ability to know feeling, experiences, and know how the individual strives to display it (Emotional Intelligence: How Good Leaders Become Great). I also learned the four basic emotions of mad, sad, glad, and scared, and how every emotion derives from those core emotions. I want to be able to greatly understand how my part in each situation affects other people. One part of emotional intelligence that I became more aware of was the four domains. The four domains of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self manage, social awareness, and relationship management. I also want to be more self-aware. I strive to know the difference between thought and actions, knowing what role I play in each situation, pick up on how others emotions are besides my own, and I need to develop a personal mission statement (Emotional Intelligence: How Good Leaders Become Great).
I learned the importance of networking and relationship building. I was able to truly grasp the best way to network, and how by showing respect within my interactions with individuals, always carrying a business card, and being a part of professional organizations will benefit me in my future professional career. It was also pleasing to hear that these professional relationships could turn into a personal relationship. Therefore, you should always respectful, honest, professional, and kind with any other professionals. In order to be professional one has to lead by example and follow three basic components: character, conduct, and quality (Esparza et al, 78). I learned more about how to be professional even in unprofessional situations. I was able to learn how to look presentable, act professional, and display different scenarios of professionalism versus unprofessionalism. I strive to be professional in not only my career but in my personal life. Professionalism is a trait that is set as a standard in order to maintain good quality relationships and not only receive an offer for a job but maintain that job. Professionalism will and does play an important role in my life currently and through my greater understanding of professionalism it will continue to play a role and I will be able to fulfill the most professional behavior. Through the making of the padlet wall my group and I were able to create our best tips for networking that I would use for my own personal networking in my professional career. Our tips were start early, join professional associations and attend meetings when possible, volunteer, make an effort to meet in person, smile, be kind, be approachable, always carry business cars, and keep networks from your old job (101-5 Networking and Professional Relationship Building).
I was able to learn about different team building exercises and more importantly how to keep your team members, employees, and myself motivated. Motivation drives from more than just monetary rewards. (Esparaza et al 214). I was also able to learn about rounding something of which I could see being extremely beneficial for me to practice if I were to accomplish my dream as a manager in a large scale hospital. Rounding is when an administrator spends several minutes each day visiting various departments and talking to those who work there (Esparaza et al 215). This will allow for a leader to get to know his employees and be able to allow their staff to feel as an equal with the leader. I want my employees to feel motivated to do efficient and good quality work on a daily basis, I also want them to feel important and that this organization benefits from them being there, therefore when they do well within their work I want them to be rewarded whether it is just a comment regarding how well they did or it is a physical reward of some sort. I learned about transformational leadership. Through the master list that was created on AsULearn I was able to generate a master list of traits that I believe a transformational leader must poses. The traits were focus on employee needs, motivational, inspirational, interpersonal skills, confident, micromanage, positive person, open minded, encourages employees to voice their opinions, approachable, listens, possess integrity, and respectful. When I first was thinking of this master list and the traits a transformational leader should obtain, I was thinking about myself. What traits do I want to possess as a leader? What do I want my employees to say about me? These traits were my top thirteen. Through my various restaurant jobs and administrative job, I have been able to recognize leadership qualities I like and leadership qualities that didn’t work well with the rest of the staff. Therefore from the readings given to us in class, chapter 10, and personal experiences I was able to see myself as a transformational leader and what I need to do in order to achieve that type of leadership.
Another topic I have an immense education on is cultural competency and outreach programs. I was able to better understand how cultural competence allows for an individual to obtain the ability to acquire and use the knowledge to improve their services, strengthen their programs, and to close off the gabs that are created in health status’ among diverse groups (Management Sciences for Health). I learned about health disparities. Health disparities are defined as “health differences in individuals’ or the public’s health that can be ascribed to social, economic, or environmental factors (Esparaza et al 60). Dr. Like suggests that instead of grouping people into these broad classifications instead a framework of interventions that can be individualized and applied in a patient-and family-centered fashion needs to be implemented (Management Sciences for Health). When I’m a leader in healthcare one way to reduce healthcare disparities is going to be for a full time translator to be on service in order to help with language barriers that may result in a lack of understanding or trust between the medical staff and the patient, this will also reduce health disparities. Also by placing a mandatory class on cultural competence for all staff will allow for them to analyze themselves and better understand their subconscious stereotypes in order to disallow them from continuing. By building personal and organizational cultural competence can reduce health disparities by resulting in more successful patient education. Culturally competent clinicians gain the ability to target, adjust, and communicate health related messages to the patient more effectively, this could directly allow for more appropriate testing and screening. I was able to recognize how to manage my prejudices and treat everyone with respect and without assumptions by Gail Price-Wise. I need to accept that I will never get rid of my feelings toward a certain group of people. So in order for me to do this I have to be honest with myself, and learn to not trust that feeling when I’m responsible for treating and listening to this individual fairly. (Gail Price-Wise) This is obviously important for various reasons, more importantly once again I realized by intolerance for discrimination of any sort because of someone’s race, sex, or background. Therefore, it will be not be tolerated within my facility and staff will be reprimanded if they decide to engage in this behavior. Through my learning of cultural competence I believe it not made me more aware of my established prejudices, or open my eyes to health disparities, but overall made me more self-aware of my actions and beliefs. I was also able to better learn about how demographics within the community affect outreach programs. In my individual community 30.6% of our overall population are people under the age of 18. Therefore, my community has a good deal of outreach programs that relate to children. In my county we have a high motor vehicle crash deaths rate (Cabarrus County). The mayor of my town actually lost a son due to a drunk driver in a motor vehicle crash; therefore we also have a lot of outreach programs discussing the importance of safe and sober driving.
I learned about strategic thinking. Strategic thinking is a mental process of synthesizing and analyzing information to envision the strategies and tactics needed to achieve an ultimate goal (Esparaza et al 114). Through the studies of strategic thinking I was able to learn about tools to use in order to efficiently use strategic thinking. TOWS and SWOT. A SWOT analysis is used to analyze the current situation by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization and the opportunities and threats in the external environment (Esparaza et al 125). I tend to get scatter brained when working and having a large decision to make. I feel as if I could use the SWOT analysis to gather all my thoughts into one place to analyze it more efficiently. That is the main tool/idea I gathered from the readings and exercises in strategic thinking. In our group project we were able to put the SWOT analysis into a real world case scenario and it even proved then how much it would help me in my professional career to separate the strengths from the weaknesses and the opportunities from the threats.
One of my favorite activities was the interview with a healthcare professional. I learned so much from just 16 questions and was able to have a full discussion with someone who is an actual leader in healthcare currently. I learned more about how she applies the techniques and skills that we learned about into her professional life and decisions. I greatly benefited from this interview and hope that I can continue asking questions to healthcare leaders to benefit from their experiences and learn from their past mistakes. I was able to learn the importance in making sure that when I am a leader if I’m unable to supply my team and facility with a specific mean of communication, other than verbal, then to find an efficient way of communication even if they are out of the building or busy. She also stated how she always keeps her team members updated. I would want to do this in my time as a leader. This allows for frequent communication, which she expressed various times throughout the interview is exceptionally important, and I do believe it benefits the professional relationships you establish with your coworkers. It also allows for your coworkers and team members to feel comfortable in communicating the concerns or issues they come across (Dina Khentigan).
My self-assessments that I took on careerexploration.appstate.edu and focuscareer2.com were by far one of the most beneficial activities I have done in this class. I have never taken a self-assessment; therefore I never really had to in depth think about my attitude and myself. I was able to learn that I was an ENTJ personality, which is extraverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging. I agreed greatly with everything that came with being an ENTJ. I learned more about my strengths being efficient, self-confident, strong-willed, and a strategic thinker. While my weaknesses are stubborn and dominate, impatient, and poor of handling emotions. I was thinking about this while I was asking about my talent inquiries. My findings were that they correlated quite well. My strengths that were given to me were I was determined (strong-willed), and the business minded and quick thinker could easily correlate with my strength as a strategic thinker. My weaknesses also related to being an ENTJ personality, by my responses being opinionated and poor communication skills. While receiving information from these self-assessments and talent inquiries I was grateful to be able to recognize my strengths and what others perceived as my strengths but I focused on my weaknesses. I don’t want to go into my career and be seen as an opinionated, dominant, or tyrannical. I desire to be leader that is seen as a strategic thinker, respectful, dependable, and personable. Now even in my personal exchanges with people, I try to consider all I have learned about myself in this course to prepare me for my leadership roles. It’s a work in progress, and I’m grateful I was able to being this progress in this class.
The information I learned from this class is exceptionally valuable to me. In very few cases are leaders able to take a semester long course that is distinctly about making them a good leader and learning every aspect about leadership. I was able to take this course, learn the techniques and skills, and learn about myself in a leadership role, all of which will make me a better leader. Most leaders have to either have meetings held to discuss their weaknesses or go to a conference or a class to be able to analyze where they need improvement. For me, I was given the opportunity to assess my weaknesses before my leadership role so that way I can improve on them before I am even considered a leader. That holds enough value within itself.
Being a healthcare leader the learning is endless. I’m never going to get to a point within my healthcare executive career where I’m going to be at an end with my learning. This is what makes this career so interesting to me it’s forever changing. Following this course, I plan to continue to use the information I learned regarding interactions with others, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, relationship building, and more and apply them whenever I can into the remaining time as a college student. Also, with my internship being this upcoming summer I will be able to see leadership in action within the healthcare facility, I will be able to see what techniques and skills that they display that I want to have myself and also the techniques and skills that I don’t particularly like that I will try to avoid. Following the internship, hopefully I will be in graduate school where I can learn more about leadership techniques and take on a leadership role within the healthcare executive organizations they have. Also, any time I come across a conference or a class that is offered regarding any sort of leadership techniques or skills I will hope to find the time to attend. I want to continue my learning on effective communication, leadership strategies, decision-making process, thinking strategically, efficiently understanding others, and creating a team. In order to learn more about these topics, I hope to learn by shadowing other leaders, interning, reading articles on forbes.com and other notable resources, taking classes, and personal experiences. Another aspect of leadership that I’m not only interested in but would love to learn more about is about females being in a leadership role. Learning about cultural competency unfortunately in some cases there might be a time where I feel lessened or disrespected for my gender. I would love to learn more about how females in current leadership roles handle these times in mature and professional ways. I believe I will be able to learn more about this through online articles and conferences, and discussions with other female leaders.
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Emotional Intelligence: How Good Leaders Become Great. Perf. Mitchel Adler. UC Davis Executive Leadership Program, 2014. Film
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“Getting Started and Health Disparities.” The Provider’s Guide to Quality and Culture. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <http://erc.msh.org/mainpage.cfm?file=1.0.htm&module=provider&language=English&ggroup=&mgroup=>.
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“Cabarrus County.” County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/north-carolina/2014/rankings/cabarrus/county/outcomes/overall/additional.
Khentigan, Dina. Personal Interview. 4 October 2014.