Running a medical practice requires skills in leadership and it’s not something a lot of medical schools include in their curriculum. I read a book recently by Marshall Goldsmith entitled, “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!” Dr. Goldsmith explains that many people find themselves in leadership positions and then decide to figure out how to add skills to improve leadership capabilities. He suggests the best way to improve leadership is to ask this tough question, “What do I need to STOP doing?”
If your practice is like most businesses, it recognizes people for what they do. That makes it all the more difficult to broach the topic of what needs to be eliminated, especially when it touches on bad behavior. And behavior is really at the heart of the matter because Goldsmith points out that interpersonal skills have a huge impact on leadership and at the same time it’s the area where most people need some help.
Dr. Goldsmith recommends leaders consider a list of interpersonal behaviors to determine leadership effectiveness. Ask yourself if you might be guilty of any of these characteristics below:
- Winning too much: Do you feel the need to win, when it matters and even when it doesn’t?
- Value added: Do you feel the need to add your commentary to each discussion?
- Judgment: Do you rate others and impose your standards?
- Destruction: Do you engage in needless sarcasm that you think sounds sharp or witty?
- NBH Syndrome: Do you overuse the words, “No” “But” or “However”? They might be a coy way of saying, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
- Smarties: Do you sometimes want to show people how smart you are?
- Anger Management: Do you use emotional outbursts as a management tool?
- Withholding: Have you ever neglected to share information to maintain an advantage over others?
- Recognition: Do you have a difficult time praising others around you?
- Credit Hog: Do you have a tendency to attach your name to projects even when you had little to do with it?
- Excuses: Do you position annoying behaviors as permanent character traits so others excuse you for it?
- The Blame Game: Do you deflect blame to events and people from your past or to others in general?
- Playing Favorites: Do you treat favored employees differently thus creating an unfair working environment for others?
- No Regrets: Do you take responsibility for your actions, or refuse to admit when you’re wrong?
- All Ears: Do you participate in the passive-aggressive form of disrespect by failing to listen to people when they’re talking?
- Messenger Malaise: Do you verbally attack innocent coworkers who are usually only trying to help?
Dr. Goldsmith recommends reviewing this list and considering one or two areas where you might need to make some changes. Improving behavioral skills is an important part of everyone’s professional development.
Improve your leadership skills by taking the time to learn what you can STOP doing today.