Leading Change in Healthcare

Healthcare leaders today are tasked with creating robust and complex changing organizations that are well equipped to navigate through newer patient-centered models of care. For our healthcare workforce this means that leaders must learn to apply positive psychology and a relationship-centered model of care. Steps that healthcare leaders can take to increase their effectiveness in doing so within their organizations is through a personal understanding of change and its effects on todays healthcare worker. Leaders need to study, understand, and practice both emotional intelligence and behavioral intelligence; Healthy leaders are able to adopt an emotionally intelligent, as well as a behaviorally intelligent style of leadership that messages to staff that they are a priority, and empowered and supported as they work through and implement some of the greatest changes healthcare has ever seen.

Leaders need to a.) Adopt a practice of studying emotional intelligence (EQ) and behavioral intelligence (BQ), and b.) Practice this with their staff. I am a current follower of my CEO as she leads us through this process change in our own organization. As a leader who is implementing these changes she practices an emotionally intelligent and self-aware model of her own behavior and the effect it constructs on the organization. How do I know this? I know this because she asks me. She asks “How am I doing?” Confident leaders learn to ask how they are doing. Learning and applying EQ/BQ is arguably a leader’s most valuable tool set with which to overcome the most profound challenge of our times. This has become a very effective method and style of leading me, and for the same reasons that Daniel Goleman speaks about in his book Primal Leadership. Goleman talks about ‘leader contagion’. Leader contagion is the dynamic of people within an organization taking their cues from the top, or from those above them. As I see my CEO and other healthcare leaders use EQ/BQ in the effort to produce positive change, I am positively affected and ready to positively transform and change healthcare.

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