Are you a Manager, Leader or Coach?

Practice Managers in Healthcare today need to be skilled leaders and coaches, not just conduits to facilitate the day to day requirements of monitoring, measurement and change management.

Whilst measuring and monitoring how a practice is performing is crucial it should not be the only focus in a Practice Manager’s working day. Healthcare Practice Managers who embrace the concepts of leadership and coaching will not only survive, but thrive, in an industry which is as unique and varied as the diagnoses it treats and manages.

Strong leadership and effective coaching facilitates positive workplace relationships and enhanced productivity. Therefore Practice Managers need to be more aware of the fundamentals of leadership and coaching and how they differ to management and mentoring.

• Manager: a manager plans, implements, leads and monitors, and although is required to influence others it can often be at a rudimentary level.

• Mentor: this is more a relationship between an industry experienced individual and someone less experienced and usually involves sharing of advice.

• Leader: a leader is someone who has a position of respect earned by their actions, not just because they are in a position of authority. Leaders can be managers; however a manager may not necessarily make a good leader.

• Coach: being a coach is not as easy as it would appear as it requires you to be more self-aware and have a strong insight into your own strengths and weaknesses. Coaching usually focuses on achieving a particular goal or a specific skill and may demand a higher level of emotional intelligence. To work towards becoming a leader and coach start with creating your own professional development plan, taking into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Consider further reading on emotional intelligence and how to become an effective coach.

If you want to gain further insight, consider those who have influenced you the most during your career; was it the manager who talked more than listened, gave you the answers, used positional power to influence others or was it the manager who listened, provided you with effective feedback and allowed you to find some of the answers for yourself?

Author: Deana Scott