While healthcare is an exciting, ever-evolving field, leaders in the healthcare industry can find themselves stretched very thin with a higher-than-average number of direct reports and the need to balance operational efficiency with superior patient care. Because of this, it’s important to keep leadership skills in mind to ensure you’re effectively managing subordinates and demonstrating the attributes high-potential employees value in a leader. Following are a few tips to help sharpen your leadership skills.

Take a Test

Even if you’ve taken a test to determine your leadership style, it may be a good time to test again, because your style will change throughout your career. There are several tests available; look into Myers & Briggs or Psychology Today. Understanding your current healthcare leadership skills can help you identify your strengths, as well as where you could use some work.

Professional Development

There are an abundance of conferences, networking events and online courses that are specific to enhancing leadership skills. But professional development doesn’t necessarily mean you need to travel to pricey conferences. Find podcasts on leadership and listen to them on the way to work or at the gym. Sign up for free webinars and watch during your lunch break. Read biographies written by notable leaders in history; you’ll gain valuable insight into mistakes they made and how they overcame them. You can even commit to seeking out and reading an article per day about leadership as a constant reminder of how important it is to hone your skills.

Volunteer

Being active in your community helps develop leadership skills. Join an organization that supports your personal passion, and get involved with their mission. Not only will you be helping out with a worthy cause, you’ll have an opportunity to learn from others as they convince others to get invested and support their mission.

Find a Mentor

Identify someone you admire higher in the organization than your current role and ask them to be your mentor. A good mentor will share their personal experiences with you, reveal how they have handled prickly situations at work and give you solid advice on how to progress your leadership skills.

Expectations of leaders are high in the healthcare industry because of the nature of your work. You must constantly model patient-centric behaviors and guide your team through stressful situations. Follow these practical tips to brush up your leadership skill-sets and enjoy a rewarding career.