Being an effective leader can prove challenging even for the most seasoned clinical professionals. And despite the fact that the challenges of leadership can seem never ending, interim leaders are generally expected to move in and out of various leadership roles seamlessly. While interim leadership poses its own challenges, one key element of leadership that is essential to success in any type of leadership role is trust. A recent survey of 87,000 leaders identified the following three key elements as the foundation of trust:
Building positive relationships. Good leadership is leadership you can trust. When it comes to interim leadership, the ability to build strong relationships quickly can be crucial to success. By building positive working relationships, leaders can garner trust by doing the following:
- Promote a cooperative work environment and resolve conflicts.
- Act responsibly by balancing the wellbeing of individuals with results.
- Give constructive feedback in a respectful way.
- Maintain communication with others on issues of concern.
Demonstrating good judgement and expertise. When it comes to building credibility, healthcare leadership and staff alike often look to interim leaders to be able to use their broad experience and expertise to guide decision-making. Leaders can build trust by demonstrating strong clinical knowledge. In doing so they:
- Demonstrate good judgment during decision making processes.
- Gain the respect of others who trust their opinions and view them as a resource.
- Are able to respond quickly when challenges arise.
Being consistent. One of the qualities of trustworthy leadership is that good leaders are always consistent. Those around them can count on them to do the right thing, all the time. Common behaviors that people look for in trustworthy leadership are:
- Set an example by embodying the same values you espouse.
- Show commitment by following through on commitments and promises.
- Go above and beyond when it comes to both achieving results and demonstrating concern for the well-being of teams/ individuals1.
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