Seeking feedback

With the inaugural year of the future leaders program past its halfway point we are starting to wrap things up. As a part of the program that helps with our personal leadership skills we participate in a leadership skills assessment. For this we are asked to request feedback on our leadership skills and the way we interact in our practices. At the very least this is an awkward request to make of our coworkers, especially in a profession that is usually made up of small offices with close knit teams. The survey asks questions about how we treat others, how we respond to suggestions for improvement, if we build up the team or if we seem to think of ourselves as more of a dictator. The survey results are compiled and we have the benefit of receiving the results in a nicely put together report that point out our strengths and most importantly the areas our teams see room for improvement. These reports offer us a unique chance to see how we are perceived in our daily work environment and hopefully determine the areas that we are maybe not doing as well as we thought.

We are also asked to take this survey about ourselves. This is the second time that we take the survey (sort of a before and after) and just like the last time I find myself wishing I could have these questions on my mind on a more frequent basis. The reminder that each of our interactions with our team have an impact on everyone, no matter how minor they may seem- even when there are 4 clients waiting and radiographs to review, treatment plans and fluid rates waiting to be derived, phone calls to return and you are just asking the assistant to please just take a message for that phone call- to be reminded that that interaction matters too- is a powerful thing. To remember that the elderly client that you have explained how to give the medication with food at least 3 times, may just need you to do it once more- and with patience and a smile. To be reminded that every member of the team – including the client- has suggestions and input at times. Those are the things that really make these leadership surveys worthwhile for me. Without the motivation by us to make ourselves better, that other feedback from our coworkers might just fall on deaf ears…

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