Corporate Compliance

Tip: Develop these management skills to increase your leadership potential

Compliance Monitor, October 10, 2007

1. The ability to effectively communicate and listen. Understanding the concerns of staff is crucial, as is having the ability to communicate organizational goals, says Barbara Perrett, RHIA, CCS, CHP, CHC, HIM director and privacy officer at El Dorado Hospital in Tucson, AZ. "You have to be able to explain the reasons behind your decisions. 'Because I said so' just won't cut it."

You only truly see someone's management skills when he or she is on the job, adds Truscott. She sends staff to seminars to learn more about management, but also likes to put potential leaders in charge of projects, which allows her to see how they communicate with others, she says.

2. The desire to learn and grow. When Perrett first became a director, she went to every seminar she could find to enhance her management skills, she says.

Although some people are born with management skills, others must learn them, says Betty J. Lanzrath, RHIA, HIM director at Newton (KS) Medical Center. Either way, potential directors must learn to be customer-focused and see the big picture, she says. "You need to be a visionary problem-solver."

3. The ability to adapt to change. Directors need the ability to work with staff and manage change, especially with so many organizations switching to electronic health records, says Tricia Truscott, RHIA, HIM director at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.

The whole world is changing, but healthcare is especially changing, adds Perrett. "And if you can't deal with change, you'll be left behind with the dinosaurs."

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