December 12, 2017

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Healthcare Leadership


As the expectations of quality healthcare change, progressive leaders are now looking beyond the traditionally myopic patient-care standards to provide a holistic approach to patient outcomes. This approach considers not only the patient’s state of well being, but also the care provider. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use one’s own emotions to positively manage high-stress situations and overcome challenges. For medical professionals, this can translate into the ability to better communicate and empathize with their patients and coworkers, as well as harness their internal stress and approach problems with a clear, open mind.

If tapped appropriately, emotional intelligence can significantly influence patient outcomes and overall success for the organization. By improving interactions and relationships between patients, medical professionals and administration, organizations who leverage emotional intelligence are able to realize intellectual symmetry from top to bottom.

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence

Assessing and Managing the Emotional Health of the Medical Staff

Surveys show that burnout rate and stress among healthcare providers including doctors and nurses is higher than ever. This is a growing concern for healthcare organizations because if the medical staff is not mentally fit, they can’t deliver quality care to patients.

Healthcare leaders who are keen to emotional intelligence are better able to empathize and assess the psychological and emotional state of the staff members. This enables leadership to identify when staff are suffering from anxiety, stress, or trauma, and provides an opportunity to initiate immediate and preventative support to avoid burnout.

Creating Self-Awareness

In healthcare, decisions made under the influence of emotions can greatly affect patient outcomes. When individuals can recognize their emotions, they are better able to control how those emotions affect their mental process. As a trait of many great healthcare leaders, self-awareness allows individuals to remove personal perceptions from the decision-making process, and provide unbiased care based on what’s best for the patient.

Refining Communication

Good communication is the lifeblood of any organization, and those who use emotional intelligence are usually master communicators. Leaders who can individually gauge the response evoked by what they’re communicating, can better connect with their staff and other leadership. Identifying communication methods that resonate with departments, teams and individuals is imperative to building staff trust and managing organizational change.

Educating Your Leadership

Explaining emotional intelligence in itself is challenging, and getting your team to fully commit to an alternate mindset takes rigorous coaching. Oftentimes, when you’re attempting to change the perception of your culture, it’s best to seek the assistance of a leadership development professional. At COORS, our leadership development team understands the dynamics of healthcare organizations, and uses a proven model to successfully realign corporate culture. To learn more about emotional intelligence, and how it can fostered in your organization, contact us today.

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