The importance of personal qualities

*‘…the most important element… comes from a combination of emotional expressiveness, self-confidence, self-determination, and freedom from internal conflict’

The way that we manage ourselves is a central part of being an effective leader. It is vital to recognise that personal qualities like self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, self-knowledge, personal reflection, resilience and determination are the foundation of how we behave. Being aware of your strengths and limitations in these areas will have a direct effect on how you behave and interact with others, and they with you. Without this awareness, it will be much more difficult (if not impossible) to behave in the way research has shown that leaders should. This, in turn, will have a direct impact on your colleagues, any team you work in, and the overall culture and climate within the team as well as within the organisation. Whether you work directly with patients and service users or not, this can affect the care experience they have. Working positively on these personal qualities will lead to a focus on care and high-quality services for patients and service users, their carers and their families.

While personal qualities have not been separately highlighted in the Healthcare Leadership Model, you will find them throughout the various dimensions. It is important to realise that areas identified for development within the model may be as much about how you manage yourself as about how you manage your behaviour and relate to other people.

*Bass, B.M (1992), in M. Syrett and C. Hogg (Editors), Frontiers of Leadership. Oxford: Blackwell.

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