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Although healthcare leaders don’t usually ask themselves “ritual questions,” these self-reflection questions can actually help improve leadership skills and style, says one thought leader.

Eric J. McNulty, director of research at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, writes in a blog post for Strategy + Business that the following questions can help leaders build self-awareness and growth in communication skills:

What encounter did I handle particularly well today and why?
What encounter do I believe the other person in the exchange thinks I handled well and why?
What encounter did I handle poorly today and why?
“What encounter do I believe the other person in the exchange thinks I handled poorly and why?
“By exploring both positive and negative experiences from multiple perspectives, you develop a more nuanced and dimensional understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, motivations and fears,” McNulty writes in the blog post.

In the healthcare industry, effective leaders need to communicate with staff members across departments regularly. Taking the time to examine those conversations can improve your responses in the future and create new ways to focus on collaboration. McNulty writes that ritual questions must be introspective and open-ended to truly foster this development.

Healthcare leaders must also be transparent and fair, so going back through conversations with employees at the end of the day can identify areas where you can be more open. Communication is a two-way street, and leading by example is an effective way to encourage staff members to better keep one another in the loop.

Leaders may also want to encourage staff members to ask themselves these ritual questions, McNulty writes, as a way to help them identify goals, successes and failures. This is especially beneficial to promote a culture of change in your hospital.

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