May 11, 2018

Why is Balance Critical for Leaders?

Clinician Leadership | Leadership Development

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Balance is often misunderstood in the world of healthcare.  Often leaders confuse balance with time management.  We often hear our clients say “if I could just get my schedule under control then I would have more time and therefore more balance”, or “I signed up for a life in healthcare so I knew there would be no balance since it is a 24/7 career”. The truth is that time management is a part of the balance, but not all of the balance.  We ask our clients to think about their indicators of when they are in balance and when they are off balance.  The answers include physical and emotional states.  Once we are clear about our own signs of being in balance we can look at when which areas of balance we may need to improve:

  • Heart Balance – am I living out of my passion? Are my values clear and my actions aligned with my values? Do I have a clear vision for where I want to go? When we are living out of our heart, we experience much more passion and have a sense of fulfillment.
  • Emotional Balance – how am I viewing situations? Am I interpreting situations as a victim or as an opportunity?  Am I able to say no to something in service of a greater yes?  Am I looking for things to appreciate?  Am I making a request instead of expressing a complaint?
  • Body Balance – Am I taking care of my body? Exercising? Eating healthy? Staying away from things that make me lose energy?
  • External Balance – How am I managing my time? Do I prioritize my activities? Am I delegating what I need to delegate? Am I using good meeting management skills?  Is my calendar mapping to my priorities and my values?

Balance is an incredibly important leadership competency and requires attention and modeling in an organization.  We must remember that even the most accomplished and seasoned leaders can become overwhelmed by everything going on in their work and personal life.  When you are moving at such a rapid pace it can become very easy to forget about the things you enjoy.  Therefore, it’s absolutely critical to occasionally reflect, relax and recharge.  This time to connect back to the items that bring you back into balance can help you to feel more enjoyment and accomplishment at work.  These leaders, in turn, create a safe place for other members of their team to find greater balance. As an executive coach, this is the most rewarding part of our work when we begin to see the balance transformation occurring in an executive or clinical leader.
You can connect to Cheryl on her LinkedIn page  or contact the main MEDI Leadership office.

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About the author

Cheryl Foss, MSW

Cheryl Foss, MSW, a MEDI Executive Coach, has over 20 years of Leadership Development, Team Development, Strategy Development, Organization Design, and Change Management experience.

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