Professional Development

Leading the Charge: Developing Your Leadership Voice in Digital Health

Man smiling, looking at laptop

In today's rapidly evolving digital health industry, finding your voice as an emerging leader is crucial. Whether you are a nurse, a physician, or any other healthcare professional, communicating effectively and emphatically is vital for leading teams, advocating for patients, and driving change in the healthcare industry.

Finding your voice can be challenging, especially as you gain experience and move up the career ladder. You may feel like your opinions are not valued, or that you lack the confidence to speak up in meetings or when interacting with senior executives. If this sounds like you, don't worry; you're not alone. To be honest, I’m still figuring it out myself. As many know, leadership is a skill that improves as you practice. For many, it comes easily, and for others, well, a little more effort is required. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by thought leaders and healthcare professionals who’ve shared gems I continue to live by and practice daily.

Here are some ways to help you find your voice as an emerging healthcare leader:

1. Identify your values and beliefs.

Understanding your values and beliefs is the first step to finding your voice. What do you stand for? What are your core principles? These values will guide your decisions and actions as a leader and give you the confidence to speak up and advocate for your beliefs. Take some time to reflect on your values and write them down. This will help you to articulate them clearly when the time comes.

2. Seek out mentors and coaches.

Mentors and coaches can provide invaluable guidance and support as you navigate your career. Stephen Curry is a great example of the importance of having a coach. Despite his tremendous natural talent, Curry has worked with coaches throughout his career to continue improving his skills.

Look for people who embody the qualities you admire and respect, and seek opportunities to learn from them. Ask for feedback and advice on how to improve your communication skills and how to navigate challenging situations.

3. Practice empathic communication.

Empathic communication is a key skill for effective leadership. Empathic communication is a type of communication that involves listening and responding with empathy and understanding. It is a way of forming a deeper connection with others and creating a sense of trust, safety and mutual respect.

This can be practiced by listening and speaking up in meetings, presenting your ideas clearly and concisely, and asking for what you need. Remember to listen actively and respond with empathy and understanding.

4. Embrace feedback.

Feedback is an essential tool for growth and development as a leader. Be open to constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Something you should do intentionally is ask for feedback from your colleagues, mentors and supervisors, and use it to refine your communication style and leadership skills.

5. Take calculated risks.

Taking calculated risks is key for growth and advancement in your career. I can’t emphasize this enough. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Use your values and beliefs to guide and take calculated risks that align with your goals and aspirations.

Finding your voice as an emerging healthcare leader is a process that takes time and practice. It’s your personal story that makes you unique. Especially in digital health and health informatics—working at the nexus of clinical, business, administrative and patient systems—sharing your journey brings people, ideas and inspiration together.