By Brighton Chireka
As healthcare professionals, our career paths are essential to the health and well-being of our patients. It’s essential to develop and maintain an organised working structure that guides our professional lives. But in a world where healthcare is constantly evolving, it can be challenging to keep up, and often we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, demotivated, and lacking direction in our personal and professional lives. However, incorporating Stephen Covey’s seven habits into our daily lives can help cultivate a career-minded mindset that is not only rooted in proactive decision making but also empowers us to take initiative when faced with difficult tasks or situations. In this article, we’ll explore how incorporating these seven habits can help us become highly effective healthcare professionals and achieve balance in life.
1. Be Proactive: This first habit is about taking control of your life and making things happen. As healthcare professionals, we need to be proactive in our approach to patient care, implementing preventative measures, and seeking out new knowledge and opportunities to improve patient outcomes. It also involves taking ownership of our successes and failures and being accountable for our actions.
2. Begin with the end in mind: The second habit is about having a clear vision of where you want to go in life, both professionally and personally. As healthcare professionals, we need to have a clear understanding of our goals and objectives to be able to create a roadmap that takes us there. This habit also involves setting priorities and ensuring that our actions align with our values.
3. Put first things first: This habit involves prioritising our workload based on the urgency and importance of tasks. As healthcare professionals, we are often juggling multiple tasks at once, but we need to prioritise patient care above all else. We need to ensure that we are focusing our time and energy on the most critical tasks that will have the biggest impact on patient outcomes.
4. Think win-win: This habit involves finding solutions that benefit both parties involved in a situation. As healthcare professionals, it’s essential to work collaboratively with our colleagues, patients, and their families to find solutions that are in everyone’s best interest. This habit also involves having empathy and seeking out the perspectives of others.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: This habit involves active listening and seeking out the perspectives of others before sharing our own. As healthcare professionals, we need to have excellent communication skills to understand patients’ needs and concerns fully. It also involves being able to communicate clearly and effectively with our colleagues to ensure effective teamwork and collaboration.
6. Synergise: This habit involves working together with colleagues to achieve common goals. As healthcare professionals, we need to be able to work with others to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. It also involves acknowledging our individual strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to complement them to create a more effective team.
7. Sharpen the saw: This habit involves continuous learning and self-improvement. As healthcare professionals, we need to stay up to date with the latest research and best practices to ensure we are providing the best possible care to our patients. It also involves taking care of our physical and mental health to ensure we are always operating at our best.
In conclusion, incorporating the seven habits of highly effective people into our lives as healthcare professionals can help us become more proactive, goal-oriented, and productive in our work. By prioritising patient care, communication, collaboration, and continuous learning, we can achieve better patient outcomes while also achieving balance in our personal lives. As healthcare professionals, it’s essential to stay connected with the latest research and best practices to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care to our patients. So, let’s embrace these habits and strive to become highly effective healthcare professionals.