Leadership may not be the first quality that comes to mind for many practitioners going into private practice. Even if you’re not intending to be in a management role, there are other skills that may seem more important than leadership for you to be successful in the industry. However, there are a lot of benefits to developing leadership skills—even if you’re a solo practitioner.
Regardless of what stage of your career you’re in or what kind of practice you have, every professional can benefit from developing and fine-tuning the skills that make up a good leader. Skills like problem solving, effective communication, critical thinking, and adaptability can transform how private practitioners react to and tackle their daily work—challenges and triumphs alike.
What Are the Benefits of Developing Leadership Skills?
At the end of the day, having strong leadership skills in your professional toolbox extends beyond just practice ownership. Even if you’re not in a leadership position at your current job, the benefits of developing your leadership skills will be felt throughout your career, opening doors and creating opportunities. The same is true even for more established practitioners. No matter what stage of your career you’re in, there’s always room to evaluate and hone your skills so you can continue to do your best work.
The beauty of integrating the qualities of leadership into your daily routine is that these skills are absolutely transferable to other facets of your life even outside of your career. For example, chances are if you are putting in the time and effort to develop your time management skills at work, you’ll also notice a difference at home. You’ll be able to apply your newly learned skills to better manage your free time, which in turn will help prevent burnout and create better work-life balance.
Here are four reasons every professional can reap the benefits of developing leadership skills—no matter your career path.
1. Implementing leadership skills can make you happier at work.
The skills that make up a good leader improve efficacy, which has been shown to improve overall job satisfaction and happiness. I’ve seen this firsthand with my clients who work as a team in hospital-based jobs. A study done in 2007 surveyed 500 business students and found that the students who rated themselves as effective communicators reported lower levels of stress and higher levels of satisfaction compared to those who considered themselves average or sub-par communicators.
Miscommunication and misunderstandings in the workplace are a source of great stress, and require a lot of additional energy to resolve. One benefit of developing leadership skills—like effective communication and critical thinking—is they allow you to work more effectively, and can reduce the stress brought on by misunderstandings.
2. Leadership qualities help you get noticed.
When you’re viewed as a leader in your field, word travels—and it makes perfect sense that this is a huge benefit of developing leadership skills for practice owners. Just one positive review from a client can lead to a stream of additional clients, as well as an excellent professional reputation among your colleagues. This same concept applies to people in team-oriented jobs. When you’re viewed as a leader among your peers, other people—like supervisors—catch on quickly.
3. Fine-tuning leadership skills promotes continuous learning.
Being a lifelong learner is essential not only for your career development, but also for your personal growth. Continuous learning ignites curiosity, sparks new ideas, and introduces you to concepts you never would have experienced otherwise.
Sometimes you have to be willing to expand your horizons and jump out of your comfort zone. When you take the initiative to really learn the skills you need to be a successful leader in your field, it helps push you even further. Incorporating continuous learning into your professional and personal life creates an open-mindedness that’s bound to create new experiences and opportunities.
4. Implementing leadership skills into your daily life helps root you back to your “why”.
If you need just one benefit of developing leadership skills in your professional life, it’s that it can help you remember your “why.” If you have a clear understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing every day, it can help hold off burnout and complacency. It’s important to be intentional about your purpose, why you make decisions, how you communicate with others, and how you build relationships—just to name a few things!
Everyone is passionate about something, whether you have a clear idea of what yours are or not. When you take the time to learn about and develop leadership skills, you become closer to your passion and your purpose. And when you have a clear understanding of your “why,” you can make sure your practice stays aligned with that value going forward.
Regardless of what career path you’re on or what position you’re in now, developing leadership skills is a critical part of success. Even if you’re not currently in a leadership position or managing a team, you can still feel the benefits of developing leadership skills in your daily work. Being intentional with your actions and the skills you hone will help connect you back to your purpose in the long run.