Gaining the trust and respect of both your superiors and your subordinates is critical to any management position. Directors of Rehabilitation play the important role of bridging the gap between the employees and the administration of their facility. Their job is to communicate their company’s vision in such a way as to inspire their rehab team members to actually bring this vision to life. If this sounds like a challenge that you would enjoy, take some time to develop the following 7 attributes before you apply for that Director of Rehabilitation Job:

1. Become Passionate about your company’s vision. You can’t “fake” passion. You either have it or you don’t. If the company’s vision and values don’t inspire you, you won’t be able to inspire your therapists. Your chances for long-term success are much higher when you work for a rehabilitation provider who shares your ideals and serve in a therapy setting that you love.

2. Gain practical experience. Employees respond best to managers who have “been there, done that.” Therapists are better motivated to perform duties and meet goals when they know you have done the same yourself. This same practical experience gives your supervisors confidence that you can handle any crisis that might arise.

3. Increase your organizational skills. As a department manager, you are expected to keep your therapists on task and accomplish predetermined goals. Creating schedules, leading meetings and reporting on budgets require a high level of organization.

4. Develop clear written and verbal communication skills. You will need to get the company message across to your team as well as communicate with upper management and possibly clients. The ability to listen and to communicate clearly in person, on the telephone, and in writing, is key.

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5. Learn People skills. Some say that “soft skills” can’t be taught, but Dale Carnegie knows better. Empathy is recognized as one of the most important management skills. If co-workers have told you that they don’t like working with or for you… listen up and find out why. Sign up for a leadership class and learn to lead in such a way as to gain favor and respect from your peers.

6. Learn how to write and implement a strategic plan. As the saying goes, “Fail to plan, and plan to fail!” Most therapists have been so busy researching and learning about treatment plans, they’ve never had the opportunity to take a business class or to learn about writing a strategic plan that enables diverse team members to work together to achieve their goals. Great rehabilitation managers serve both their therapists and their supervisors by creating the plan that enables everyone to work together towards a common goal.

7. Learn how to build a team.
Great rehabilitation directors think like a professional athletic coach. They use their resources to hire the best talent that they can find. And once they’ve hired that talent, they figure out ways to help their therapy department become a true team that works together to provide the best patient care possible. Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage describes in detail what makes a great team, and how to build one. His principles apply to any team setting, including your facility’s rehabilitation department.

If you are looking for a new department manager job, or want to advance your career, the experts at PT Solutions can help. We recruit experienced department managers for rewarding positions throughout the country. Contact us and get started today.

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