Meetings are more than just obligations that fill our calendars. They are opportunities to demonstrate leadership abilities and drive meaningful progress. For women in healthcare, in particular, maximizing this opportunity gives you a chance to demonstrate effective leadership on a regular basis.

Why is this important? There are still lingering gender stereotypes and barriers that can make it more difficult for women to advance into leadership roles. By consistently exhibiting strong leadership skills such as strategic thinking, decisiveness, and the ability to inspire others, women leaders can use meetings as one way to shift the status quo on these outdated notions.

To unlock the full potential of meetings and establish oneself as an influential leader, three key strategies can make a profound difference:

Set a Clear Intention: Before every meeting, take a moment to crystallize your desired outcome. What do you hope to achieve? What progress needs to be made? Anchor your actions and words in this intention, steering the dialogue in a purposeful direction. Importantly, frame your intention around what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

For instance, when Dr. Patel was tasked with spearheading a new program that required collaboration with senior leaders, she entered the initial meeting with the clear intention of establishing her authority, sharing her vision for the initiative, actively listening to the perspectives of her colleagues, and finding common ground that would pave the way for a successful partnership.

Foster Inclusive Dialogue: Effective leaders create an environment where every voice is heard, and relevant ideas are explored. Ask thought-provoking questions that encourage participation and foster creative problem-solving. Phrases like “Shall we prioritize our issues to use our time effectively?” or “What are the potential benefits of considering this alternative approach?” can stimulate rich dialogue and demonstrate your commitment to inclusive leadership.

Dr. Patel facilitated an engaging dialogue by posing big-picture questions on vision before getting into the implementation details. She opened a discussion on the benefits of a nurse coordinator for the program because that was an important component of her vision.

Drive Actionable Outcomes: Meetings are not merely discussion forums. They can be catalysts for progress. Effective leaders ensure that meetings culminate in clear action items, with defined responsibilities and timelines. This tangible follow-through is what transforms dialogue into measurable results.

Dr. Patel guided the meeting toward identifying specific next steps, delegating tasks, and setting check-in points to ensure the program’s implementation remained on track. To accommodate her style of working, she ensured enough time to process the details.

In the dynamic world of healthcare, the ability to lead productive meetings is an invaluable skill for women at every career stage. It is through these collaborative sessions that strategies are forged, alliances are solidified, and meaningful change is driven. By mastering the art of setting clear intentions, facilitating inclusive dialogue, and driving action, women in healthcare can position themselves as influential leaders and achieve extraordinary outcomes for their organizations and the patients they serve.

To read more on the subject of effective leadership in meetings, visit:

Deborah Munhoz is a certified physician development coach. For more than 20 years she has coached top-level female healthcare professionals to help them overcome barriers and excel as leaders

Share This