Clinical Competencies

Examples from professional practice


An effective clinical leader should demonstrate useful insights into recognising self and others’ emotions.

Through the year, I am trying to manage my emotion effectively. My focus is to inspire my junior staff, engage and arrive at common purposes within teams—“I am better now in terms of how to handle people.”

A competent leader is capable of controlling her own and others’ emotions when critical situations arise

managing emotions are not only about my welfare or the patients... I have to work on dealing with other peoples emotional status and interests”.

Dealing with pressures in emergencies, most surgeons have reported that they were aware of their difficulties managing expectations. Using their experience and good work ethics, they will manage to achieve a better working environment and work relationships, leading to better outcomes when making a decision

Knowing myself and the work situation has allowed me to handle better relations with others.”


Some consultants participating in the interviews revealed that they did not have any problem recognising and expressing their emotions freely to other colleagues. However, they have admitted that before participating in the leadership development programme, they have experienced difficulty to control their anger in a difficult situation

now I take a breath first and think for a few seconds what I am going to say to express myself more diplomatically when I provide feedback on bad practices.”

A tendency to avoid emotional expressions is seen by a Senior consultant participating in this study during his interactions with patients and junior colleagues by keeping distance and maintaining a cold attitude. A recognition that is sometimes bottling up emotions negatively affects his work performance is made, and willingness to develop this skill and provide constructing feedback on someone’s actions is shown throughout the conversation

I have to, and I want to make more efforts to improve my emotional expressions.”

A recognition of the necessity to control emotions is recognisable by all participants as a key competency in this profession. A participant registrar from the UK NHS acknowledged that most situations require

The ability to stay calm and deal with my emotions later is positive for surgeons by remaining unaffected to what is happening.”


Female consultants participated in the interviews reported the importance not only to express themselves appropriately to others but also to listen and to understand others’ point of view

find a common way according to the medical guidelines to treat the patients by talking face to face.”

Sharing opinions and analysing pros and cons through effective communication with work colleagues and patients helps surgeons to make decisions with the best outcomes for clinical leaders and patients

I try as much as I can to say the right words to the right people at the right moment.”

Communicating effectively with others is the key to discuss the pros and cons of a determined decision to be made. Also, when changes need to be implemented, good communication is crucial to make others understand and…

“…change their opinions positively and come to a balance between what we all think.”