If you are a doctor with a leadership or management responsibility, then the chances are, you have two jobs.
I’ve just come back from the annual Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management (FMLM) conference where I was exhibiting and speaking. The conference is aimed at clinicians who have an interest in developing leadership and management skills for themselves, or others. I really enjoyed my time there and met a lot of really interesting and thoughtful people. I really admire those of you who take up the challenge of a leadership role. You don’t have to do it and you don’t really get any thanks or reward for it.
And the reality is, that if you don’t give up your medical role, you have to the juggle the demands of your leadership challenges with your clinical priorities. Doctor and coach Richard Winters writes this month, this can come in four different challenges:
- Overwhelmed by organisational noise – urgent priorities means a reactive and fire-fighting approach
- Feeling stuck as an outsider – not belonging to either tribe
- Feeling stuck in transition – not knowing how your leadership skills are developing
- Feeling trapped in a time warp – organisational change and projects can take a long time
Department chairs, managing partners, medical directors, chiefs of staff—they’re all frustrated. As a practicing physician with experience in several leadership roles, I know how they feel: They don’t recall saying to their childhood friends, “I want to be Vice President of Medical Affairs when I grow up.”
Richard Winters MD. See Richard’s blog ‘Coaching doctors to become leaders’ HERE
I think those people who are prepared to stick their neck out and have a go at these roles deserve to have proper support and development. Coaching and mentoring are an effective way to develop the skills and approaches you will need. Because it is tailor made for you, your strengths and weaknesses and the environment you work in, it can accelerate your leadership development significantly. As one client said to me recently, “I probably would have got there eventually, but this coaching has sped up my learning by 1-2 years.” (Consultant).
Call 0754 0593476 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and talk to me about your leadership role.
Three NEW coaching programmes
There are 3 common themes that many of my clients, Doctors, wish to focus on. Whilst the individual contexts are always different, I’ve decided to launch this brand new set of 3 coaching programmes that have been designed for people who want to target their learning on one of these subjects:
1. Managing Conflict 2. Managing Time 3. Effective Communications
A coaching programme on one of these themes will give you the opportunity to review, assess and improve your competency in these areas. Together we will identify your goal, assess your preferences and working styles, and use your professional situation to design new tactics and test them out.
Each Programme includes:
- 1 x test and feedback session (e.g. TKI, MBTI or EI)
- 3 x one-to-one coaching sessions lasting approx 90minutes
- Post coaching session summary to aid your reflection
- Programme learning resources
Each programme costs £350. To find out more about each programme, download the NEW programmes 2013 brochure here.
Call 0754 0593476 or email me on email@example.com and book your FREE initial consultation.
Delivering the right kind of communication approach to different people or groups
One of the tools I often use with clients is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). More info – Click Here.
It’s a really useful way to identify how individuals differ in the way they prefer to use their minds.
Do doctors communicate differently?
One area the indicator highlights is communication style. It shows whether people prefer to communicate in a systematic and factual way, or, in a way that explores opportunities and patterns. This was investigated in research published in Medical Education in 2004. The researchers argued that medics differed significantly from the general population and that intervention was needed early on in medical careers to support trainees in developing their ability to ‘flex’ towards the communication style of their patients.*
Well, the doctors I work with are well-established and highly competent communicators well used to communication adaption with patients. But what they are able to reflect upon when reviewing their MBTI results is how their communication preferences affect other parts of their professional life. That is, how they communicate with other team members, managers, commissioners and other clinical colleagues.
Crucial communication skills developed in the consultation room are transferable to other professional relationships, and the MBTI (and Emotional Intelligence) tools I use help doctors realise what they have got and how they can broaden their use.
Call 0754 0593476 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your online MBTI test.
*An awful lot of work has gone into the communication development of medical trainees in recent years. For interest, the paper also shows the preferences of male and female doctors. Click Here to visit link.
I often have Doctors say “It’s nice to talk about myself”. I see that as a healthy and productive use of time.
What can be really difficult about this though, is not the desire, but making the time.
Making time for coaching can seem like a huge and daunting commitment. It can also feel self- indulgent and a bit of a luxury which can be challenging for people that have been trained and educated to put others first.
What I see happening when working with Doctors is the realisation that by investing in yourself, you can reinvest back into the healthcare environment. Rather than being a victim of the system, swept along by the current and overwhelming volume of work, people can become more a-tunned to how they can cope with improved resilience and a greater sense of control.
The quote below struck me when I read it recently. All the Doctors I coach have goals and aspirations associated with the non-clinical parts of their work. They typically want to focus on task/time management, leading a new project, developing their skills with colleagues/group dynamics and improving their personal performance. Talking with friends, colleagues and family members can help. But only with a skilled coach can you really focus your thinking, outcomes and plan a course of action.
Studies comparing superb leaders with mediocre ones have found that the competences that distinguish the best from the worst in human services have little or nothing to do with medical knowledge or technical skill, and everything to do with social and emotional intelligence. Of course medical knowledge matters for health care leaders – but it’s a given, a threshold competence that every health professional must have. What distinguishes leaders in medicine gets far beyond that knowledge, into interpersonal skills like empathy, conflict resolution and people development.”
Daniel Goleman – Social Intelligence, 2007.
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Email me on email@example.com
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