screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-51-39I have spent most of my time this year giving Doctors time to think.

I have done this through one to one personal development coaching, and working with groups of people in workshops and facilitating training. I have really enjoyed it and it has been my busiest year yet.

What seems to characterise my work with people is providing the time, space and structure to think through challenges, ideas, and opportunities in an environment that is free from the pressure and restrictions of our normal working day. Supporting people to have a more transformational rather than transactional approach to problem-solving or decision-making is truly rewarding.

So here are some of the headlines that I think sum up 2016:

  • Doctors really value being listened to and having the space the think things through.
  • Doctors can make rapid progress towards realising their objectives if given this space.
  • Doctors are resilient people but they need to invest in themselves more.
  • Doctors are thinking about their careers more proactively and with greater ambition.
  • Doctors are increasingly interested in coaching/mentoring both for themselves and for supporting others.
  • Doctors can access coaching/mentoring through a variety of methods or organisations* – more so than ever.

And here are my professional delivery headlines:

  • I’ve delivered 181hours of one to one coaching in 2016
  • I’ve delivered 44 workshops / facilitated training sessions in 2016

Favourite quote of the year from a coaching client:

Sleeping better, waking refreshed and ready for work. Have already regained a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm. Thanks for your help.

The end of the year is a natural time to look back, and think about the future. Make sure you make time for yourself and invest in your future.


* Find a coach through the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management HERE. Access a mentor through your NHS Trust or professional body. Ask your Local Medical Committee to see if they have a scheme.

If you would like to talk over your, or your teams development goals for 2017, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at 

Leadership development is personal.


Historically we have assumed that Doctors were natural leaders and these non clinical skills were taken for granted. There is still very little leadership development embedded in medical education, although things are improving. So if you want to think strategically about your leadership skills what do you do? The following blog offers a way to reflect on your leadership growth.

My personal opinion based on working with many doctors over the years is that how you grow as a leader depends on who you are, what you have experienced and what your context for leadership is currently. That is why leadership programmes almost always use one to one coaching in their learning programme so that individuals can personalise and put the learning into practice.

Also, I believe leadership is about influence rather than control. You may be able to weld control over people if you are more senior, but its doesn’t mean you are leading them. People decide based on your behaviour as to whether they are willing to be led by you and consequently give you that extra effort.

So leadership is personal. It’s about you and your behaviour and you can lead from any position or situation. This is why leadership is relevant to you at any stage of your career, regardless of seniority and will continue to be a learning curve.


However, there are so many leadership programmes and books out there, it is hard not to be phased by the size of the subject. But whilst theories about leadership abound, leadership is a practical endeavour.

A good place to start is to assess and reflect on what your current leadership challenge is and how you are doing.


Consider these questions.

  1. What do you want to achieve in leadership?
  2. Where are you now with this goal?
  3. What are your options?
  4. How committed are you to this plan and what are you going to do?

This may help you identify what kind of leadership development you need and how this relates directly to your circumstances. This development may come in the form of a book, course, buddying up with a colleague, mentorship or coaching, or taking on a new project/role.

But also ask yourself:

  1. What qualities and attributes do I possess that are important in leadership?
  2. What experiences have I had that are relevant?
  3. What is my current context and what opportunities do I have to have a positive influence?

This should help you consider your next move.


If you would like to talk over your leadership development, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

Note: I would recommend you taking a look at the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) website for some excellent resources and courses.

Mentoring programme for new radiology consultants

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In 2014-2015 I supported the Royal College of Radiologists to develop a pilot mentoring scheme for new consultants. This was a very successful scheme and so the RCR are rolling this out in 2016 as a key part of their service.

What pilot participants said…


“I do have quite a few colleagues who haven’t been a part of the scheme, who I can’t compare directly with them and say ‘oh I’m so much better than they are’, but I probably have moved a lot further than they have.”

“…it’s not just collecting a membership fee, but the College wants to provide something for us apart from the training. That gave me more motivation to get involved with the College basically. So I think if not for this I’m not sure when I would have come into this building or seen the College or got involved with the College staff as such.”


“I think it really, really helps you to do a very good high quality appraisal, the sorts of things we’ve been learning, not just as a mentor but having this exchange, and relationship with my own mentee, I think it’s been fantastic.”

“I felt part of the College, of creating something and here, I suddenly felt like I was participating in a very important thing with the College, I definitely felt that.”


To view the poster presentation on the pilot at AMEE:


Dates for training and Induction:

  • 10th June 2016 Edinburgh – Training Mentors full day
  • 10th June 2016 Edinburgh – Induction for Mentees – half day
  • 16th November 2016 London – Training Mentors full day
  • 16th November 2016 London – Induction Mentees half day
  • 8th December 2016 Edinburgh – Refresher day for Mentors – full day

To see the full 2016 scheme details and apply to join the programme, visit the RCR website:



If you would like to talk over this scheme, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

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I usually write a blog once a month to share my thinking and experiences of coaching and mentoring doctors. I keep them short and to the point and try to include information on the practical application of the learning.



For example here is a blog on Doctors as Mentors and here is a blog on Teamwork and Doctors.

If you would like to receive an email alerting you when these blogs are posted, pop your email address in the box below and subscribe to the blog.

Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails and if you find its not for you, unsubscribe at any time.

If you find the blogs interesting and useful, tell me and post a reply at any time.

Subscribe to these blogs..


If you would like to talk over coaching call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

Thought it would be useful to list some of the most popular subjects I’ve covered over the last two years.

I’ve popped in quick links to the blog page where it was covered. Hope this is useful.

Moral support (as well as donations) gratefully received.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.39.15Chris was my friend and neighbour. She was an intelligent, powerful and warm person and we all miss her.

Chris’ professional life focused on helping others educationally, with a particular emphasis on accessing learning for those who might not have the same opportunities as the rest of us. Chris worked with people in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Hounslow, Leicester, Moscow, Nigeria, St Kitts, West Indies, USA, Bangladesh and Malta.

She made a positive difference to other people’s lives through training, education and enabling independence. This run is dedicated to her memory.

However I’ve never run a race before, I’ve got dodgy knees and a temperamental back. And I’m a bit scared.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

I have been nominated for a national Arts & Business Award.

Really nice to be considered and great to be a part of something so important. Awards ceremony in London on the 14th May. Fingers crossed… You can find out more about the work of Arts & Business here. 


Arts and Business connect companies, communities and individuals to cultural organisations and provide the delivery, expertise and insight for their relationships to thrive, for their mutual benefit and that of the wider community.


A client bought me flowers a couple of weeks ago – to say thank you and to show how much she appreciated what we have done together.

Not that I expect this kind of thing you understand, but it got me thinking about appreciation in general and how it’s so important in our relationships.

My own appreciation of the power of appreciation really grew a few years ago when I read Nancy Kline‘s work. She believes that there are ten crucial elements/behaviours that must be present to allow people to do their very best thinking. I strive to have these in place when coaching and they are:

Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Diversity, Incisive Questions and Place.

I think appreciation comes in many forms (not just flowers) but it can be; just being there, being attentive, saying thank you, listening, asking how someone is or remembering important details about them. It all adds up to a feeling of being valued. And we all need that.

But it’s just as important to appreciate others explicitly too. Giving appreciative feedback is so valuable, and yet free. So make it count and do it well by being:

Succinct – Sincere – Specific

I’m not talking about being gushy here. I’m talking about being genuine and honest. Here’s an example from my testimonials page:

Alexis has that rare quality of listening not only to the words you are saying but also the nuances. She is able to analyse and effectively summarise. But she does not force her opinion on you; the conclusions you draw are your own.”

This is why I value my clients feedback through evaluation so much. It’s a form of appreciation that is always concrete, sincere and developmental for me. You can read other feedback on my testimonials page.

Contact me on 0754 0593476 or email me on

The human mind thinks more rigorously and creatively in a context of genuine appreciation.” Nancy Kline