As a coach I encourage those I work with to put their learning into action.

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But I know this is not easy and requires ongoing support and input to encourage actively learning from experiences – through the day job. I also know that when I’m facilitating courses and programmes to groups, people really value and enjoy engaging with and learning from fellow clinicians.

Thats why I helped design and am looking forward to delivering Action Learning Sets (ALS) for Doctors organised by the FMLM*.

The idea

You benefit from a learning programme designed with medical leadership development at its heart, with the advantage of professional facilitation by experienced coaches and the value of learning with a liked-minded group of doctors who you can build a network with.

The programme

With the Action Learning Set programme, not only will you learn and develop those essential leadership and management skills as needed by today’s clinicians but you will also develop an exciting new way of learning through Action Learning Set facilitation and learn just how you could use this approach on your own clinical and leadership journey.
The four sessions will cover:
  • Individual development and how to better understand yourself
  • Developing team working and managing change.
  • Organisational working, exploring you as an individual and as a team member in the overall context of the system.
  • Using the skills you have learnt from previous sets to self-facilitate and explore opportunities beyond the ALS programme.

The programme is for doctors who are either in or moving to a leadership and management role and will be delivered via four half-day sessions between September and December 2017, one set in London, one set in Birmingham.

Dates for the Birmingham set: Wednesday 20 September, Wedensday 18 October, Wednesday 15 November and Wednesday 13 December. This will be run by myself and colleague Liz McCaw.

Dates for the London set: Thursday 14 September, Thursday 12 October, Thursday 9 November and Thursday 7 December. This will be run by John Aspden and colleague Liz McCaw.

Cost: £750 for the whole programme (thats £187.50 for each half day!)

*Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management

Leadership is not a theoretical exercise, but a practical endeavour.”

Click HERE to register with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management for a Action Learning Set.

How we get on with people at work really affects us. Seems obvious, but it is not easy, especially when everyone is under so much pressure.

Face to faceWhen working with teams or individuals the quality of our relationships; our ability to trust and manage healthy conflict all contribute to our sense of well-being and ultimately resilience. But obviously we all have a different approach to managing our relationships, based on our underlying needs and what we are prepared to show we want.

So, as part of my CPD for 2017 I decided to train in a diagnostic tool with OPP to learn more about our interpersonal behaviours – specifically how we orientate ourselves to those around us. This is why I chose the FIRO (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation) instrument. It is grounded in solid research developed over 50years and gives practical insight with an objective report on what you might want and how you might express this to others.

Why is this useful in a busy healthcare environment?

Those of us who have worked in or continue to work in the healthcare sector know, without a doubt, that it is the people that really make the system what it is. And it is the quality of their relationships with each other that see them through times of great stress or brilliant innovation. So understanding how you orientate your self to others is a additional insight that is highly valuable.

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So how does FIRO work?

The model breaks down into three areas that Will Schutz described in1958  -originally devised to measure and predict the interaction between people for the purpose of assembling highly productive teams in the US Navy.

 

Schutz describes our interpersonal needs* as:

Involvement    Influence    Connection 

*FIRO Business version

Schutz says these interpersonal needs are as basic as our need for food, shelter and water.

The model scores you across these three areas, but crucially it breaks this down further into ‘Expressed Behaviours’ (what others see you displaying as your need) and ‘Wanted Behaviours’ (what you’d like to receive from others, but might be less visible).

Example: I got a score that is relatively high for Expressed Involvement but lower for Wanted Involvement. What this could mean is that I express visibly a need for involvement in group activities – that is what people are seeing, but my actual need for involvement is lower than this = potential mixed messages?

Aligning FIRO, MBTI and Leadership Development

Helpfully the FIRO model can be used alongside your existing MBTI learning because both MBTI and FIRO give you a perspective on your leadership behaviours that can be incredibility helpful in understanding how you interact with and affect those around you.

Both instruments tap into key aspects of personality and behavior in areas such as communication, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal relations. The instruments are also distinct, each providing a view of your leadership personality through a different window. Together, they complement each other and provide rich information of use in your personal, ongoing leadership development program. OPP Leadership Report using MBTI and FIRO. 

FIRO for Individuals and Teams

As with MBTI Step I & II, you can use FIRO to build self awareness in individuals and then use this to enable greater understanding of difference and similarities within teams.

More group work

If you would like to talk to me about FIRO and your development needs as a individual or your team call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at alexis@alexishutson.com. 

Leadership development is personal.

Learn

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.

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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.

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If you would like to talk over your leadership development, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at alexishutson@yahoo.com

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

I’m running two taster sessions at the end of this month with the Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management (FMLM).

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All leadership development starts with understanding yourself better. Being aware of your preferences, noticing how you do things, reflecting on your behaviour and the choices you make, is crucial to growing as a leader – whatever stage of your career.

Within these sessions we will explore the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI).

These workshops will:

  • Strengthen your awareness of your leadership and management strengths and weaknesses
  • Improve your self awareness, awareness of others and managing your relationships
  • Understand your role within team dynamics and cope with the inevitable conflicts that arise
  • Identify your learning needs and build a development plan

The two taster sessions are:

The Leader Within 9.30 to 12.30 25th June at the Royal college of Physicians

Leading Change – Managing Conflict 1.30 to 4.30pm 25th June at the Royal college of Physicians

NB. These sessions make reference to the FMLM Leadership & Management Standards

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Last month, myself and Louise Kiteley of Coaching Innovations ran a one-day interactive and practical session called Take Time Out – building resilience, managing change and working differently.

This well attended session saw GPs, Practice Managers and Senior Nurses come along to take stock of their skills, approaches and look at new ways of problem solving and dealing with the relentless pressures in primary care.
 
The following interview with Dr Chris Hewitt (Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Local Medical Committee) explores what we learnt, and observed, during the day. 

Q: What did we cover during the day that you think was particularly powerful for people?

Seeing GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses having the headspace to think, to share experiences and ideas with colleagues with similar roles, challenges and environments, was enormously energising and uplifting. From the feedback it is clear that this experience was shared by course participants. I found it particularly powerful to gain more insight and to learn more about how my personal preferences around how I learn and communicate (and the preferences of those around me) influences how we all cope and look out for ourselves and each other.

Q: What do you think people particularly struggle with regarding ‘resilience’?

The i-resilience model was interesting – the need for a balance of confidence, social support, purposefulness and adaptability in order to endure and thrive, although on first inspection was clearly common sense, deeper review provided a clear framework for where as an individual we might be neglecting an area that could make us more vulnerable. Social support is particularly neglected. People put on a brave face or bottle things up, and we are wary of asking colleagues or networks for support to help deal with challenges and adverse situations.

Q: What is it about ‘change’ that can cause a lot of difficulty?

William Bridges transition model highlighted that the physical changes we overcome, do require a catching up of psychological buy in, with acceptance and change to pre-existing familiarity and habits which is required to go through the ’neutral zone’ of transition.  What was particularly interesting is that accepting and adapting to change – new premises or patient access systems – then requires people to ‘transition’ in their behaviours, working patterns and psychological acceptance, all of which occurs at different rates in different individuals.

The session was financially supported by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Medical Committee and the Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Service.

Attendees said:
  • “Enjoyable, constructive.  Having the headspace and tools to think laterally around work issues, impactful.”
  • “Opportunity to work with different folk/groups, really helpful.”
  • “Great course – well-presented and facilitated.”

If you are interested in attending or hosting a course like this, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at alexishutson@yahoo.com

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Building resilience, managing change and working differently.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 15.48.24This is a one-day interactive and practical session that is being supported by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Medical Committee and the Central Notts Clinical Service.

Session on: 23rd April 2015 – 9.30 to 4.30pm

Aimed at: GPs with a leadership role, Practice Managers and Senior Nurses

During the day you will consider:

  • How you can improve and manage the impact of change and work pressures on you and others.
  • How language supports the motivation of yourself and others.
  • A current workplace issue and how to deal with it effectively.
  • Take away ideas to keep you going

Venue: St Johns Community Centre, Packhorse Drive, Enderby, Leicestershire, LE19 2RP

Facilitators: Louise Kiteley of Coaching Innovations and Alexis Hutson of Coaching Doctors.

To Book: Contact Susan Shaw at LLR LMC – susan.shaw@llrlmc.co.uk and 0116 243 0933.

Download the flyer Resilience day flyer FINAL

If you are interested in medical leadership, then the 2015 FMLM Conference is a must.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.26.27Have a look at their vimeo on why the last conference was so important and what you could gain by attending next year.

CLICK HERE

The National Conference will be held at Manchester Central and runs for two days on the 24 and 25 February 2015.

FMLM Members are also invited to join the Education day on 23 February.

 

Doctors beyond training – Developing leadership and management skills.

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In order to develop your leadership and management skills you must first understand your personality preferences and how these help and hinder your leadership practice. We will use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and John Adair’s Action Centered Leadership model to explore how individuals perform and what they need to do to develop further.

 September 24th 7pm to 9.30pm at the RCGP offices at the Leicester General.

This session will be fun and interactive and we will be joined by Dr Liz Allen (salaried GP) of Park Avenue Medical Centre, Northampton who will share the experience of her first 2.5 years of independent practice and developing leadership style.

Participants who attended the ‘Practical Tips for Managing your first years out of training’ 20th March 2014 will be able to use that learning and progress their development with this session.

Benefits of attending:

  • Identify your leadership and management strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand your personality preferences within your role and team
  • Build a development plan for leadership and management development

Designed specifically for First5 members. Locum, Salaried, Partnered or ST3 welcome.

To book onto the course visit the RCGP Leicester faculty website found HERE

 

If you are a doctor with a leadership or management responsibility, then the chances are, you have two jobs.

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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:

  1. Overwhelmed by organisational noise – urgent priorities means a reactive and fire-fighting approach
  2. Feeling stuck as an outsider – not belonging to either tribe
  3. Feeling stuck in transition – not knowing how your leadership skills are developing
  4. 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 alexishutson@yahoo.com and talk to me about your leadership role.

Doctors who manage their emotions effectively, make better leaders.

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We assume Doctors are ‘natural’ leaders. But there’s no real training for it in medical education or specialty training programmes and people are expected to evolve their leadership skills naturally. For something so important, why is it left to chance?

 

I think everyone needs help and guidance on developing leadership skills; it improves your working relationships and can have a big impact on how you can make things better.

Firstly it’s important to make the distinction between management and leadership.

Management is the ways in which we organise ourselves and responsibilities whilst keeping productive.

Leadership is the way in which we deal with competitiveness, volatility, uncertainty and conflict in the pursuit of strategic objectives. It involves engaging and inspiring others and gaining their trust at times of change or risk.

All of these things are highly emotive subjects and good leadership comes from managing your emotions and reading others’. Great leaders are known by their capacity to connect; be courageous; walk their own talk; inspire others to action; and be worth following.

And the most emotionally influential part of your body is your amygdala. This is the part of your limbic system that assigns emotions to every piece of data that passes through your mind – before it even reaches your cortex. It will assign one of the following 8 emotions to any thought.

Fear, Anger, Disgust, Shame, Sadness – all defensive / escape emotions

Surprise – potentiating emotion

Love, Trust – both attachment / engagement emotions

For survival purposes, there are more defensive emotions that attachment ones, which means that most of us have a propensity to default to the defensive.

So it’s easy to see why there is often a combative culture between colleagues and management in the stressful and increasingly pressured clinical environment. The alarming speed a which your amygdala assigns emotions means that it can be very difficult to intercept feelings which are defensively unhelpful. So assisting people to read their own emotions and those of others, to encourage more rational and measured responses is a crucial part of leadership development. I believe Doctors deserve to have access to this.

We are powered by an emotional brain and its job is to forge relationships and establish intelligent emotions…We need to raise our awareness of how we refine emotions/feelings into judgement, because feelings are the data on which judgements are made.” Professor Paul Brown*

*Professor Paul Brown is a consulting clinical and organisational psychologist and Head of the Psychology and Applied Neuroscience Unit of the National Science Council with the Prime Ministeris Office of Lao PDR.