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. 

Accepting ENTP copy

I’ve used the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) with doctors for many years and have always found it to be an incredibly useful way for people to gain deeper insight into their preferences and behaviours.

 

For the younger doctors it’s a great way to access data into how they have specialised their core personality attributes and for older doctors it’s a powerful tool to support continual professional development, especially around leadership.

So as part of my CPD for 2015 I decided to train in MBTI ‘step II’. If you’ve ever done MBTI you will know that the process involves you learning about Carl Jung’s four preferences areas (called dichotomies) that then group people into one of two alternatives for each dichotomy. See below.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 09.46.36Working through all four dichotomies results in a combination of four letters that can describe what your basic personality tools are and how you prefer to use them. You will end up with a four letter ‘Type’, e.g. ENTP or ISFJ. It triggers great conversations about how people behave (especially at work) and gives useful ideas about how you can get the best out of yourself.

But, this ‘off the peg’ result might not always fit perfectly. This is where MBTI step II helps. Taking your result from step I, step II drills down deeper into each dichotomy preference by describing five key components (facets) that make each area. This means the results of a MBTI step II report are much more tailored to fit you. 

As part of my step II training last week I had to undertake the test myself. It was fascinating to be on the other side of the experience for once and to learn new things about myself. 

For example, I’ve a clear preference for Extroversion but never quite understood why I don’t particularly relish large social gatherings. It turns out that my preference in the facet that deals with this (Gregarious – Intimate) is not weighted towards Gregarious. It helps me understand more deeply how and why I make decisions about large gatherings of people and how I handle myself during them. Below illustrates the Facets that make up Extroversion and Introversion. In total MBTI  Step II measures twenty facets (five for each dichotomy). 

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.04.01I can see this being incredibly useful for the doctors I work with. They always appreciate learning about themselves and how this can positively impact their work, but to have a more advanced level of self awareness will be of great value. 

Find out more about MBTI Step II HERE

If you would like to undertake MBTI Step II call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at 

alexishutson@yahoo.com

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‘Know thyself’ is as relevant now, as it was in ancient Greece.

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I recently ran a session for the Leicester Faculty of the RCGP for their First5 group. It was an evening session on a very cold and windy March night, but we had a full house. I used the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) to give attendees insight into their personal preferences about how they naturally interact with the world, plan and organise their lives, make decisions and cope with change. Whilst we had a lot of fun, it was really interesting to see how individuals came to terms with some pretty intrinsic truths about themselves and how these might affect their transition from training programme to independent practice.

When I attended the session I did not really know what to expect- but afterward I feel like I have got to know myself so much better…In the busy world that is general practice and with the increasing pressure it was a breath of fresh air to be able to take a step back and assess my personality not only professionally but also personally. I feel that I have the tools to deal with future tensions better and also to be able to recognise when that is also not the case.” GP Attendee.
Knowing thyself and managing yourself are so important in the challenging and pressurised environments Doctors function in. Taking time to read your emotions and review the affect you have on others is vital for your development, as well as fundamental to your leadership and management effectiveness.
But it’s not easy. Doing things that come naturally or are habit can be straightforward to you. But doing things that you find difficult or are outside of your comfort zone are a different matter. And when you have to do something like this then your internal battle is tough. Knowing yourself and finding ways to out manoeuvre the urge to avoid things that you have to do, is a powerful self management tool.

Building Self Awareness

You can access a whole host of tools that can help you to build self awareness such as MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, Hogan etc and these are very useful. However I think it’s your inner voice and the relationship you have with yourself that is the greatest indicator of affective self awareness. I’m re-reading Dr Steve Peter’s (Psychiatrist) The Chimp Paradox at the moment. It’s really helping me train for the 10k I’m doing in July as my urge to not run is strong! But the book is supporting me to develop a more honest and realistic relationship with myself about running. See more about The Chimp Paradox HERE. We can be thankful that for most of us our brain is developable at any stage of our lives, so we can keep learning about ourselves.

If you would like to talk over Coaching to build self awareness call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at alexishutson@yahoo.com

NB, Dr Steve Peters is now working with the England football squad, so that should test the model…

The idea of coaching for Doctors can seem a bit strange. They are highly educated and well trained over many years; surely they are finished with learning? The trouble is, at some point in a medics’ career (often when first joining a GP practice as a partner or getting that first consultant post in a hospital) they might begin to realise that their professional performance goes way beyond being a great clinician.

During UK speciality training Doctors do have the chance to learn and develop their non-clinical skills in team-working, communication and leading others for example. But evolving skills and learning from experience whilst on the job as a senior clinician is different. Cast off from training programmes I think sometimes Doctors can feel adrift when the realities of leadership styles, group dynamics and internal politics start to play a bigger role in their working life.

What I seem to be working with currently with Doctors is supporting them to develop personal style, qualities, attributes and skills as a leader and manager once past CCT. It works, and adds value, as  one of my medics said to me last week –

 I was a bit cynical at first thinking, what could she teach me? I now realise it is a lot.

GP East Midlands