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. 

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

Why is leadership in a non-clinical setting often hard to establish and maintain?

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I’ve been running a few leadership sessions over the summer and it’s also a regular issue that comes up for individual coaching clients.

You may be a divisional director, leading a research team, be a senior partner, managing an educational programme or part of a national project.

Whatever the context, I hear the same difficulties regularly:

  • How can I engage others more effectively?
  • Why don’t people do what they say they will do?
  • How come everyone has a slightly different view of our goal?
  • Why isn’t this more straightforward?

Leading in a clinical setting can be less complicated. The lines of accountability are often clearer and as a Doctor, you are often the final decision-maker. But outside of this setting, it can get foggy.

So what can you do?

If we remember that leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, then we are reminded that leadership itself is mostly about managing relationships. And in order to do this well, you have to manage yourself first.

So any decent leadership programme requires self-development and reflection on your personal preferences. This is important because a crucial part of leadership is managing the balance of Context v Personal Preference.

For example:

  • The context may be nebulous and ever-changing, but your preference is to get things decided and actioned quickly?
  • Your preference is to consider the impact in the long-term, but the context is to get value for money immediately?

Here are a few points to remember when you get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of messy leadership:

  • Remember that your personality preferences will affect the culture of the team – are these enablers or blockers to the context?
  • Remember that you can’t just focus on the task of the team – the individuals and whole group need leading too.
  • Remember that your clinical leadership skills are transferable – just make sure you reflect and review on how you use them.

 

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

 

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Doctors beyond training – Practical tips for managing your first years out of training.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 17.43.17This session is the first in a series I’m running for the Leicester Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The session will focus on the transition from trainee to independent practice which can be one of the most challenging times in a GP’s career. The changes in responsibility, workload, adapting to a new team and negotiating change are hard to develop as you find your feet.

The session will be fun and interactive and draw on my experience of coaching Doctors through this transition period. It will focus on some of the key areas of difficulty and offer practical advice on how to manage the change. 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.

7pm – 9.30pm March 20th 2014

 

Benefits of attending:

  • Improve your self awareness, awareness of others and managing your relationships.
  • Understand your role within team dynamics and cope with the internal politics
  • Identify your strengths & weaknesses and build a development plan

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

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

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.

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. Stephen R. Covey

Last month I wrote about how important goal setting is. It’s a nice tangible part of coaching. But when I first meet clients I know that one of the most important things we have to do is build rapport. That’s pretty intangible but establishing it is crucial to building trust between people. It’s not something you can identify very easily but you can test out whether you have it by considering the following elements.

 

Gauging rapport as a coach:

Focus – am I fully focussed and listening actively and openly without making judgements?

Empathy – am I clearly trying to understand the client’s point of view?

Connection – do we have some shared common ground so we feel connected with each other?

Empowerment – Does my client feel empowered and liberated by this relationship?

 

Establishing rapport and maintaining it throughout the relationship means better results and a safer

journey.

Have a look at Daniel Goleman’s short clip on Rapport:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uowxqr5N1YY