Last year NHSE funded a pilot for the Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management to offer coaching to GPs who were considering leaving practice.

The evaluation report is a fantastic endorsement of the power of coaching and clearly illustrates the positive impact that these interventions can make on peoples’ lives.

As the report says GPs overwhelmingly endorsed their experience of coaching, with 89% saying that they would take up coaching again. 

The coaches working on the pilot were:

  • John Aspden, Executive Coach and Director, Cognitions
  • Katherine Foreman, Executive Coach and Managing Director, Topeka Healthcare
  • Alexis Hutson, Executive Coach, Coaching Doctors
  • Liz McCaw, Executive Coach and Consultant, Headspace for Business

And the feedback about all the coaches was incredibly positive.

Alexis is extremely personable and easy to talk to. She is a great listener and really good at getting at the nub of the issue. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with her and felt able to speak candidly with her about my thoughts, feelings and anxieties and about sensitive and personal issues as well as work, the workplace and wider issues which impact on work and life and the balance between the two.

CLICK HERE to read full report.

For more information contact FMLM at

Limited places left on NHSE funded coaching for GPs.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.18.11There is still time to apply for this opportunity to be coached by one of the FMLM (Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management) coaches – and I’m one.

Want to know more? FMLM LINK HERE

Closing date 17th June 2016 5pm. 

If you are curious about what coaching could do for you, CLICK HERE.

How can Doctors develop their resilience and bounce back from adversity?

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 09.10.11

Resilience is not something that you either have or have not. It depends on the circumstances and how you handle yourself when faced with different difficulties. Knowing what kinds of things stress you and what core assumptions you have about yourself, can help you access your strengths quicker and work on your weaknesses more deliberately. For example, you might be comfortable handling negative comments from a colleague, but find it really difficult coping with rejection for a post.

Knowing this and recognising the power you have to change how you handle things, is critical to developing your resilience.

A useful tool I often use with clients is the FREE i-resilence model that helps people understand what are the key features of resilience and where their strengths and weaknesses lie within the model. The four key components of resilience in this model are:

Confidence – An important element of feeling confident is the frequency of positive and negative emotions that you experience. As I’ve written before on this blog, managing your emotions and taking time to notice and cultivate the positive can have a very beneficial impact and give you a greater sense of control.

Social Support – Constantly coping on your own is not healthy. We all need help and cultivating strong bonds at work and at home is important. Nurturing your relationships and investing time in others will help you and allow you gain perspective on situations.

Adaptability – Accepting the fact that lots of things are out of our control (especially in the NHS) is part of our adaptability. Moving on and recovering from unexpected outcomes can mean you don’t stay angry or frustrated with situations for too long.

Purposefulness – Knowing what you are here for and what gets you out of bed in the morning. A big part of this is your personal values so assessing and identifying what your core values are will help you drive your behaviour and performance more deliberately.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.08.15

Why not access this tool for free and reflect on how resilient you are and what you want to get better at? I’d be happy to talk over your results with you. Contact me on 0754 0593476 or email me on

Lack of resilience predisposes you to burnout, it increases your predisposition toward stress, which causes you to go into a deeper hole. You feel like what you are doing is not worthwhile, and you have a sense of disengagement toward your work.” Amit Sood, M.D.

Handling conflict is a part of everyone’s working life, so what can Doctors do to manage it better?

A recent article in the press caught my attention. ‘Top doctors sent home for fighting: Hospital Consultant looses tooth after he and colleague squared up outside operating theatre.’ Article here. 

Unfortunately the culture for hospital Doctors, between colleagues or specialities, can often be combative. Over reliance on command & control and territorial behaviours means that conflict working styles that are productive are not displayed enough. It leaves people feeling stressed and anxious about how they manage their working relationships.

Of course there is nothing wrong with conflict in itself. Differences between people and teams are normal. It’s how we handle it that counts. The model I use to help my clients get a better handle on conflict is the TKI™ (Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode Instrument). This model describes 5 different conflict positions that all serve a purpose in working through differences. They are:

Competing – Collaborating – Compromising – Avoiding – Accommodating

Ideally we need to be skilled at using them all and choose which to use depending on the conflict and our position within it. The question is, which one do you overuse and which don’t you use enough? Are you adapting to each situation and analysing what is needed, or are you getting caught up in the emotion and heat of the moment?

By using a model like TKI™ you can develop a more rational and objective response to conflict which will help you manage these inevitable situations better.

Call 0754 0593476 or email me on to book your online TKI test.


The TKI™ (Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode Instrument) is an easy and accessible tool to help people handle conflict better. By identifying alternative conflict styles, it helps you reframe and defuse conflict, creating more productive results. The TKI questionnaire identifies five distinct conflict styles and provides you with conflict-management solutions. As with MBTI, you fill in a questionnaire and then a feedback session talks you through the report generated. I can administrate this for you. Find out more here.



Doctors and our constantly connected culture.

Doctors and medical professionals have always faced interruptions from beepers and phones, and multitasking is simply a fact of life for many medical jobs. What has changed, doctors say, especially younger ones, is that they face increasing pressure to interact with their devices.” Matt Richtel – New York Times (ref below)

It’s this pressure; the urge to react and respond that interests me. Some of my clients, especially the Secondary Care Consultants, explain that it is a huge driving force in their working lives. It can result in people feeling really quite powerless and can compel them to behave in a very reactionary way.

I have no evidence to discuss whether this affects patient care, but I do know it affects working relationships and task management.

I believe that face-to-face human contact, powered by emotional and intellectual attention is the most important form of communication. (See link to Hallowell’s article below). The trouble is, with our over-reliance on electronic communication we miss key components of effective communication such as body language and empathy. My guess is that when seeing patients, most clinicians are still doing this, but it’s our other working relationships that can be dramatically affected.

And staying focused during tasks is also a challenge now. The ever-distracting ping of another email or text disrupts our attention and pulls us away from what we were doing, thus making the task exponentially longer. Having the discipline to stay focused and resist the urge to react is a crucial habit to re-establish.

Perhaps the answer is choice. What would you prioritise as important enough to interrupt what you are doing now or who you are currently paying attention to?

Contact me on 0754 0593476 or email me on


Recommended links to further reading:

Matt Richtel  – As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows – New York Times (2011)

Tony SchwartzThe magic of doing one thing at a time (2012 most read Harvard Business Review blog)

Edward M. Hallowell The human moment at work (1999)

Daniel GolemanAn antidote for workplace ADD (2013)