As I write this, I am one of the lucky people who can stay at home today, coach NHS colleagues, notice a storm raging and write this blog. Yes, it’s 18 February 2022, the day when many records of wind speed are being broken and our services stand tall against the odds (again).
So how are you as we continue our march into March? We have an overwhelming demand for services, but you are still the brilliant you. Here’s four things that may help you continue to stand tall:
1. Take a moment to reflect on your contributions
The last 2 years have been tough, exhausting, but you have o
Without wishing to state the obvious, we have an overwhelming demand for services, both emergency and planned. It was already there, but then Covid landed and it has all being exacerbated by the loss of experienced practitioners who have either retired earlier than originally planned or decided to pursue a career elsewhere.
There are very comprehensive reports on the numbers if you need details on the size of the challenge.
We know the link between anxiety, stress, burnout of staff and poorer patient safety. So here are some thoughts on what we can do:
1. Do be 100% clear
Imposter syndrome – that feeling of being not enough and the more you notice it the bigger it becomes. It lands in the pit of your stomach, it’s that voice that says "you, really?". And rather than going away, it shouts a little louder and risks being a real interference to you being at your absolute best. It's common in high achievers, perfectionists.
A friend recently asked me if we are born with it. I don’t think so but I do think it has its roots in early labelling – he’s the bright one, she’s the kind one.
And we learn to hide it. I did a quick straw poll last week. Everyone I s
1. Focus on the things that are within your gift to influence
Steven Covey talks about circles of concern and circles of influence. A circle of concern will, if you let it, take too much of your time and dilute your brilliance. There are some things that are really impossible for us to influence. We may need to vent about them now and then, but we do have to accept them, for now at least.
Circles of influence, however, focus on things that are within your gift, the great things you do each day for your patients, your family, your friends. If you focus your time and energy in your
Anyone who has the pleasure of virtual meetings in the current climate will hear the phrase "I think you’re on mute" at least two or three times a week. And this may not be the only place where people feel they are ‘on mute’. The dangers we know: voices unheard, frustrations hidden, staff feeling overwhelmed, undervalued. So if this is you, here’s three simple tips that may help:
Make time to talk things through 1:1
Create a safe space to talk things through with a trusted colleague, maybe your boss or a colleague, a good friend or a trained coach. The NHS Leadership Academy offers a
Ever have one of those days when you feel you are constantly walking up the down escalator, when it just feels tougher than it should? It is hardly surprising that we feel like this during COVID-19. Our previous routines for our work, leisure, friends, family have all been thrown up in the air and are continuing to change.
I do not have a miracle cure (if only). However, taking a moment to think about the way you are naturally wired, and how others may be wired differently, can be helpful. It can take away the irritation and frustration and help us develop a few coping strategies. Or, t
We are all now impacted by COVID-19, where we work (if we are able to do so), what we wear to work (or would like to wear if we had PPE), how we work as teams and how we communicate with each other. Day to day activities need different routines so we can look after each other. In particular, working in a new clinical environment requires bravery and extra special support so everyone can give of their best.
This blog offers reflections and pointers to help as we move into the next phase of the journey and towards the first steps of recovery. Whilst certain colleagues, sometimes called ‘the
My original plan for this blog was to explore why change is a bit Marmite – some of us love change (the ‘bring it on’ group), and others less so. Then the COVID-19 jar was opened and everything changed.
We are all impacted in different ways, both staff and patients. Whether it’s even more time at work, less time with those we love, wanting to be at work but having to self isolate, loss of our identity as the one who always does x or y, how as patients we interact with our NHS, or the loss of those we love.
Transitions are challenging
William Bridges says it isn’t the changes tha
So, you have a network in place, a few allies and that’s working well. Your curiosity means that you are asking great questions.
Then you hit a brick wall
Push a few boundaries and you may find yourself in the middle of a disagreement, whether that’s you as a leader sharing power with your team or as the one brave soul who says "you don’t have the full picture". Whilst it may seem that people ‘in authority’ must find this easy to handle, otherwise they wouldn’t be in charge, at the end of the day this can be scary stuff wherever you sit within your team and the wider system.
If you are of a certain generation you may remember Weebles, the roly-poly toys that wobbled but didn’t fall down. Tipping an egg-shaped Weeble causes a weight located at the bottom-centre to be lifted off the ground. Once released, gravity brings the Weeble back into an upright position. This blog is the first of two, where I’ll be discussing the 'art of wobbling'.
We all have a wobble now and again. A lack of confidence in our own abilities and what we have to say. Unsure whether we should say anything or concerned we won’t get our points across when we do. All of which is not helped b
Often, there are many perspectives that we need to consider before we have a complete picture. 'The Blind Men and the Elephant', and earlier versions of this parable, show us the limits of perception and the importance of complete context. This also applies when we are facing a difficult or complex issue in relation to patient safety.
As part of the Patient First programme at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, we used A3 problem solving. Many others do too. It’s a structured problem-solving tool, first employed at Toyota and typically used by 'lean' manufacturing p
Over the Christmas period I caught up on ‘interesting emails’, the ones with content that needs you to put thinking time aside to inwardly digest rather than cramming it in between Christmas baking.
One of these was from Mike the Mentor, one of the great people who trained me as a coach a good few years ago, asking a very simple question: How is it that, despite being committed to change, we so often fail to make the changes we are committed to? He offered a great answer, taken from from Kegan and Lahey's book, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself an
We know from our own experiences and those of others that patient safety fears are growing daily across the NHS and social care. Staff shortages and burnout are all taking their toll on patient satisfaction, safety and standards of care.
I had the pleasure of joining a webinar arranged by the Health Foundation last week where the National Director of Improvement for NHS England and NHS Improvement, Hugh McCaughey, outlined the up and coming improvement framework for the NHS. A good framework provides a skeleton on which to build. His presentation included the importance of: