Effective Leadership

Effective leadership using a Clinical Leadership Pathway

The clinical pathway in critical care and for your health career is a clear, well resourced and well worn path.

However once you have your clinical skills and step up into a people leading role, there is no mapped out pathway, resources or support. You second guess yourself, avoid difficult conversations, experience more stress than you need to, feel more responsibility and feel alone also when you don’t need to.

For clinical leadership the best you can expect is an another university accreditation that lacks three things. The critical understanding of what’s required in your workplace to succeed, the support to get the self awareness that you can truly see where you need to improve and support to fine tune your skills as you work.

It’s a bit like learning how to do a push up and expect you can drop and give us 100! It doesn’t make sense.

I’ve surveyed dozens of clinical leaders and they all agree that up until now there is no support for clinical leaders or succession planning. 

Interpersonal processes:

Our relationship with others sets the tone and culture of the unit or department and if done well allows everyone to grow and develop their clinical skills and keeps the ward safe. If done poorly, cliques develop, sick leave rises, instructions are ignored, performance drops and bullying and general complaints rise. No one wants to come to work when particular staff members are on and then staff leave. When its hard to keep good staff this can be devasting for a unit.

C4 solution:

It can be an easy fix with a willinging coaching participant or when you engage C4 to show your leaders the skills to engage the team and then support them with either one to one or group coaching. We use inventories that have been tried and tested in clinical contexts. Emotional intelligence, DISC and other inventories could be used in this solution.

Inner leadership processes:

The inner game of self-awareness, confidence, commitment to a vision (or even having an inspiring vision for you and your team), resilience, able to manage change and decisiveness are skills and character strengths that can be learnt and nurtured. In a VUCA world (link to that page) where pandemics are now part of our reality, leadership needs to be agile and respond quickly to change and bring the team along with them. When it is not present in a leader they are inconsistent in their decisions, they confuse staff, they don’t get any traction on projects, they are constantly stressed and time poor and manage change poorly so that everyone is stressed and no one knows what they are doing.

C4 solution:

Facilitated workshops where your team comes together to uncover the unit vision, values and set project goals. Antifragility is a key part of this process, where supported risks are taken and through stress and new situations, new skills and confidence is created. They learn their leadership style and through coaching they take consistent action towards that vision. Emotional intelligence, DISC and other inventories could be used in this solution. 

Operational performance knowledge:

When stepping up to a new position its all new. Budgets, implementing quality, high level problem solving, navigating the procedural and social landscape of the system. Too often leaders come with the idea that they should know and get stressed and don’t ask for the help they need. Loosing sleep and dropping confidence can be a result. Many times there is not a process to facilitate that new learning in a way that helps the newbie leader.

C4 solution:

Mentoring is a way for the intellectual content of your medical system be shared. At C4 we have a process that nurtures the mentors so they are not overwhelmed and facilitate good conversations with the newbie leader and get support themselves so they don’t burn out. Coaching for both is also a supportive way to get the leaders clear on what they can and cant control and help them with decision making.