“Everyone needs a coach” were the wise words spoken by Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, a global philanthropic powerhouse and the world’s second highest earning billionaire. Bill Gates credits his personal and professional life achievements to working with a coach and it got me thinking why do more people not have personal coaches? If Bill Gates needs a coach, then why don’t I? Why doesn’t everyone have one?
More importantly, It got me thinking why do we not have more “Coaches” in healthcare?
Take sports as an example. All professional sports players have a coach to help them grow, develop and succeed within their chosen sport. Coaches within sport help build teams, communities whereby individuals thrive receiving realtime feedback to improve their skills, knowledge and expertise. We celebrate the great successes of the sport industry at the Olympics, the Australian Open and the World Cup, and those sports men and women achieve greatness through grit, determination, hard work as a result of working with a Coach.
Take any high profile professional in any industry , I bet my last dollar they have a coach.
Well, some may argue that we do have them in healthcare. Some would argue that our line managers are our “coaches”. Others may argue that our peers are our “coaches”. Some may argue that the local “mentor” is the healthcare equivalent of a “coach”. So then the concept isn’t new. Or is it?
In my experience managers, our peers, our educators and our patients all contribute to our development as “coaches” however that investment is limited naturally by the complexity of the workplace and multiple competing priorities. Large teams, 1:50 nurse manager:staff ratio’s, minimal educational resources and in general a lack of prioritisation of staff development needs all adds up. Additionally, if your workplace has a poor culture, this typically negatively impacts staff’s ability to access personal development and growth. In my experience, the stakes in healthcare are very high. Health is a business – no avoiding it. Ward budgets are in the millions. Manager : Staff ratios are growing. Staff : Patient Ratios are increasing, with staff being asked to do more with less due to limited economic resources. This contributes to a global health pandemic, whereby nurses are seeking investment/development but its almost a limited finite resource.
So what would happen if we had the capacity to provide holistically tailored coaching to all staff, with a specific focus on investing in their growth and development? I believe it would be transformational for the individual and the health service.
So how do we embrace the power of coaching in health?
Simply put, we ALL start coaching!
We begin having authentic development conversations with staff.
Demonstrate our genuine desire to invest in staff development and growth.
Make the time to sit down with all staff to demonstrate their worth to the service.
Optimise their development plan and set SMART goals and measure them throughout the year.
Staff must identify who is actually investing in them and seek out their support/guidance.
Mindset challenges need to be explored in the workforce, with 1:1 coaching to iron out staff self limiting beliefs.
Start awknowledging your own gaps and take action to fill those gaps, working with your manager or a coach.
Both the coach and the staff member must actively seek opportunities for growth and development.
So, who is coaching you in the workplace? Who is investing in your growth and development? Imagine what you could accomplish if you allowed yourself the opportunity to be coached, I’m sure Bill Gates is thankful he engaged with coaching!
Reach out to Liam if you are interested in what Coaching might look like for you and see how best he can assist!
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