3 Things to attend to when working in a complex uncertain environment.

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Working in a complex and uncertain industries such as health and social care (but not exclusively) requires you to attend to 3 things to remain effective. These 3 things can often be in tension with each other and if not attended to can work against each, causing significant risks to yourself, your patients/clients, stakeholders and the organisation you work in. It is therefore vital to attend to yourself as the professional responsible for the delivery of the desired outcomes, your client/patient/customer, or whoever is on the receiving end of your outcomes, and mandatory constraints imposed on you.

You as the Professional

When attending to yourself it is important to understand your emotional responses to the events that are happening to you at work and outside of work, that are happening to you and around you. Examine how these emotions are affecting you, your work and your life as a whole. Understanding how these events impact on your values and how this might determine what emotions you are feeling, and identifying whether these emotions are helpful or not. Are these events related to the work that you do? If so where does this originate from is it the behaviour or actions of your client/patient/customer, or is it the constraints placed on you by external or internal forces such as targets, legal frameworks, policies and procedures.

Your Client/Patient/Customer

It is vital to attend to and understand the experience the person on the receiving end of the work you do. How they respond to it, how they behave, the feedback they give you, and the impact you have on them? Are you delivering what they want/what they require and is it having the desired effect. How you are able to deliver what they need within the constraints imposed on you, by them, and the mandatory constraints you are obliged to work within.

Mandatory Constraints

These can be both internal and external to your organisation, but you have no choice, contractually to work within them. They might be legal requirements, policies and procedures, centrally imposed targets, codes of conduct etc. It is important to consider the impact these have on the delivery of your body of work and how you organise this work, and how you reconcile these with your values and the impact they have on your end users.

Paying attention to all three is essential to continue to improve your body of work, for your benefit, the benefit of your clients/patients/customers, and your organisation. To be effective this needs to be done periodically throughout the year to ensure the standard of you work remains effective. This approach allows you to examine how you feel about each aspect and make sense of what needs your attention and what does not.

If you do not use this approach through clinical supervision, or coaching, then I would invite you to consider working with someone that can support you with this


Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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