Preparing For The Next Round of Clinical Supervision and Rumbling With Rumbles

This week has been a week has been a week of creating visions for the future and laying down some plans for making those visions a reality.

The week started with an afternoon meeting with the inspirational Janis to discuss plans for training Nurses in Compassionate Clinical Supervision. This year we are introducing new trainers so we thrashed out how that would look. We then planned the content for our refresher sessions for existing Clinical Supervisors. This is when me and Janis are at our best, when we start being creative. We came up with some great work, none of which I can share (Janis would kill me if I let the cat out of the bag). I will share it once we have delivered it. We also finally came up with a working title for the textbook on Clinical Supervision we plan to edit. For the first time we managed to get some ideas for chapters written down. As usual it was a brilliant meeting, so inspirational and really productive.

Wednesday saw me meeting up with another inspirational woman Nicola (one of our Practice Development Matrons). I help Nicola with the post induction support program she runs for our new registrants. This currently consists of 2 catch up days offered to our new Nurse registrants. During these days we combine, personal and professional reflection along with practical skill acquisition. We have done this for 2 years now and we are starting to plan what we will be doing for our next cohort of graduates and more importantly the first cohort of our Nurse Associates who will be graduating in May. Now what we are doing essentially is useful, however there are a few issues that still need resolving. One of them being that with the ever increasing complexity of healthcare and the demands put on the new registrants, by themselves, their colleagues and the public we felt that we needed to offer them something else that helped them recharge their resilience. This was where my mind started to tick over and I managed to summon the marvelous Janis into the room. Now Janis, Janis’s boss, Tony (the coolest, kindest, Chaplain I know) have recently been playing with an idea coined by Janis as Rumbling for Resilience (nod to Brene, but this is all Janis, she even has a dance for it…don’t ask, I am still rumbling with that). This idea was at the request of Janis’ boss to address the stress she was seeing amongst the nursing staff within their Health Group. A germ of an idea began with Janis and was added to by Tony who had done something very similar in his previous job, where he would open up the Chapel for people to drop in during the afternoon, have a drink and a cake and talk to people about how they felt, or what was happening to them. As we know sharing your shame and discomfort diminishes those feelings and can restore your self esteem. So we have been playing with this idea mixing it with some structure with the informality of a drop in session. It hasn’t got off the ground yet but we are doing some work on that.

Anyway lets get back to my meeting with Nicola, so Janis and her rumbles entered my head when thinking about what additional offers we can put into our package for new registrants. My idea was that we could offer a resilience rumble (drop-in) once a month for new registrants where they could talk about their experiences with people going through the same thing in a protected environment with a very light facilitation. We would then offer 1 to 1 Clinical Supervision to any of those that needed it. It needs some work to get this up and running for May but I can feel exciting times ahead, rising to the challenges modern healthcare throw at us. During our discussion we touched on something I want to explore further, and that is one to one support of our new leaders, something that is mentioned a lot but due to the workload always seems to drop off. So I have been thinking about what an offer for supporting new and emerging leaders that is realistic and workable would look like. That is the challenge, to develop coaching and supervision programs that are responsive and become part of the fabric of the work place. Funnily enough I am looking at a course that focuses on the strategic element of coaching and how to embed it into the culture of an organisation.

On Thursday I met Steve our new colleague (Senior OD Practitioner) a thoroughly agreeable chap, as I mentioned earlier exciting times are ahead. I also had a lovely catch up with my friend Becky. We discussed all things, coaching, supervision, parenthood, getting older and blogging. We all need a comfortable chat to replenish our soul, and Becky certainly provided that on Thursday.

Well Friday, I am not sure what went on, on Friday. I spent most of the day being late for meetings. A lot of restorative discussions with some coaching. A great day but a bit of a blur.

So that was one of those positive weeks, where you can see all that needs to be done, but instead of filling you with dread, fills you with excitement for the challenges and adventures ahead. Bring on next work.

So What Happened To January?

Most years January is torture. It goes on forever, it is cold, dark and miserable and everyone is skint after being paid in the middle of December. This year however I blinked and missed it. Now the weather has not been great, it was as dark as any other January, and there was definitely too much month left at the end of the money, so why did it pass by faster than my 46 previous January’s?

Basically I didn’t stop to think this year. I have been so busy, I have been delivering content 2 or 3 times a week, and then writing, and preparing content on the other days or going to meetings about delivering content and coaching. I have never had a January like it, it has been brilliant. A little bit overwhelming at times but brilliant just the same. It is starting to feel like coaching in such a busy and challenging environment is having an effect. Despite it the hospital being really busy (as you would expect in January) people were coming along to the insights sessions, and manager as a coach sessions and were really engaged in what I had to say. I also spent some time with our Nurse Apprentices and our Trainee Nurse Associates teaching them all about Human Factors and how to manage the inherent risks we take to work. They were engaged and charming and made feel so proud to be working for the NHS. A couple of them have even taken up the opportunity to be coached, in fact I have been getting at least 1 coaching referral per session this January, which for a bunch of cynical health professionals is quite something.

I have also spent a significant amount of personal time working through my personal action plans of developing my own private coaching service, by putting things in place, and thinking about my business plan. There is still a lot of work to be done but I do now have a clear plan and direction. So with this, my ever busy role in the NHS and me still doing battle with my book (which is a little problematic at the moment), no wonder January came and went. I have noticed my blogs have been shorter recently no doubt as a result of the amount of other work I have been doing. This afternoon I am going to spend some time staring at a blank page thinking of something interesting to write for my book. So wish me luck.

If you are thinking about your action plans this year and are not sure they are right for you or they are not progressing as you expected drop me a line we can have a chat and start to discover the direction you need to be going in. If you haven’t already take a look at my subscription offers on my price plans and services page.

Just The Tonic

As you know I have been a little fed up over the past couple of weeks. In my previous blog I mentioned the tonic of being coached for my well-being which was truly excellent.

Then on Thursday morning I woke up to this song on my Spotify. There is nothing better than hearing something one of children has produced with his band mates. They are so talented and they deserve all the recognition I am sure they are going to get. Please click play and have a listen, I know I am a proud dad but they are bloody brilliant. If you are in Hull on 13th February 2019, pop down to the Polar Bear to see them in the flesh. Tickets are available via Hull Box Office or you can pay on the door. They are supporting another talented Hull band Mauritia.

Make an old Dad happy give them a listen and let them know how good they are.

We all need a bit of coaching, if only to keep our well-being in check

If you are a regular reader of my blog or know me, you will know that for part of my working week I lead the coaching network at my place of work. We are a fledgling network, so therefore we are still training our coaches. We currently have 2 cohorts running and by the end of the year we will have around 40 coaches with an ILM level 5 qualification.

The 2nd cohort (which is really our 3rd but the 2nd I have supported), were in this week completing the coaching for well-being module. My friend and coaching mentor Anthony (I may have mentioned him before) runs the course for us, which in turn is awarded through Leeds Beckett University. I always sit in on the modules, to develop and practice my coaching skills and to learn how to teach the course. Module days are always the highlight of my month, and coaching for well-being has to be my personal favourite.

To be honest it could not have come at a better time, as I mentioned last week I have been a little frazzled lately, and it was clear that that there were others in the room that had similar experiences during January. All the modules that Anthony delivers are very practical heavy with plenty of time spent coaching each other, interspersed with the relevant theory. For this particular module the students pair up with the same person all day. As there was an odd number this week I had the opportunity to pair up with somebody for the day.

So I had a day of talking and rediscovering some different models of well-being coaching and having the opportunity to try out some different approaches and using models in a way I had never done before, whilst at the same time supporting someone else’s coaching development. It was such a fulfilling day, and on top of my own coaching contracting meeting on Tuesday.

My old coach is moving on to pastures new, with a new and exciting job (good luck and thank you so much Vicky), so I have a new coach. It had been a while since I had had a coaching session, and with so much going round in my head, with a million and one projects I was feeling overwhelmed and stuck in the future, causing me to doubt my ability to achieve the goals I had set myself. So on Tuesday I had my first contracting meeting with my new coach.

It was quite liberating. For the first time in a while I had an opportunity to empty my mind in the presence of someone who was just prepared to listen, in the first instance and then probe and challenge. The whole thing took 2 hours (which is longer than I would normally feel comfortable with), there was so much that needed to come out that it felt more like 30 minutes. I talked, she listened, I talked some more she asked me questions, she invited me to draw it, I drew it, she asked me some questions, I drew it some more, I wrote a list and then drew some more, I cried, she listened, asked me some questions. After all that we had a purpose for the coaching and a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve. We then set our boundaries and timings for our continued coaching relationship. It was massively helpful. When I walked into the meeting my jaw was tight, my fists were clenched and Foggy was having a field day. When I left my jaw and fists were relaxed and Foggy had gone to be. I had a clear goal and an action plan for the next month. I was back in the present.

Reflecting on that coaching session now, the most impactful aspect was the level of empathy shown throughout. Saying that though being challenged to have an action plan alongside the empathy (compassionate challenge) probably had the greatest impact. We all need that space to talk out what is going on in our heads, especially during these busy, stressful months.

If you don’t have that opportunity seek it out.

Thank you Foggy….I think

I have not felt great this week, it has been one of those weeks, where I have just felt out of sorts. Nothing I could really put my finger on, just a bit down on my self.

I didn’t notice my mood until Thursday when I reached the bottom of my mood. This is often the case with my funks or low moods, I generally don’t pick up on my journey down there, however everybody around me notices my descent. I had a few people ask me if I was OK and a few wishing they had avoided me.

So Thursday morning I really did not want to face the world, on Wednesday I had been like a bear with a sore head, and on Thursday morning I just felt terrible about it. Foggy was having a field day, by the time I was on the way to work he had managed to drag up all my shortcomings and exaggerate them, to the point that I was despicable human being who was not fit to be a father, husband, educator or coach, and I was definitely not fit to deliver Human Factors training. According to Foggy my credibility was shot. Wow that escalated fast I thought (no doubt so are you). That is what happens when you let you thoughts run away with themselves.

I did though manage to deliver Human Factors training on Thursday and Friday and as far as I can tell my credibility is intact. In fact I am quite grateful to Foggy for escalating things as dramatically as he did. He made me realise that I was not paying attention to myself as much as I should. I had been too busy concentrating on the future and not paying attention to what is happening to me know.

So on Thursday by the time I had arrived at work I had brought myself to the present, and was beginning to set myself free from my thoughts. I spent the next hour and half concentrating on preparing my room and materials for the training session. Now don’t get me wrong this did not get rid of those unhelpful thoughts completely, but what it did do was diminish them and as the day progressed they got smaller and smaller. So by the time I got home I was able to apologise for my grumpiness with sincerity.

Since Thursday I have been practicing a mindfulness to keep check of the negative self-talk. Nothing too dramatic, just noticing when my mind is either wandering off to the future or past and rather than dwelling on those thoughts, just bringing myself back to the present, either by paying attention to my physical self (my breathing or noticing sensations) or paying attention to my surroundings. It reminds me that those thoughts are not real and not necessarily helpful, and what is real is what is happening here and now.

Now I do not want to get rid of these thoughts completely, as they are part of me after all and can be useful (as described earlier). So I accept them as part of me and know that they will raise their heads quite dramatically from time to time, but that is OK because I know how to quieten them.

If your self-talk is getting in the way and you want support turning down the volume so you can get on with being successful get in touch either by email, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Lets think about the impact we have on others

Everything seems a little frantic at the moment. Feelings are running high and there are a lot of people letting their emotions doing their thinking.

Every time I turn on the news I hear people abusing each other whether that is politicians or world leaders abusing each other or overreacting or protesters shouting abuse at politicians live on television.

The media appears to be highlighting all that disconnects us, leaver or remainer, Democrat or Republican, Left wing or Right wing, Muslim, Jew or Christian, Male or Female, Pro-Gun or gun control. You are with us or against us mentality.

Then I go to work and I hear about staff being dismissive and ignoring new staff, senior staff appearing thoughtless towards each other and direct reports and members of the public verbally and physically abusing staff.

Life is tough at the moment, especially in healthcare, our population is getting older we are facing more and more complex conditions. Healthcare industry is growing faster than economies around the world, and are therefore under resourced. This creates an enormous amount of pressure on the workforce, and add on that societies’ expectation for state of the art health care and you create a toxic environment. Then we have populist politics which thrives on scarcity and difference and we have angry people on all sides, including those that think anyone who is different from them are the cause to all the problems we are facing.

We need to stop the line, we all need to start being civil with those around us. We all know what it feels like to be under attack verbally by a colleague a friend or a loved one. So if we know how it feels and we know that we are not in danger, then we have a choice not to inflict that kind of harm on others.

Ask yourself what you are telling yourself, what assumptions are you making about why you feel the way you feel? What emotion are you feeling and why is that? Will tearing someone off a strip change the situation? Can you change the situation yourself or is it out of your hands? If you cannot change it, what does being angry about it achieve? Is there a better way to deal with it?

If we all pause and think about how we are about to react before we react, then we can turn this epidemic of incivility off and start concentrating on what connects us.

Come on everybody be nice!

What is Connected Living and What Can It Do For You?

As you will know I have been banging on about Connected Living for quite some time.

It is something I came up with in the summer inspired by some wonderful writers. It is has become an obsession of mine. I am writing a book about it, I have written a presentation and talk on it, and I have developed a coaching program based on it.

But what is it and why should you want to buy into it?

Connected living is a program that gives you the tools to manage all aspects of your life more efficiently, by learning and understanding how you view and interact with the world around you and how to get the best out of your relationships.

Connected Self:

  • Your own health and well being
  • The map of your world
  • Why you react the way you do and how you can change that
  • How to be comfortable with your vulnerabilities
  • How you prefer to behave, make decisions and make plans
  • How to work outside your preferences
  • How to challenge you view of your world and have a different perspective
  • How you want to be viewed by others

Connecting with Others:

  • How do you prefer to work with others, do you ask or tell
  • How do you communicate with different groups of people
  • What groups do you live and work within
  • Do you belong
  • How do you manage difference
  • How do you react to conflict
  • Do you appreciate the complexity of others

Commitment to Change:

  • What requires development
  • How will you do this
  • When do you want to do this by
  • Who can help you
  • Who do you need to bring with you
  • What will you need
  • What might get in the way
  • How can you navigate round this
  • Are you making any assumptions
  • What implications will there be, if any
  • How will you know you have achieved this
  • What will you do to celebrate your success

If you want to know more or you want to book a presentation or a package of coaching email or message me.

matt@mattycoach71.com