I have referred to Medicine being like a monster that eats into your life and the following blog post compares working as a physician as being like having a gorilla in your life! The advice this author gives is congruent with what I’ve written about making your out of work committments as important as those at work: saying no more often to extra work and yes more to things you do which nurture your own health and well-being. Click the link below to read the article.
Does coaching work for doctors?Coaching can enable doctors to find their own way forward to a more balanced and happier life. This is what coaching can do for you if you are a doctor who is wondering about coaching and feeling hesitant about hiring a coach because you don’t really understand how a coach might be useful:
A coach can:
Motivate you to move forward and do what you want to do by encouraging you to take the first step and then some more, especially for those things you have been procrastinating about for some time.
Listen to your concerns about possible courses of action and then by asking you challenging questions make you think afresh about what’s happening in your life and make the decision that’s best for you at this time.
Challenge your beliefs about the way things are and the ways they could be, by helping you question long-held ideas which no longer serve you.
Be on your side, supporting you in whatever course of action you decide to take without an agenda of their own. For example, colleagues might be shocked to hear you say you might leave the medical profession, or would like to spend more time with your friends and family, whereas the coach will help you consider alternatives you might not have thought about before and then motivate you to do what you need to do.
Be in contact with you on a regular basis either on the telephone, email or Skype thus avoiding lengthy journeys for face to face meetings.
Enable you to clarify your goals so that you can make decisions and take action in relation to challenges old or new, so that you make a difference to your life.
Teach you skills you can use if you are faced with similar challenges in the future. For instance you could learn ways to communicate more effectively and use what you learn when faced with a similar situation in the future.
Thus coaching can be useful for doctors like you. But only you can take that first step of making contact, discussing what you hope to achieve and then making a commitment to the process.
When you take that first step, which means you may feel you are stepping out of your comfort zone. However when you do this you are embarking on your personal journey and you will quickly find your very own prescription for change.
Many people find joining a group for support through change is beneficial. Would a group for doctors who want your lives to be much, much better also work?
It might be useful for doctors who:
have read about personal development
haven’t made the changes they want yet
Doctors might resist joining a group because they:
never have enough time
have not been fitting in much apart from work into their day.
find that their family complains they are never at home
can’t remember when they last had a walk, went to the theatre or saw a film…….
Being part of a supportive group is for you if you want to:
Make changes in your life
Have more time
Stop feeling stressed
Recognise you have choices
Enjoy the synergy and support of a group.
Joining a group can be an opportunity for support, encouragement and motivation. You may be able to meet each other face to face but it can work well if you meet on the telephone or on the internet. Any way that you can share ideas in a supportive environment can be very useful.
But how many doctors would be willing to do this? Is there a built-in resistance amongst doctors about admitting vulnerability and not being able to cope with something or needing to discuss future plans in a non-judgmental environment?
Being part of a group is commonplace for doctors especially when discussing clinical decisions. Could it become more often used too as a way to talk about personal development and also emotional issues in relation to dealing with patients? Not the diagnosis and treatment but more about how they deal with the emotional impact of dealing with patients.
What do you think about group support for doctors?
Do you recognise this scenario? You are feeling very cross because someone hasn’t done something you’d expected them to do?
Maybe you say something like ‘I waited all this time and they still haven’t done this or delivered that’
You had an expectation which wasn’t met by the other person.
Have you ever considered they may not realise what your expectation was for them?
If someone is angry about something you aren’t doing, or haven’t done – take a deep breath, then ask calmly- ‘what were you expecting from me?’
We all do this – have expectations, think ‘well it was obvious what I wanted’ when actually it wasn’t obvious to the other person and so they don’t fulfil our expectations.
Suppose you are worried about someone and wonder what you could do to help them. Take a moment and ask them ‘What can I do for you?’
You could apply this when you see a patient who seems to have a hundred and one problems and you can sense your blood pressure rising as they tell you more and more. Where can you start?
You could turn to the patient and say ‘What would you me to help you with today?’
Perhaps all they want is something quite straightforward!
Think about your expectations. They are quite often assumptions we make without proof.
Do you expect that you will always have to take work home with you because you can’t fit it into the working day?
If that is what you expect that is what is likely to happen! Instead you could expect to finish at a reasonable time and so you organise your day and your work to fulfil that expectation.