Normalizing coaching in healthcare was a major topic of discussion at the latest meeting of Wapiti Medical Staffing’s Visionary Committee. Coaching has become a crucial aspect of professional development. Yet, the traditional hierarchical structure of healthcare organizations often contributes to feelings of insecurity, defensiveness, and intimidation. It is important to normalize coaching by addressing common challenges and advocating for a more informal, peer-to-peer approach, especially at the provider level.
Insecurity, defensiveness, and intimidation are formidable barriers to effective coaching in healthcare. The hierarchical nature of medical facilities can impede open communication and constructive feedback. Normalizing coaching in healthcare requires fostering a culture where professionals can express concerns and seek guidance without fear of judgment.
A widespread misconception is the assumption that introducing a resource equates to admitting a problem. However, this creates a defensive environment where people become more focused on justifying their actions rather than engaging in productive and collaborative discussions. A mindset shift is needed to think of resource sharing not as an admission of weakness but as an empowering, proactive step towards continuous improvement and growth.
Fear often lurks beneath resistance as an invisible barrier to professional growth and self-improvement. Normalizing coaching in healthcare requires recognizing these fears and addressing the concerns that fuel the resistance. Creating a safe, supportive environment empowers professionals to face their fears head-on. They can actively seek guidance, ask questions, and strive for improvement without the looming threat of backlash.
The power of peer-to-peer interactions can play a role in normalizing coaching in healthcare. Peers understand colleagues’ trials and challenges and can provide invaluable insights and support. These interactions can break communication barriers, forge stronger professional relationships, and encourage shared learning and understanding. Peer coaching can build a collective culture of learning and continuous improvement, sharing experiences and knowledge that benefit everyone involved.
Making Coaching Approachable
It may be helpful to provide the contact information of a credentialed physician outside a leadership role to make the process more comfortable and less intimidating to new providers. This strategy encourages new professionals to seek guidance without hesitation, fostering an environment of camaraderie and mentorship. This could be a game-changer in enhancing quality healthcare delivery, providing a nurturing platform for continuous professional growth.
Coaching has long been a cornerstone in business, yet it’s a tool often overlooked within the healthcare sector. Embracing coaching plays a crucial role in fostering a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and learning. Healthcare organizations can enhance the quality of patient care and promote the well-being of their teams and the communities they serve.
Wapiti is dedicated to the success of our providers. We have curated a variety of coaching, consulting and wellbeing resources to help them achieve their personal and professional development goals.