Many are confused about healthcare coaching. Confusion about what it really is limits those who seek it out. Let me help clarify. Coaching, counseling, mentoring, and apprenticeship, among others, all refer to ways a leader can seek assistance in their desire to grow personally and improve their performance.
An apprenticeship involves working directly with another more experienced in the skill you wish to improve. For example, if I want to become good at laying bricks, I could apprentice with an experienced mason and they could teach me the specific skills and knowledge necessary. A mentoring relationship typically involves a more senior leader who agrees to assist a less senior leader in improving a specific skill. If I am already a skilled interventional cardiologist but have not yet learned how to implant artificial valves, I could team with a mentor who could oversee my progress and offer support or resources. If we enter a counseling relationship there is typically a personal character or performance issue that needs work. In these relationships, the counselor is driving the sessions and probing to uncover and address underlying root causes. This could involve psychotherapy, group sessions, medication, or just personal introspection.
In contrast to all of these other relationships, a healthcare coaching relationship is driven by the person being coached. The “coachee” sets the agenda and defines the goal they would like to achieve. The coach is there to assist in understanding, clarifying, and brainstorming. Importantly, they encourage and set goals. The coachee does the actual work, not the coach. It is not counseling. It is a means of assisting you to uncover and realize the potential you already possess. It is also typically limited in time and scope. Here is an example from a coaching relationship I had a few years ago. A colleague desiring to advance their career and I coached them through the possibilities which included trying to stay where they were, seeking alternative employment locally, or moving to seek opportunities in another part of the country. I did not decide for them; I merely helped them process the information and clarify their true desires.
I encourage you to explore healthcare coaching as a means of advancing your leadership goals. There is no stigma attached. The cost is well worth it. You will feel empowered and refreshed!
Learn more about the growth opportunities Hodgson Leadership Solutions offers for medical providers. Visit the Healthcare Coaching page. You can download the complimentary white paper on the benefits of healthcare coaching.
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