Getting asked the question, “What’s Up Doc?” rarely comes with the expectation of an honest answer. But the power of this question shouldn’t be dismissed. A recent article in Becker’s Health highlighted how the Cleveland Clinic estimated to have saved $133 million in physician retention in 2020 alone. That’s an astounding figure. How did they do it? A coaching program.
Not all of us are at the Cleveland Clinic, but we all have the ability to enlist a similar system to improve our institutions.
The way I see it, the benefits of a coaching program can be broken down into two general categories: confidential conversations and personal growth.
When we are provided an opportunity in a confidential, psychologically safe space to think and reflect, it’s amazing what a free mind can do. A coach gives you an opportunity to do just that by asking you a genuine question like, “what’s up?” We can respond by letting them know how we really feel. Given the circumstance we’re managing, we can formulate a proper response with the support of our coach. In a complex, high-stakes environment, the space a coach creates can produce meaningful outcomes.
Acknowledging and validating our thoughts and feelings is an important coaching skill that facilitates healing and recovery.
Just as important, the coaching space sets the foundation for learning to move forward through our current and future challenges and opportunities. There are two sides to the personal growth equation when it comes to coaching. Of course, when we receive coaching we make improvements towards a goal. Let’s call this the fish or catch. We also grow tremendously when we learn or advance our skills. This is learning to fish better. A coach’s job is to empower others through the process rather than advising on “the way.” This is a different model than we typically operate in as surgeons, and we now have further proof that helps high performing physicians succeed and feel the fulfillment in their work.
The Cleveland Clinic’s coaching program was able to retain physicians and demonstrated “increased engagement, resilience, and fulfillment.” They put the benefits of coaching in terms of the dollars. Anyone still questioning the value?
We hope you will join our community to learn more about coaching, because when we come together under the right conditions,, we can do truly powerful things.