By Chris Woodgate, ISAS officer
This month in Synergy News I have taken the theme of making a difference by making one small change. It is based on the Top Talk piece from March 2018, check it out on theTop Talk archive.
How do you as leaders encourage your teams to make a difference to your service, no matter how small? I would venture to suggest that there is nothing like expressing your own experiences to show that anything is possible.
As you travel through life, it is important to remember that no experience is wasted. Yes, even those which are painful and difficult; I would assert that they are the ones that impact on us and the way we lead the most.
The temptation is to demonstrate to others our strengths and successes but, if you think about your own career, it was often when listening to a mentor or other significant leader’s struggles that connected you to them.
If we want to motivate, it is important that our team/s know both the successes and the trials and tests we went through to get there, as it makes it attainable for others to follow in our footsteps. Or do you want your achievements to be so out of reach they give up?
I would dare to say that sharing even those worst of times will give others hope that they can make a difference by persevering through their own difficulties or frustrations.
From personal experience, I can say that the bad times taught me how to be a better leader; I remember thinking “if I get into that position, I will not treat people like that”.
When I felt I was getting it wrong, it made me apologise to the teams and remember to listen and not just to pontificate or pressure.
The important lesson was that the teams I worked with had much more to offer if I allowed them to express their ideas rather than tell them what and how to do something.
Empowering those we work with is key: from allowing a staff member to make one small change to a whole team making a big change for the benefit of our patients.
How does empowerment work? There are many books on the subject and, while I am not in any way qualified to comment on them, maybe I can give a few pointers?
I think it is true that when you aim to help others, there is a reward and a brighter future; it may be my rose-coloured glasses, but hope is always better than despair.