As part of our work to help improve the wellbeing of our membership and the wider health care profession, on Thursday this week (12 September) we’re running Making Life Work Better. This is a one-day conference on how to address areas where we can all make a difference to our own health and wellbeing in the workplace, and that of our colleagues.
From today we’re publishing advice from speakers at the conference giving advice and tips on wellbeing within the medical profession.
In today’s post, Dr David Caesar shares his top five tips for Making Life Work Better. David is the Head of Leadership and Talent Management at the Scottish Government Health Workforce, Leadership and Service Reform Directorate:
Work and life can be hard, punishing and unfair at times. Wherever you work though, remember that there are people all around us who are less fortunate (and not just the patients). Try and see the world through their experience as much as possible.
No-one is perfect, including us! Be driven and professional, but be kind to yourself also. Patients and colleagues will remember how you treated them far more than what you did for them. Try and develop deep reservoirs of empathy.
3. Embrace your ignorance
Approach your career as a constant learner and don’t limit yourself to your specialty – go and see how other services/sectors work. Also, you should set out to learn as much about yourself as possible – we all have blind spots and deaf spots. You may be surprised how little you knew!
Our careers are long and varied – don’t try and “race to the top”. Build trust and integrity, in varied and rich relationships and opportunities will come. When seeking to influence others, don’t force the “right answer” on them: Bond, Bridge then Broker. You progress at the speed of trust and this takes time.
Constantly revisit this – what contribution can I bring, how would I look back on this situation afterwards with pride? I often have a reaction to things then ask myself “what would the leadership response to this be?” They aren’t always the same. Developing “meta-awareness” is a life’s work and worth every minute!