How we are supporting resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Colleague,

Everyone in healthcare is experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether you are a clinical front line responder taking care of COVID patients, or now find yourself providing less acute services via telehealth. Our colleagues are in the middle of crisis and adaptation……and as coaches, we are also called to step up our game to support healthcare RESILIENCE.

How our PCI coach grads are supporting the font line

As the Executive Director of the Physician Coaching Institute (PCI), I have been  heartened to hear how our PCI graduates are supporting their colleagues.  One person related that he has been a  sounding board for the CMO; as coach, he focuses on coaching presence while the CMO gathers his thoughts. Another coach shared that he’s found it effective to remind his physician leader of the leader’s Core Values–coaching work they’d done a few months prior to the crisis.  Connecting to personal Core Values was keeping that physician leader anchored to what mattered most. A coach who belongs to to a cadre of internal coaches (and all PCI grads) in her health system shared that they are conducting “STAT Coaching” sessions— being available virtually for short sessions to the entire healthcare team.  Recently I spoke with one our grads who will be conducting “group coaching” sessions once a week for physician members of his regional specialty health association. The sessions will be “drop in” with the objective of providing overwhelmed  clinicians a virtual place to gather, refresh and support each other.

The SELA Coaching Guide – coaching clinicians who are managing crisis

Inspired by the reports from our PCI grads, my co-faculty, Amorah Ross, and I created a new coaching tool, the SELA Coaching Guide, a coaching framework that coaches can use to coach clinicians who are managing crisis.  We’ve made the SELA Coaching Guide available, along with a 15-minute video tutorial, to all of our graduates to start using ASAP in those situations when a “regular coaching session” is not appropriate.  SELA, which stands for SettleEmpathizeListen, and Affirm, guides the coach and coachee through a 15-30 minute coaching conversation.  The SELA Coaching Guide is also available for free to trained coaches who are not PCI grads (email me).

We are committed to developing coaches and a culture of coaching — now in a virtual world

The Physician Coaching Institute is committed to meeting our mission of developing coaches who can be in service to the physician community and foster a culture of coaching. As we look ahead to the next 24 months we are aware that many organizations that were planning to develop or use coaching resources to support their physicians may realize, like all of us, that it’s a “virtual world.”   Starting  in March 2020, our Physician Coaching Institute has smoothly transitioned all our on-site training events to live virtual to avoid the risk posed by COVID-19 for travel or indoor gatherings.   Indeed, our Certified Physician Development Coach flagship program kicked off in March 2020 via Zoom without a hitch, and the previous cohort completed their 2-day Graduation Capstone in April, also via Zoom.  For organizations ready to develop a cadre of leader-coaches, our Healthcare Leader Peer Coach program will be prepared to kickoff virtually as well.

Our newest coach training program, the Healthcare Peer Coaching Fundamentals, was actually conceived as a result of the COVID-19 situation.  We wanted to provide a virtual “fundamentals” option to our Certified Physician Development Coach participants who needed to meet the “fundamentals” coaching prerequisite prior to starting in September.  Because current travel restrictions limited their options to achieve this prerequisite, the Physician Coaching Institute offered our first Fundamentals 2-day virtual training (July 11-12, 2020).  Another reason we are excited about this “fundamentals” training is that we can develop more healthcare team members who can competently do basic “peer coaching,” before committing to our professional coaching program, the Certified Physician Development Coach.   Learn more about our new Healthcare Peer Coaching Fundamentals here.

We must all model resilience

As important as it is to support our clinical colleagues, it’s just as important to model resilience.  What are YOU doing to maintain resilience?

To that end, I urge you to connect with your support network, get exercise, eat well, take time in nature, carve out time to reflect and refresh, listen to music, read, and engage in meditation and prayer.    Our job now is to support our colleagues to be resilient as they “get it done” across the country and the globe.  My intention is to support YOU in doing  your part to be in service to their well-being. Thank you for your commitment.

Sincerely and in good health,

Francine Gaillour, MD

Executive Director, Physician Coaching Institute