Menders reimagine what is possible in healthcare to creatively address structural challenges and create a nourishing environment for leaders and their clinical employees. Each episode provides real-world inspiration from freethinking leaders, top clinicians, healthcare innovators, and Dr. Nicola De Paul (clinical psychologist & healthcare leadership consultant). Looking for quick fixes or standard management tools? Try someplace else. Motivated to maximize the resilience and diversity of your team, sustain your momentum as a leader, improve communication with your people, and transform your health system? Welcome to Menders!
Explore calling & what nourishes you in medicine with Adele Wang
Pay attention to the personal and organizational factors that erode well-being, drive burnout, and make strategic changes to nourish yourself and your team.
“I’ve finally found my passion!” Not every day, my patients walk into my office smiling, but it’s delightful when it happens. I’d been working with this guy for a while, focusing on mindful self-awareness and kicking his people-pleasing habit. I never intended to help him find his passion, but it happened when he began paying attention to what was genuinely fulfilling.
Addressing burnout requires that we toggle between the personal and the organizational. Paying attention to what is fulfilling and deeply meaningful to you and me while at the same time working to address barriers to equitable distribution of workload, leadership practices that erode trust, and challenges that interfere with building community at the team level.
The way we’re working isn’t working. So how do we step out of the frame and change how we work to create a system nourishing for us and everyone in our healthcare organizations?
Tune in to learn:
What simple changes will help you realign with your passion for medicineWhat questions to ask to transform your experience as a healerHow to help your team reconnect with passion every dayBio: Adele Wang is an integrative health provider who also mentors professional people struggling with anxiety and physical manifestations of stress. In her current practice, she focuses on helping healthcare providers realign themselves with their passions in life and medicine. Adele is also the host of the All Things Human podcast.
Earn trust by promoting autonomy with Dr. Mayan Bomsztyk
Earn employees' trust by giving them a life-giving workplace.
I’d been waiting to catch the attention of my chief of staff all morning. I finally had her on my screen. With my headphones on, I didn’t notice the office door creak open until a glitter-encrusted wand was thrust in my face. I was mortified, but she responded graciously, “I have kids too.”
COVID reminded us of our humanity and removed the work-life separation so many of us were used to. So, let’s use that lesson to reshape how we think about healthcare to create life-giving work and resilient workplaces for frontline employees and leaders in healthcare.
I sat down with Dr. Mayan Bomsztyk and asked her to share her thoughts on building trust between executives and frontline clinicians and improving employees' happiness in healthcare workplaces. Her big takeaway, learn the proper lessons from COVID to reconnect with the big picture and reprioritize what is fulfilling about working in healthcare for your frontline.
While she no longer supervises frontline staff, she is still constantly thinking about the needs of her frontline staff. She shared how she approaches frontline concerns at the executive level.
Here are some of her recommendations:
1. Rebalance work duties so employees can thrive.
2. Make allowances for humanity at work.
3. Consider the big picture when looking at metrics.
4. Go the extra mile to re-engage your people and promote change.
**This is a replay of Menders episode 1, originall published in April of 2022.
Bio: Dr. Mayan Bomsztyk is an internal medicine physician at an executive leadership level in the public sector.
Use Intuitive Eating to reprioritize yourself with Victoria Yates
If you’re a woman in leadership struggling to prioritize yourself, try Intuitive Eating as a first step to honoring yourself.
You can't be the woman in leadership your people need you to be without prioritizing self-care.
One of the things that women leaders mention is the difficulty they have prioritizing taking time for themselves, especially when that is not being encouraged in their work environment. Leaders (especially women) feel time pressured as they balance the many needs of everybody else: their organization, employees, and family. In this busy context, self-care can feel unimportant.
Victoria and I discussed how the difficulty prioritizing self-care applies to women's relationships with food and their bodies.
You can learn to nourish yourself and your body as you care for yourself, both as, just as humans, as women, as women in leadership, or just as women in healthcare.
Prioritizing yourself can feel selfish, so you may sometimes feel guilty for making yourself a priority. But as Victoria points out, this all-or-nothing mindset of self-denial and service to others is exhausting and problematic. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
Listen to learn:
- The fundamentals of the intuitive eating framework
- How intuitive eating relates to self-care principles
- Why diet culture is so harmful to women and the health of the body
- How to prioritize time for yourself when you are incredibly busy
- Why prioritizing pleasure is healthy for the body
- How self-awareness will reduce your risk of burnout
Watch a clip on YouTube
Read more on my blog
Bio: Victoria Yates is a registered nurse, and an intuitive eating coach focused on helping women with issues surrounding food and their bodies. Victoria cares about helping women to care for and nourish themselves and develop more calm confidence with who they are and their approach to caring for themselves and their bodies. You can find her at victoria-yates.com.
Maintain your leadership presence in challenging circumstances with Miracle Laurie May
Lead with self-awareness and mindfulness to keep your leadership presence in difficult times.
As a psychologist, much of my time is spent teaching people how to regulate their emotions. You could call this skill learning how to manage stress, distress tolerance, or create breathing space under pressure.
Leaders need three skills to stay calm and maintain leadership presence in difficult situations.
Mindful emotional awarenessFlexible thinkingValues-aligned action I use these skills to calm my out-of-control emotional response when my preschooler is obnoxious, with a challenging patient, and when I give or receive difficult feedback. These are also foundational skills for effective leadership.
Transformational leaders are connected to their own emotional experiences and have the emotional capacity to connect with and acknowledge their team members’ emotions too.
Miracle Laurie May and I discussed how leaders could use mindful emotional awareness to stay present and lead people by example during challenging moments.
Listen to find out:
The five A's of Mindful AwarenessHow mindfulness helps leaders to lead by exampleWhy mindfulness and meditation aren't the sameHow mindfulness practice can help elevate your leadership skillsRead more at my blog:
Bio: Miracle Laurie May is a mindfulness coach who works with leaders motivated to prioritize joy, integrity, and equanimity in their daily lives. You can learn more about her work and find her at Have Zen Will Travel.
Equip the next generation of diverse leaders with Dr. Nicole Torrence
Leaders Are Trained Not Born.
It is time to include leadership development as a core component of healthcare training.
Our trainees may have innate leadership skills and qualities, but leadership can also be taught. And as we work to create institutions that reflect our communities, we must equip trainees from diverse backgrounds with the leadership skills our organizations need.
Your trainees and up-and-coming leaders in your organization will benefit from learning to appreciate how their strengths and unique attributes help them to become leaders. And your trainees will learn the most in a warm environment where you and your team provide mentoring, encouragement, and supported experiences in learning to apply themselves in leadership roles.
Listen to find out:
Why modeling is so powerful as a leadership training toolWhy leadership is a value and not just a roleHow to create developmental experiences for faculty and traineesHow you can equip future leaders to rise into formal and informal leadership positionsDr. Nicole Torrence is a training director for a psychology pre-doctoral internship training program in a public sector healthcare system.
Strengthen leadership capacity by reducing bias with Dr. Chamarlyn Fairley
Address structural bias to elevate underrepresented employees as leaders within healthcare organizations.
There is a representation gap in healthcare leadership. People with diverse identities and historically marginalized tend to be underrepresented in the pool of applicants presenting for executive positions in healthcare organizations.
Many things must change, including the structural elements reinforcing bias and underrepresentation.
Dr. Chamarlyn Fairley and I had the opportunity to explore these ideas in our recent conversation about how to diversify the pipeline to executive leadership positions in healthcare.
Listen to her tips on increasing diversity, reducing bias, and strengthening leadership capacity in your healthcare system:
Increase leadership capacity by developing diverse leaders within your organization.Reduce bias in your hiring and selection process.Let go of stereotypes to identify future leaders.Start with an intentional conversation about why increasing diversity matters to your healthcare system.Ensure the diversity of your applicant pool is representative of the rich diversity of your community.Ensure each candidate is discussed for an equal amount of time.
Bio: Dr. Chamarlyn Fairley is a psychologist and consultant to healthcare executive leaders. She is the founder and principal consultant at the Fairley Consulting Group.