What’s Your Workplace MO?

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The Power of Peer Coaching in the Workplace. Guest: Ron Moser

January 11, 2020


Ron:                                 00:00                 

Megan:                            00:05                  Welcome to what's your M.O. in Healthcare? The podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare.

New Speaker:                  00:14                  Today I'm continuing my conversation with Ron Moser, organizational coach who works in health care and coaches managers and executives. We want to continue the conversation talking specifically about this notion of peer coaching. Ron, can you tell me what peer coaching is?

Ron:                                 00:33                  Peer coaching is so powerful because when we create a coaching culture we're scaling the culture of coaching. And so by helping develop those individuals who are most receptive to the coaching to begin with, they then develop with their aptitude, a competency where they can then begin to help model those skills. And sometimes modeling those skills is others just observing them in a departmental meeting or maybe in the ER or wherever they're working, they get to see and observe that. But it could also be that they start asking them and inviting them. Tell me more about what's happening. I see what's happening in your life. It's changing. Right? And they begin to give each other permission, if you will, to coach one another. Now that doesn't happen overnight, but if you were to ask me after a successful design and implementation of a coaching culture project, what would be the most important metric I would look for is how healthy peer mentoring is developing.

Ron:                                 01:37                  Because now we've gotten to a point where we've developed some rapport and trust among the team members through this coaching model. And sometimes that means healing up a little bit because sometimes there can be a rub or two in a department, right? Where somebody maybe hurt someone's feelings or has had some negative impact, kind of a thing for the group. And so people need to clean that up. But coaching creates an environment to do that. And so that begins to happen and individuals get more comfortable professionally being vulnerable, then being able to invite one another to be each other's coaches is where that magic is at. And so I would go as far to say some of the most transformational organizational interventions I've been a part of are when we've gone from a scenario where we've had individuals who are actually competing with each other and quite upset with each other to being the strongest peer mentors one to another.

Ron:                                 02:43                  I would like to put that out there as a goal for anyone who has, and it's hard to imagine at first, they haven't gotten along for a year or two or they had this happen three years ago. Yeah, they did. And they've got hurt or they got wounded. But the magic of coaching is about healing up, becoming and collectively helping each other such that we're all on the climb. Or another way of saying that is all boats rise with that tide. And when we see we're stronger together, but it takes a couple of early adopters who are generally respected by the community to receive and act on that coaching, who then can in turn invite the others to come and follow. Now is everybody going to come? No. There might be one or two that lag and that might be okay.

Ron:                                 03:30                  It might be okay if you have somebody who's not fully engaging as long as they're productively contributing to the team. But if they're one of those negative persons who are creating a toxic environment, that's where tough coaching comes into play. And let them know that we'd really love love for you to be a part of our organization but in an healthy engaged way. And if you'd like to go there, we'd like to help you get there and we expect that. And if that's not something that you want to do, then we need to talk about other things.

Megan:                            04:00                  Right. They might self-select out. This is just not my thing in terms of the culture of coaching. So one thing I want to just pick up on is that professional vulnerability? So since my podcast is mostly about healthcare and working in hospitals, that's my background, how do you think that goes over medical professionals who really pride themselves on being professionally competent? And now we're getting into things where they have to, we're asking them to be vulnerable. What kind of feedback could we give medical professionals when we're asking them to open up and be vulnerable through the coaching process?

Ron:                                 04:47                  Powerful question. There's a lot of different models we can pull into the coaching space. One of them that I find is very effective in this space is the situational leadership model which essentially enables us as an expert. So for example, I work as an executive coach and a consultant. Am I an expert in what I do? Yes. Am I an expert in everything in the field of executive coaching? No, I'm not. What if we had a language or a way of communicating that allowed us to be recognized as experts but not experts in absolutely everything within our field. The situational leadership model does that for us. It has four levels, developmental levels. Developmental Level One states that individual has great energy around a particular task, capability, but doesn't know how to do it. They're Level One.

Ron:                                 05:41                  They have the energy, they want to do it. They really don't know how is a Level Two or Developmental Level Two, they don't have the energy or the skill to do it. They don't have either. So that's a different coaching conversation altogether. A Level Three, the person has the capability, maybe not the confidence or the energy to go and execute on that task. The Developmental Level Four, they have both the energy and the skill set to go and do it. So if I were a physician for example, and I had a language, I had a way to communicate with those in my community to say I do have an expertise in these other areas, but I'm actually on this one a Level One. I'm actually D Two or I'm D One. What if that was a common language that we adopted? And it was actually okay. And so before we're out on the floor, maybe we are in a training environment where we're doing a coaching session and now we've created a mechanism or a way to communicate with each other and just let everybody know, every time I ask a group of physicians or nurses or other professionals in the field, do you know everything about your profession that you're professionally paid to do?

Ron:                                 06:49                  Do you know everything about it? And do you know it at a Level Four, no one raises their hand. And then after having that conversation for a little while, being able to say, what would it be like if you had a culture where it wasn't just acceptable but even expected and encouraged to be able to let folks know, yeah, I think I'm a Four on that, or a D Two on that skill. I could use some help. And so in advance, we've actually agreed that we're going to communicate that way. And before that, we've agreed that we can't possibly know everything about everything because we know what happens when we try to be the know it all. I know what's happened with me when I've tried to do that in my life. I get into trouble. And quite frankly, it's kind of a dirty yes.

Ron:                                 07:31                  Do you know not to do that? Yes. You know, why? Because you hired me as the consultant. I'm the professional. I'm supposed to know. In fact, I have licensure that says so versus, you know, that's an area I haven't had as much experience in. I have a peer or a friend who I could reach out and talk to about that. But if you've got more info, know and make that be okay. I know that's culturally different than the way we've been conditioned. The industry, the healthcare industry as we know it because there's such a patriarchy of command and control.

Megan:                            08:04                  Yes. And expectations that you should know at all, especially at the physician level, that the pressure and the expectation they must feel. But I think that could be appealing to particularly doctors and healthcare professionals because it just puts it in a very fact based mode, you know that I have the energy and the enthusiasm for that, but I don't know it. If you could just talk in that language, that could be pretty powerful. It's kind of like Color Code because everybody is on the same page and they know where you're coming from.

Ron:                                 08:37                  Yeah. So powerful. If you could combine coaching from Color Code and situational leadership model, you put like those two together for example. And I think it's really magical because now I understand what your personality interests are, where your energy flows, where it doesn't, how you like to be communicated with and not. And also if I my own Color Code now, I began to solve a puzzle at a level where we can build rapport so much more quickly and communicate more precisely and imagine through Color Code, being able to do that.

Ron:                                 09:06                  And that would be able to say, you know what? I can actually say I'm a D Four, when it comes to learning. I might not know it today, but I could go find out because I'm, before I can even go look it up, I can call an expert. I can call a third party. I have access as an expert to the D for the answer, but I don't have to be the owner or the resident of that knowledge in the moment.

Megan:                            09:27                  There you go. Yeah, I like that. That's powerful stuff. Cool. Well, we could talk about that quite a bit. So probably just to wrap it up, you've, you've spoken so eloquently about the power of coaching as a leader or an executive in a healthcare system. Why should I invest in coaching and spend my resources on coaches like yourself who are working one on one with either leaders or whether it's more at a skill level, but particularly on the leadership level.

Megan:                            10:02                  If I have limited resources, why should I consider putting some money towards coaching?

Ron:                                 10:08                  Well, that is the budget question, isn't it? I think it's very simple, but can sometimes be hard to do. What I mean by that is, is that we're very busy. We have competing budget priorities, why would I invest in individual? Because I have so much potential already invested in that individual. If they're not awake, alive, on purpose, aligned and modeling the behaviors and the technical competencies that we want to be modeled, then we're leaving so much on the shelf already. So we actually are recovering an investment that we've already made. As we get through that recovery, we are going to get a return on our initial investment. The fact that we hired them to begin with because their potential is going to be realized at a much higher level.

Ron:                                 10:56                  So that's one. And then two, as we begin to get momentum and we create more of a coaching culture in the organization, we get a couple of individuals who are modeling and leading. Now we get transformational shift and we actually live at a frequency level as an organization, right? Which level of Maslow's Hierarchy are we going to live at? Right? Or what level of awakened, connectedness are we going to live at such that patient outcomes are not just in our hearts and our minds, but in our collective strategies. And that together, for the most part, we're moving in the same direction. And now because we have all of our other resources moving in the same direction, we get paid again. We get an organizational return on investment. So we work with the individual, we get the individual return, their individual capabilities rise.

Ron:                                 11:46                  They reached their potential. But as we create a coaching culture, now we get that organizational ROI. Now this is the place where I want to be. I want to grow my career. I'm telling my friends about it. And what we really should have now is a waiting list for individuals trying to get onto our team.

Megan:                            12:01                  So it's about return on investment. It's about retention. It's about shifting the organization forward, transformational changes. So why wouldn't you want to invest in that when you put it that way?

New Speaker:                  12:14                  Is it a mission or is it a wish? If it's a wish, you know, maybe we can just work with it. The old school, traditional budget model. If it's a mission, let's invest in our potential and realize and become who we say we are.

Megan:                            12:28                  Much more powerful. Thank you, Ron. This has been wonderful and I want to invite you back again because I always love talking to you about this stuff, so thanks again. Thank you. Until next time, this is Megan and Guido with what's your emo in healthcare?

Announcer:                      12:46                  Thank you for listening to what's your MO in Healthcare. The podcast that's all about understanding the core motives of the people you work with and manage in healthcare. For more information, go to moinhealthcare.com