Hello KSKOers and welcome to new subscribers!

It was great to have a conversation with Lynn and reflect on her experience of working in the NHS for 39 years. We talked about the changes that the NHS has gone through during that time and how compassionate leadership is the model of choice for the NHS in modern yet turbulent times. Here are my top takeaways from our conversation.

Compassionate Leadership: Lynn talked about the NHS’s historical “command and control” leadership approach and the contemporary shift towards a more humanistic, coaching style of leadership. This shift promotes a more collaborative, compassionate, and person-centered style of leadership in healthcare. By embracing this change, leaders can significantly impact staff satisfaction and patient care.

Reflection Question: How can you integrate improvement science and coaching behaviours into your leadership approach to create a more compassionate work environment?

Self-Awareness in Healthcare Leadership: Our conversation emphasises the essential role of self-awareness in healthcare leadership. Self-aware leaders are better at recognising and amplifying their own strengths, understanding the strengths of their team members, and adapting their leadership style to meet the needs of individuals.

Reflection Question: How can you cultivate self-awareness in a high-stress work environment , and what strategies can you implement to support others’ self-awareness?


You can also watch my conversation with Lynn on YouTube…


The Language of the Strategic Level: Our discussion acknowledges the dehumanisation of language which happens when people move into senior leadership positions in healthcare, e.g. ‘patients’ becomes ‘productivity’, ‘everybody’ becomes ‘100%’ . This which can shift the focus towards targets and performance rather than individual and staff well-being. It’s important for leaders to reflect on their language and communication to ensure a compassionate and person-centered approach.

Reflection Question: How can you actively assess and adjust your language to promote a compassionate and supportive culture in your organisation?

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Policy Alignment: We talked about the challenges faced by managers when organisational policies don’t align with their values. Policies need to be compassionate and person-centered if that’s the culture the organisation wants to promote and reward. I was really heartened to hear Lynn talking about this, because it was something that came up in my research and something I talk about in my book, The Self-Awareness Superhighway, coming out in Spring ‘24

Reflection Question: How can you create and implement policies that are compassionate, person-centered to ensure alignment with your organisational values?

Impacting Staff Satisfaction: Lynn emphasises the crucial impact of self-aware leaders on team dynamics and staff satisfaction in the NHS. Self-aware leaders can foster a supportive and compassionate work environment, ultimately benefitting staff well-being and patient care. We talked specifically about the annual NHS staff survey, which you can read more about here

Reflection Question: How can your organisations prioritise and support the development of self-awareness in your leadership teams to enhance staff satisfaction and overall organisational effectiveness?

Every reflection question encourages you to stop, pause and apply Lynn’s insights to your own life, to foster a deeper understanding of self-awareness, the impact of language and the importance of policies to facilitate a positive culture.

Do share any thoughts, ideas and reflection you have here on Substack or LinkedIn.

Looking forward to having you on my learning journey!


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