Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC: CEO and Founding Partner, SixSEED Partners
OneSixSEED Partners (SSP) was contacted by a Chief Clinical Officer for a large faith-based health system concerning our providing coaching services to two cardiac surgeons who needed to partner for overall program success and were currently in conflict. The behaviors demonstrated were interfering with the engagement of other team members and posed a risk of departure for one of the surgeons who happened to be a high-volume, high revenue producer.
SSP met with the local hospital Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) to determine measures of success and also to assess dynamics within the larger health system. As may be common with less urban areas, the CCO’s marital partner was a peer to one of the referred physicians which impacted the CCO’s proclivity in setting firm boundaries. SSP modeled being compassionate AND direct in establishing performance expectations and outcomes. While there was some interest in bringing the two physicians together immediately, we agreed that our approach would combine the organization establishing firm expectations and providing coaching support in developing these physician leaders.
Choosing the right coach for the clients was essential in establishing trust in order to provide both challenge and support. We decided to use the @CoreStrengths Strength Deployment Inventory to help each physician deepen their emotional intelligence as they understood their motivators and values within the context of six other motivational value styles and conflict styles. In debriefing the physicians individually, each client was true to their style, often demonstrating their strengths and overdone strengths within the debrief conversation.
As you will note from the attached SDI triangle, the two surgeons had very different styles which contributed greatly to their sense of conflict. One physician valued inclusion and the other physician valued autonomy and competition. As with all interdependent tensions/ polarities, what was essential was helping each physician understand their unique gifts/ strengths and how to leverage those, while also understanding their overdone strengths and the impact on their teams. Each physician’s development plan included strengthening the opposite pole/ style: to better leverage competition and collaboration.
One of the strengths of the Core Strengths platform is that it has an app that allows a user to review their results and also compare their style to that of others and learn “do’s and don’ts” for emailing, messaging, communicating, and meeting with those who are different than them. They learn how to flex their style to their audience so they can partner better and perceive behaviors less personally. In being able to do so, not only is the partnership strengthened but there is less wear and tear on the physicians so their energy can go where it is most needed which is program development and patient care. I’m noticing the desire to want to tie a pretty bow and say this story had a happy ending, and I’m sure it will. The work continues yet it might be easy to guess that the surgeon with a high-performance motivation (red) is considering moving on to what’s next. As leaders, our roles include establishing cultures where all can thrive. There are times when that might mean people leave our organizations. If we’ve done our job in creating strong development cultures, we increase overall leadership capacity so that regardless of departures, the organization continues to thrive and patient care is sustained.
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