A recent initiative using a life-coach to develop strong leadership skills and empower individual team members and the team as a whole has been tried and tested. The scheme was introduced to a team of nurses in a GP practice in three stages, working relationships, leadership skills and stress management. Life coaching aims to help people to enhance work performance and career opportunities and to achieve more in life and the NHS agrees that this kind of coaching is very much needed.
As well as group sessions, the scheme also set aside time for one on one coaching, which focused on developing self-belief, self-awareness, self-management, personal integrity and the ability to enable others. The nurses reported that the individual sessions made their own values far clearer to them than they had been. ‘They made me realise my own values and why I get more irritated by certain characteristics of the team members. It wasn’t my fault that we were not working well as a team; each individual team member needed to own their responsibilities and be accountable themselves.’ It is important that members of the team have the self-confidence and self-awareness to know their own weaknesses as this enables them to build the right kind of leadership.
After the process was complete the Advanced Nurse Practioner stressed that reward and recognition are both essential in the workplace. As Zwell (2000) said: ‘If employees significantly impact on the organisation and are not rewarded for that impact, expect them to go to other organisations where they will feel more appreciated’.