Vicki Farthing shared her challenges of transitioning from hands on clinician to manager in an organisation where everyone knows you. She spoke of the difficulties learning how to manage friends, step up to take on a challenge, and the satisfaction of seeing change.
Vicki shared some of her most valuable tools for working with staff to bring about change.
People support what they help to create.
She named resilience and reflection as two of her most important practices. And optimism as her greatest strength.
Health is a furnace that forges you in the fire.
Here are some of Vicki's gems:
- Keep a safe place for when you need time out.
- Don't take it personally, it's rarely about you.
- Learn how to leave things at work.
- Use everything as learning.
- Give your managers some rope.
She quoted one of her favourite articles to share with new managers: "Management Time: Who's Got the Monkey? by William Oncken, Jr., and Donald L. Wass. The core idea being that people are very happy to pass you the monkey on their back so that you end up with so many monkeys you don't have time to handle your own real job. She explained some practical ideas for helping people grow their initiative and handle their own monkeys.
These are the questions Vicki posed to us at dinner. What would your responses be?
- Where is your safe place? Where do you go when things you feel overwhelmed, under pressure?
- How would you, or have you gone managing your friends or peers?
- How do you make people accountable, or can you?
Vicky Farthing is currently Executive Director of Nursing and Gippsland Southern Health Service, Leongatha.