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Support for Leaders

Our aim is to support you to look after yourself so that you can deliver the best leadership you can in the moment.

The leadership we demonstrate now has never been more important. These continue to be enormously challenging times for us all at CUH. Findings from the CUH Reflects survey highlighted the vital role of those in leadership positions, whether we are managing whole services, teams or resources.

We see an overriding need for flexible, agile and compassionate leadership to support the organisation and maximise staff engagement.

Compassionate and inclusive leadership start with practicing self-compassion and self-care. You may have heard the expression that you can’t pour from an empty vessel. Another analogy that is often quoted is to put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help someone else. Both these expressions emphasise the importance of looking after our own wellbeing so that we can be a positive role model for others and lead authentically and with integrity, maintaining engagement and motivation.

Three things you can do right now for yourself

Stop and take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Notice if you are carrying tension and where this is. When did you last have a drink of water, a snack, or give your eyes a screen break? If you like to follow mindfulness principles, take a tiny pause and notice something that has gone well today.

Remember something that has gone well, that you are proud of or that you were praised for. Acknowledge your competence and skill in that situation and remember how that felt.

Ask yourself if you are being as effective as you could be right now? Are you focussing your energies on what you can control and being proactive rather than being distracted by what you can’t control?

Resources on DOT

You will find an increasing range of leadership resources on DOT. We have created a series of short guides to provide immediate support. Find them by searching the DOT Learning Directory (opens in a new tab). They include:

  • New Manager’s Orientation
  • Coaching Techniques for Empowering Conversations
  • Facilitating Meetings, including Virtual Meetings
  • Leading others during Change
  • Maintaining Team Resilience
  • Managing Remote Teams

If there is a topic you would like to see covered here or on DOT or you would like to talk to us about bespoke support, please contact us via the Leadership & Organisational Development (OD) email:

External Resources

Creating space for conversations – When people are stressed and anxious, creating a shared, safe space to keep thinking and to maintain and develop relationships with colleagues is important. Here are some pointers to help structure the conversation: Creating space for conversations (opens in a new tab)

Making decisions in difficult circumstance – A three minute video from a chief fire officer: making-decisions-difficult-circumstances (opens in a new tab)

Managing your energy levels – A quick read: managing-your-energy (opens in a new tab)

Managing anxiety about loss – A three minute read that reminds us that we’ve ‘lost’ all kinds of things as a result of the pandemic – routine, time together, workspaces etc. and again promotes compassionate listening and care of self and others: Managing-anxiety-about-loss (opens in a new tab)

Navigating your emotions – Shares some of the most common emotions people have been grappling with and considers how acknowledging these feelings can help people regain strength and focus: Acknowledging feelings in a crisis (opens in a new tab)

Is heroic leadership the order of the day? - Five short points to bear in mind to address the burden of unrealistic expectations: Do you have to be a hero? (opens in a new tab)

Moving from a blame culture to a just culture – seven key elements - As highlighted by NHS England with the NHS People Plan, healthcare organisations that prioritise workforce wellbeing will be better placed to put lessons learnt from the coronavirus pandemic into practice. Care for the caregivers (opens in a new tab)

Leading teams – A brief introduction to ‘leading on the fly’ to work together to solve urgent and complex challenges – with signposting to further resources: Teaming – working alongside others in challenging circumstances (opens in a new tab)

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