For the past 10 months, Physiotherapist Kim, has been taking part on The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists Leadership and Development program. Having just taken on the role as Clinical Lead at goPhysio when the program was encouraging applications last year, it came at a perfect time for Kim and we were all delighted (no more so than Kim!) when she successfully gained a place.
So, this week, as Kim’s mentor, I was delighted to join Kim and the rest of the South Central cohort at the CSP Headquarters in London, as they shared their their stories and reflections of their leadership journey.
It was a truly powerful and inspiring day, and I wanted to share my reflections.
Throughout the day, the messages and leadership journeys that the participants experienced, followed some common themes:
- Trust, it builds slowly but can disappear in an instant. It is such a crucial part of successful leadership and relationships but has to be earned, developed and nurtured. It takes investment.
- Honesty and integrity are values that will be inherent in successful leaders and developing positive relationships. They both feature in the Values We Live By here at goPhysio, and the importance of this was certainly re-enforced.
- Listening has to feature in leadership success. Being consciously aware of others, their communication style, their own thought process, frame of reference and plethora of other factor that make up communication is so important and actively listening is something so simple that is often overlooked. People often just want to be listened to!
What struck me is how these principles are translated into how we care for our patients. After all, when patients see a physiotherapist, their role is to lead them on their journey of recovery – it was fascinating to draw these parallels.
Sitting there as an observer, I was in awe of:
- How diverse and talented the physiotherapy profession is. We heard from Physio’s from such a wide variety of sectors, at different times in their careers and each plays such a huge part on positively impacting peoples lives.
- How powerful shared learning and peer support is.
- That the potential cumulative impact from all the participants could be immense in helping develop, improve and shape the future of physiotherapy.
The day closed with a motivating address from the CSP’s CEO, Karen Middleton. Karen shared some key messages:
- Leaders need to be resilient. She acknowledged that everyone lives an extremely busy life and to be a successful leader in this climate, resilience is essential.
- Be kind to yourself. Self care; taking time to look after yourself and not being so hard on yourself, forms a key part of being resilient. These are key messages that we could all take heed of, whether involved in leadership or not! So making time for YOU can help you become a better leader. However, do not feel guilty about taking care of yourself!
- Tenacity is crucial. Having the strength and conviction to keep going, try something a different way, make changes and have the ability to bounce back, even if things don’t go as planned, all form the tenacity needed to be a good leader.
- Hope isn’t a strategy. Hope is great, but you can’t hope things will change or improve – you need to drive this. I sat there thinking the same about the people we see who have an injury. Many people hope for so long that their pain or injury will just get better and eventually they realise it hasn’t, so they seek our help. Physiotherapy is a strategy! With our knowledge, skills and experience we give people a plan of action to achieve their goal.
The aim of the CSP’s LDP was to create strong leaders throughout the profession, where the new skills and experience will filter through and create a climate for others to thrive and develop. Physiotherapy as a profession has so much to offer. With our ageing population, ageing workforce and the importance of physical activity and exercise never having been so recognised, we are expertly placed to support and change people’s lives. We can have such an impact, and to harness the power we have, we need great leaders to drive it forwards.
I left feeling overwhelmingly positive about the future of physiotherapy as a profession, filled with confidence with Karen as a leader. Physiotherapy really does matter and it really can transform lives.
At goPhysio, we are so proud of Kim and the leadership journey she has been on. We are very excited about the future and sharing her learning within our team and beyond. We would like to join Kim in thanking the CSP, Connect Oxford and The CSP Charitable Trust for this opportunity.
Fiona, Non-Clinical Director at goPhysio