Leading with Respect
by Maryanne Matthews
Promoting a positive and respectful environment begins with positive and respectful leaders. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is applying that approach to continued leadership development and enhancement training.
This new approach to leadership training builds upon the “Me to We to All” method launched last year. It builds upon each leader’s individual strengths to create more collaborative and supportive teams, and ultimately improve patient care.
“Our goal is to increase the knowledge and competency of staff in the areas of acute mental health, senior’s health, Indigenous health and culture, accessibility and the patient experience overall,” said Amanda Bjorn, Executive Vice President of People, Culture and Strategy. “The training is designed to build skills and knowledge to support a respectful environment. In the end, we want all staff to be considerate and kind towards everyone – coworkers, patients and families – and to acknowledge everyone else’s experiences, views and beliefs.”
Hospital employees, volunteers and professional staff will participate in respect education training, which is being lead by the Hospital’s Interprofessional Education department. The training will be delivered through an innovative mixed methodology approach to learning that includes self-assessments, e-learning, in-situ simulation activities, and coaching. A key factor of this education is that all leaders are to be trained as coaches and will take on a key role throughout implementation. The majority of education will provide opportunities for participants to practice techniques and skills and to have meaningful interactions regarding content. Finally, a support component has been built into the training plan to facilitate behaviour and culture change.
“Respect isn’t something that can be taught in a classroom, it’s something that begins within each individual person through self reflection,” said Bjorn. “Everyone should be treated with respect, regardless of age, illness or culture, and accomplishing that starts with ourselves. This approach to learning will help people to understand their own biases and beliefs and how those biases impact others. This training will encourage introspective conversations that will explore thoughts and feelings in the work place, with a focus on racism and other stereotypes that can create barriers to optimal health care. Ultimately, we hope to create a safer space for everyone that comes to our Hospital.”