Friday 30th September 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2016
The Macmillan Professionals Coaching Programme is getting rave reviews from those who have taken part
‘Coaching is an extremely valuable opportunity. It offers the time and space to reflect on work situations in a constructive way, which enables positive change and progress. My increased confidence in my area of work will benefit patients, colleagues and the cancer services I am involved in. I have also grown personally and have a clearer vision for the future.’
Janet, Macmillan Cancer Support Specialist
Janet is one of more than 140 Macmillan professionals who have benefited from the one-to-one coaching programme since it was launched in November 2014. The programme represents a substantial element of the learning and development offer for Macmillan professionals, complementing courses, e-learning and grants. It’s open to professionals at all levels, and across all roles, who have been in post for at least six months. And it provides an invaluable opportunity to spend quality time with an external expert coach to work on service, personal and professional development goals.
Participants should come to the coaching programme with clear needs and objectives – at least some of which relate to Macmillan’s Nine Outcomes – and the support of their employer. The Macmillan Professionals Coaching Programme is getting rave reviews from those who have taken part.
'This is a brilliant programme and my coach was excellent.'
Dr Tarek Bakht, Macmillan GP
They may be in the midst of organisational or workforce change, service redesign, or looking to develop their knowledge and skills for their current or future role. Sometimes it can be about using the coaching programme to refresh their self-confidence and resilience in the face of a demanding clinical workload, or to gain support for managing a new project.
’The coaching gave me the headspace to determine if I was willing and able to remain in my current role. The time spent with my coach enabled me to navigate the issues and develop a personal toolkit of support. When I applied for coaching I was not sure I would remain in post. Not only I am still here, but I have found a renewed sense of commitment to what I do which is giving me greater sense of job satisfaction.’
Sue, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist
All the information needed to apply for coaching is at learnzone.org.uk/coaching
Following a successful application, you’re able to select a coach from your area, and arrange to meet them for an introductory ‘chemistry’ session. It’s critical there is a good fit between a professional and their coach. The programme includes up to six, two-hour coaching sessions, which typically take place over a six-month period, but most importantly, at the pace of the coachee.
The independent coaches are all highly skilled and come from a wide range of backgrounds, whether in healthcare or other sectors. All have their own training, experiences and insights to draw upon to help participants achieve their goals.
‘My coach was a very valuable source of information and helped me to develop my skills and confidence, to look at my work-life balance and make some life-changing decisions. She was supportive, interested and exceptionally professional. She enabled me to challenge my existing ideas and experiences and use new knowledge to become more assertive and self aware. I would highly recommend the coaching programme and my coach.’
Anne, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist
Whilst we expect a professional’s line manager to actively support their application for coaching, the content of each session remains confidential to the coachee and coach. After the final session, we ask the coachee to help us evaluate its success by completing a detailed feedback questionnaire, which again is treated confidentially. Since its inception, the coaching programme has consistently proven to be an overwhelmingly successful investment in the learning and development of Macmillan professionals.
Everyone who has completed the programme has recommended it wholeheartedly to colleagues. Participants report a wide range of positive outcomes, such as improvements to service development and delivery, leadership skills, relationships with colleagues, confidence and assertiveness, work-life balance, levels of motivation and job satisfaction and career development.
Like other approaches to learning and development at work, the coaching programme won’t be the solution for everyone. However, we believe that coaching is a powerful way of supporting learning in the workplace and with its individual focus, offers all professionals the opportunity of something special.
‘My coach was so supportive and incredibly perceptive, establishing with me quickly the areas I needed to work on. Her interest, expert knowledge and coaching skills had a significant positive impact on me; my confidence, motivation and resilience in the workplace have all grown. The coaching was invaluable, not only in my own personal and professional development but influencing staff and individuals I work with who have cancer. I would definitely recommend it to other Macmillan professionals.’
Helen, Macmillan Specialist Occupational Therapist
Learning and Development Project Officer