Episode 118: How to Manage Upwards (and Sideways) with Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy

Every workplace has a hierarchy. Whether you are a trainee, a colleague or a boss (or all three!), the hierarchy can influence everything from everyday working practices, to relational dynamics. However, sometimes, it can feel much harder communicating upwards than down. Many factors like fear and under-confidence can lead you to speak up less and be more hesitant to discuss issues. But building trust, and putting your voice out there will benefit your team as well as you.

Today, we have two guests on You are Not a Frog: Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy. They talk about their experiences working within a hierarchical system as junior doctors and share what they have found to be essential if you want to build trust and foster good relationships with your seniors, your juniors and your peers.

If you want to know how you can build trust and influence your workplace, and manage upwards and sideways this episode is just for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out why a hierarchy can be both a help and a hindrance.

  2. Learn how to approach conversations and which questions you can ask to build trust and good relationships with your colleagues.
  3. Overcome the barriers set down by hierarchies to influence your workplace for the better.

Episode Highlights

[4:56] The Impact of a Title

  • Claire felt that a fellowship title changed how she approached and spoke to people senior to her position.

  • A title also gave her the confidence to focus and build on self-development.
  • That confidence and skills she’s developed can also influence her other training.

[7:28] The Impact of a Hierarchy

  • The NHS is very hierarchical, and this affects the working culture.

  • Everyone has a boss. Many people, including trainees, feel the effects of a hierarchy.
  • Hierarchy, however, is vital for patient safety and the growth of a trainee.
  • Trainees have unique experiences and backgrounds that the organisation can use to create meaningful change.
  • Unfortunately, the perpetuated working culture doesn’t give trainees a voice.

[07:48] Kit: ‘…trainees come from so many different backgrounds, and have so many different experiences amongst ourselves. And I think to actually not harness that and not to make the most of it, and not to encourage trainees to kind of speak up and use their experience and diversity of thought, to influence greater changes. It’s such a shame.’

Click Here to Tweet This

[09:58] The “I’m Just a Trainee” Mentality

  • The thinking that you’re “just a trainee” can be an external barrier to creating influence.

  • This barrier makes it difficult to develop self-confidence — an internal factor.
  • As trainees, it’s easy to let the fear and pressure of the hierarchy blind your confidence. It can also hinder you from establishing relationships.
  • You need to accept the risk of being dismissed and develop the resilience to overcome that.
  • You can’t change the hierarchy, but you can exert influence beyond your official position.

[10:30] Claire: ‘I think it’s actually really hard to go out of your comfort zone, if you never have if no one’s ever encouraged you, if you don’t have the self confidence.’

Click Here to Tweet This

[14:46] Build Trust and Influence

  • Influence can be affected by your connections and relationships with your colleagues.

  • Being trustworthy, reliable, hardworking and kind can help you build your connections.

[15:15] ‘I think it’s all about trust, demonstrating that you’re a reliable person that you are hardworking and trustworthy. I think it’s also about being kind to people.’
Click Here to Tweet This

  • Introduce yourself and build trust in your relationship before going straight into discussing problems only.
  • Opening up to others and letting others open up to you regardless of management hierarchy can improve the working environment.
  • When trying to influence change, don’t focus on the people involved. Instead, think about the issue you’re trying to affect and how everyone can benefit.

[17:29] Kit: ‘If you’re expecting other people to kind of be open with you, and share their issues with you, I think you have to be willing to do the same. And I think that’s really fundamental to having a good workplace where you can share your thoughts, not feel intimidated by someone just because of their position, and kind of know that you can talk to each other and help each other when needed.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[18:24] The Real Problem

  • It’s vital to separate the person from the problem

  • Work out interest (why you want that) and needs (what you need to have) vs position (what you say you want).
  • This knowledge can help pinpoint the roots of a problem.
  • For the NHS and the professionals working there, their primary interest is the patients.

[27:46] Asking and Conversing

  • Not everyone would have the same motivations as you.

  • Sharing and listening about what motivates others can open conversations about their reasons and suggestions.

[27:27] Claire: ‘And actually to make the job sustainable, you really do need that balance and support and resilient workplace that isn’t just kind of drawing on your empty reserves all of the time, because that that really doesn’t work. And it doesn’t do good for patients or the staff.’
Click Here to Tweet This

  • Through these conversations, you can reach a solution where everyone is happy.
  • In conversations, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember: you’re on the same side!
  • It’s critical to know your exact objectives when negotiating.

[31:10] ‘Kit: If you know what you’re motivated by, it’s very easy to assume that that’s the case for everyone else, because in your mind, that’s the truth.’ – Click Here to Tweet This

[36:21] What Creates Good Working Relationships

  • Trust and good relationships are necessary for good working relationships. A good working team has members that know some context about each other.

  • Don’t be afraid to approach someone no matter their position. Ask to learn more about them and build a relationship with them.
  • Each small step of conversation upgrades the foundation for your relationship. Follow up and do kind actions for others to establish yourself in their memory.
  • Being friendly, trustworthy, reliable and kind doesn’t need special knowledge.
  • Have the courage to acknowledge your mistakes.

[35:52] Claire: ‘I do think good teams have a little bit of background context to each person.’
Click Here to Tweet This

[43:57] Managing Relationships and Influence

  • You can influence your colleagues and those in higher positions by getting to know each other better.

  • Use your experience to help mentor your juniors.
  • Your relationships with others can give you a more significant ability to influence changes.
  • After you build trust, it’s easier to bring up problems and suggest solutions.

[46:12] Kit and Claire’s Top Three Tips for Managing Horizontally

  • Kit recommends accepting that creating influence may be complex. Secondly, look internally and build your self-confidence.
  • Build trust in a relationship to work effectively with your team.
  • Claire’s advice is to be kind and build your connections.
  • She also advises you to present possible solutions alongside the problem. Be prepared to take risks and step out of your comfort zone.

[48:01] Rachel’s Top Tips for Managing Upwards and Sideways

  • Rachel’s first tip is to work out what’s important to the person you are trying to influence.

  • You can do this by listening and asking questions to build your relationships and trust.
  • She also advises staying within your zone of power. Keep in mind that you are not able to control what others do.
  • Open yourself to the ideas of your colleagues. Listen and consider what they have to say as well.

About Claire & Kit

Dr Claire Edwin is a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow of the National Health Service. Her clinical training included a 4-month post at a public health department which gave her insight into the determinants of health. Claire also underwent two years of surgical training before becoming a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. Currently, she aims to develop her skills upward by collaborating with those working with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

Want to connect with Claire? You can learn more about her on the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management website and contact her on Twitter or through her email.

Dr Kit Muthuswamy is a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow of the National Health Service. With a background in radiology, she has learned firsthand how to manage upwards and sideways. Kit is currently working with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management alongside Claire.

If you want to connect with Kit, you can contact her on Twitter and through her email.

Enjoyed This Podcast?

In today’s high-stress work environment, you may feel like a frog in boiling water. The pan has heated up so slowly that you didn’t notice the feeling of stress and overwhelmed becoming the norm. You may feel that it is impossible for a human to survive AND thrive in your work. When the stress and overwhelm becomes too much, it can help to indulge in mindfulness practice to recenter yourself.

Frogs generally have only two options — stay and be boiled alive or jump out of the pan. Fortunately, you are not a frog. You have many more options, choices, and control than you think.

Learn to master your destiny so that you can thrive even in the most difficult of situations. If you enjoyed today’s episode of You Are Not a Frog Podcast, then hit subscribe now!

Post a review and share it! If you enjoyed tuning into this podcast, then do not hesitate to write a review and share this with your friends.

Here’s to surviving and thriving inside and outside our work!

Rachel

Episode Transcript

I think you can think of influencing as a form of negotiation. And that can really help, especially when influencing upwards because actually, often it is that mental block of thinking about the person and what position they’re in. But actually, if you can think about the issue that you’re trying to influence on and why it’s important, then that’s more important than focusing on the person and worrying about what they might think of you.

Rachel Morris: Do you have a boss, or a team of partners, or colleagues, who you’re definitely not the boss of? Does getting everyone on the same page sometimes feel like herding cats? And do you wish you could just make them do what you need them to, but you’ve got no official authority? Everyone has a boss unless you’re the prime minister and even then, well. When I’m coaching doctors and other leaders, managing upwards and horizontally is one of the main issues people say they want to get better at, no matter where they sit in the hierarchy, from trainee to clinical director, and it’s something that we all struggle with.

So this week on the podcast, I’m joined by Dr Kit Muthuswamy and Dr Claire Edwin, two of the National Medical Directors clinical fellows, to discuss how we can effectively manage our bosses, our peers, and our team members, even if we feel like we’re at the bottom of the pecking order. Kit and Claire have noticed the big difference in how they are approaching people as clinical fellows. And we talked about the barriers that we all face, from trainee to CEO, when it comes to influencing without authority. There are so many ways to influence someone without resorting to hierarchy. In fact, if you have to do that, you’ve probably already lost the battle.

We discussed some useful strategies picked up from bitter experience, coaching, and helpful books, which will help us have greater impact and influence so that we can do our best in our assigned roles. So listen to this episode to find out why the biggest barrier to managing your boss might be in your head, how to find out what really motivates someone using the Five Currencies, and a simple framework for getting to a win-win situation.

Welcome to You Are Not A Frog, a podcast for doctors and busy professionals in healthcare and other high-stress jobs if you want to beat burnout and work happier. I’m Dr Rachel Morris, a former GP, now working as a coach, speaker and specialist in resilience at work. Like frogs in a pan of slowly boiling water, many of us have found that exhaustion and stress are slowly becoming the norm. But you are not a frog. You don’t have to choose between burning out or getting out.

In this podcast, I’ll be talking to friends, colleagues, and experts, all who have an interesting take on this and inviting you to make a deliberate choice about how you will live and work. Before we get to the episode, I wanted to mention that in June, we’re reopening the doors to the Resilient Team Academy, a membership for busy leaders in healthcare who want to support their teams for resilience, well-being and productivity without burning out themselves. We know that for many leaders, escalating workload and staff shortages mean that you and your team are feeling increasingly overwhelmed and one crisis away from not coping.

The Resilient Team Academy helps you to get a happy and thriving team by teaching you to use the Shapes Toolkit to support your colleagues, giving you all the resources you need, from monthly live webinars, which you can also catch up with on-demand, to bite-sized videos, short team resilience-building activities that are already done for you, and much more. And we already have several PCNs and training hubs, NHS Trusts and other healthcare organizations signed up. If you want to find out more about our special discounted packages for PCNs and other organizations, then to check out the link below in the show notes. Now on with the episode.

So it’s great to have with me on the podcast today Dr Kit Muthuswamy and Dr Claire Edwin and both of them are national medical directors’ clinical fellows. They’re working with the faculty of medical leadership and management. So welcome both of you, it’s great to have you here. Now in a previous life or in another life, Kit, you’re a radiology trainee, and Claire, you did some surgical training and then you are now actually hoping to be a GP trainee from August. So very much in the training process at the moment.

And Claire has been a guest on the podcast before when we had a panel discussion about learning from failure, haven’t we really enjoyed that discussion. And she’s brought along her colleague, Kit, to talk about the thorny issue of managing upwards. I think you initially said to me, Claire, that you really noticed the difference in how people treated you or possibly the way you reacted to people through being a national medical director’s clinical fellow compared to when you were a trainee in a hospital. Is that right?

Claire Edwin: Yes, I think that is right. I do think that having a sort of title behind me this year has changed the way I can speak to people and approach quite senior people that in a normal setting I would never have dared to approach. For example, I met Tim Ferris in the lift at work yesterday and introduced myself to him having seen him on a call and seen him speak up and lead a healthcare conference back in November. But I’m pretty sure that if it was 12 months before and I’d have seen someone like that, I wouldn’t have introduced myself

Rachel: Side note. I’m thinking this is a different Tim Ferris to the one I’m thinking of, not the Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Workweek and the massive podcast. is that it’s a different Tim Ferriss.

Claire: Tim Ferris, Director of Transformation for the NHS.

Rachel: Yes, I remember, I remember thinking that when I heard him at the conference, actually, he was very, very good. So it’s this sort of permission to, because of the title and what you’re doing, almost gives you permission to feel that you could just chat to him, right?

Claire: I think it has also given me a lot of confidence and this fellowship year does really build upon that and sort of developing yourself in a huge way. Particularly thinking forward, I will be going back into GP training is that ST I, and I know that that title won’t be behind me. So thinking about how to influence developing the skills that I’ve gained this year is something I’ve been thinking about.

Rachel: And Kit, what about you? Why is this topic sort of particularly close to your heart, because then when we’ve talked about it before, we all get really animated, as soon as we started talking about managing up was. And by managing upwards, we mean, managing your boss and more seniors, also managing your colleagues as well. So it’s a bit of managing horizontally too.

Kit Muthuswamy: Yeah, I think it’s a really important topic to talk about, especially as trainees in the NHS. I think the NHS is very hierarchical in the way it works. Having that hierarchy for clinical supervision is really important for patient safety, and as a trainee to feel reassured. But I think that kind of permeates through working culture, in general, in the NHS. And as a trainee, you’re very much made to feel your position as as just a trainee, and that you shouldn’t really speak out of place, or you don’t really have a role thinking about anything kind of outside the sphere of your direct clinical practice or your own peers.

And I think actually that’s quite sad, because trainees come from so many different backgrounds, and have so many different experiences amongst ourselves. And I think to actually not harness that and not to make the most of it, and not to encourage trainees to speak up and use their experience and diversity of thought to influence greater changes is such a shame. And I think that’s why it’s really important that we recognise that we do have a voice, that it’s a valid voice, and that we can use it to create really meaningful change.

Rachel: So it’s interesting, you’re talking about that from the trainee perspective. I see a lot of issues with this from the non-trainee perspective as well, because everybody’s got a boss. So whether you are qualified, whether you’re in your first five years of your chosen speciality or your chosen profession, whether you are the medical director in a hospital, you still have a boss. And I have had episodes when I’ve been coaching, somebody really quite senior in a hospital, who was really worried about how to manage the CEO, or even even “Am I able just to knock on the door and talk to the CEO?”

So I think we all feel this hierarchy, no matter who you are. And let’s face it in the NHS, and probably, in most other organisations, unless you are the very, very top and even then you’ve probably still got a boss or you’ve got your shareholders to answer to or whatever. You always have a boss. I think this is relevant across the spectrum. When I was teaching on the Red Whale Lead. Manage. Thrive! course, we did a section on managing upwards. And actually that was people reporting that was one of the most helpful sessions that there was because it’s really hard in general practice.

You do have to influence your partners because you don’t have that direct hierarchy over people, particularly when you’re working in a partnership, probably, there’s less of that ability to invoke hierarchy when you work in that partnership than there is maybe in a hospital department where you’ve got the lead and then everybody else underneath it. And then you’ve got the different tiers of trainees. So I think this is really, really relevant to lots and lots of people. So first of all, I was interested because it’s like, you guys have given yourself permission to speak up. And when we were talking earlier, you said that you thought there were internal barriers and external barriers. And I wonder if that’s thought about, “Well, I’m just a trainee, I’m just that” is one of the external barriers that you were talking about.

Kit: I think that’s definitely an external barrier. And I think once you start thinking like that—once you start letting that affect you thinking, “I’m only a trainee, and I don’t have influence”, or “I just don’t know how to go about talking to people in more senior positions”, or having that influence over people in more senior positions, I think it’s actually really hard to go out of your comfort zone, if you never have, if no one’s ever encouraged you, if you don’t have the self confidence, which is an internal factor, to push yourself and go and say something or do something, then I think it can be a very difficult one to overcome.

Rachel: So Is it all about internal self-confidence, do you think?

Claire: I think as a junior member of the team, so often you’re not there for as long or you might be moving around. So it’s harder to establish those relationships because you haven’t had that time. But I also think from an internal point of view, you kind of have to accept the risks that you might get batted down. And that, I suppose that’s about your internal resilience and sort of ability to overcome that. So I think there is a lot to be said about self-confidence and your development as a person, is it developing yourself in sort of order to be that team player and influence people around you?

Rachel: So there’s two things that are interesting to me, and the first one is developing yourself and how you come across. And I know I’ve told this story in the podcast, but I’m going to tell it again, one of my colleagues and the lead manager, was a graduate medicine program graduate, and before he became a doctor, he used to work full of the banks who used to head up their marketing departments who had had really senior roles had been used to leading a team, he ended graduate medicine. And when he qualified, he went to be a junior doctor on the ward. And we were sort of reminiscing about how it was, et cetera, et cetera. And, and then he said something really interesting. He said, “Oh, well, yeah, we had that problem. But I just went up to the consultant went, ‘Hey, Bill, what are we going to do about this then?’”

I thought, “Oh, I’ve never said that.” But it’s that internal confidence that he had of, actually, we’re just trying to sort this problem out, there’s no hierarchy here. We’re all on the same side, we’re all on the same team, which I think sometimes we don’t get. When we’re trainees we really see the hierarchy. And also, probably the way that he did it in the way that he presented himself probably meant that the consultant may be respected that a little bit more it may be because he was male and a certain age. There is that as well. There’s always that gender thing, we mustn’t forget about that. But I do sometimes think that we are our own worst enemy, when we really, really feel the hierarchy and fear, bringing stuff up because of the hierarchy.

Claire: I think as a junior, when you look young, you are young, you’ve gone straight through, you haven’t developed that life experience, but you’re working at the same level as some people that have done have had previous careers that’s actually quite hard to overcome.

Rachel: It’s interesting what you’re saying Claire, because obviously, we talk about that zone of power a lot. What’s in your control, what’s not in your control, and your age is out of your control, right. You don’t have any control about how old or young you are, what you can control is how you do things and your approach. And I remember when I was a very new GP, in one of my salary jobs. When something was bothering me, I would just go present myself to the practice manager sit down and whinge about it, but just be very whingey. And probably it was really annoying. And she probably had 20 Other people whinging at her that day as well.

And so that wasn’t really gonna get me anywhere, I couldn’t change my age. I couldn’t change my status or the hierarchy within the practice. But I really could have changed how I approached that. And I think this thing about managing upwards, managing horizontally, actually, there are a lot of things, we can change and we can do something about. We can’t do anything about the hierarchy. But I always say when we teach this, we have an influence without hierarchy training session, when we teach this to GP fellows and training programs and other people is that if you’re invoking hierarchy as the reason why something is a good idea, or things should be like this, then actually you pretty much lost the battle anyway.

Because you have to influence in lots and lots of other ways apart from the fact it’s my way or the highway because I said so. I think earlier today you talked about building trust within the relationship. From your experience, how can you build that trust so that you can go and influence a bit better?

Claire: I think a lot of your influence. It’s about your networks and your connections, and how you build trust between your colleagues, and within different levels of people above you, people working in different professions. I think it’s all about trust, demonstrating that you’re a reliable person, that you are hardworking and trustworthy. I think it’s also about being kind to people. So I think we, you know, the pandemic has really changed a lot of the narrative about well being. So asking someone, “how are you?”, actually asking your boss that is just the same as asking your peer or you’re someone more junior to you. And I think that’s actually a really powerful way of, of building those connections.

Rachel: That’s interesting, because we don’t often ask our bosses, how are you? How you doing? Are you okay? What’s going on in your life? And you know, these people are human beings as well, aren’t they? I mean, we’ve all been somebody’s boss, or somewhere in that hierarchical order and it’s really nice when people actually care for you. And this is just sort of reminding me that in, I guess, in almost everything we teach, prevention is so much better than cure, isn’t it? It’s much better to prevent burnout than it is to cure it. And with this influencing piece, it’s much better to build the relationship, have a good relationship based on kindness and respect. And then you can go and influence than wait if something goes wrong, have no basic relationship there, and then go and try and influence.

Claire: Yes, I actually had a recent conversation within some of our fellow colleagues, talking about interprofessional relationships within their organisations, exactly as you were saying, Rachel, speaking to your practice manager, where people have spoken to the operations manager of that particular department. And they’ve got hold of that number really soon in their job, and they just call them up and moan about whatever’s going wrong. But we discussed the merits of really actually putting yourself out there and introducing ourselves to those people and building that trust before you go with a problem. And I think that’s actually something I’ve definitely got wrong in the past. But thinking ahead to the future, that’s the kind of attitude I’d like to take forward.

Kit: It’s not just in terms of implementing on a particular matter, I think it would help with the overall workplace culture of everyone trusting each other and being open with each other. And I think if you’re expecting other people to kind of be open with you and share their issues with you, I think you have to be willing to do the same. I think that’s really fundamental to having a good workplace where you can share your thoughts, not feel intimidated by someone just because of their position, and know that you can talk to each other and help each other when needed.

Rachel: I love that suggestion of actually going in introducing yourself. I mean, we really bad, at least in the NHS, there’s been this movement of “Hello, my name is” and so we’re much better introducing ourselves to patients. But often, `teams don’t introduce themselves to each other, do they? Or someone’s wondering, and you sort of know who they are? Or you think you do to actually say, “Oh, hi, I’m so and so I’m the new whatever, please let me know, if there are any issues here or there. And if I can assist in any way”, “I’d love to do that”, et cetera, et cetera? Or “Can I pick your brains about something” and you build the relationships.

So it’s introducing yourself just getting to know people is a really good tip. What other really practical strategies, have you guys either learned about or experienced while you’ve been clinical fellows or have a read about that you would suggest to people?

Kit: I recently read a book, which you recommended, actually, Rachel in one of our previous chats, and it was Getting to Yes, and it’s about the idea of using principles rather than positional negotiation. So rather than thinking of kind of a hard or soft negotiation, where you’re thinking about your position and not yielding your position, thinking about the problem, rather than the person that you’re negotiating with. And focusing on interest, and how you can gain mutually from something, rather than thinking, “I need to achieve this and if I don’t achieve this, I’m not I’m not going to give in until I do this.”

And I think that was really interesting because I think you can think of influencing as a form of negotiation. And that can really help especially when influencing upwards, because actually often it is that mental block of thinking about the person and what position they’re in. But actually, if you can think about the issue that you’re trying to influence and why it’s important than that, and that’s more important than focusing on the person and worrying about what they might think of you.

Similarly, I think if you start thinking about your objectives, and how both sides can benefit and if you’re kind of meeting a shared interest. Again, I think it just helps with that self-confidence that you might have approaching a situation because you think, actually, they have something to gain this is something that they want as well. So approaching that I think you feel a lot better than thinking “I’m going to try and achieve something for myself or something that I want to do.”

Rachel: I love the book, Getting to Yes, it’s helped me no end. And I think you’re absolutely right. I think that influencing is one end of the scale, maybe it’s like a one or two, and then you’ve got negotiation, we might get to a five or six, and then you’ve got conflict where you’re a sort of eight or nine in terms of emotional intensity. But it’s all absolutely the same thing and I do find those four principles in that book really helpful. The first one, separate the person from the problem by literally, rather than saying “You have made a really bad rota, and you’ve been really unfair”, it’s actually “Can I chat to you this, we’ve got a problem that the rota is looking a bit tricky here. Can we talk to you, can we chat about it, and any way we can do it?”

So it just, it’s always triggering the person for a start. It avoids the old defensiveness and yet, I can actually then focus on the problem I remember. And again, I think I’ve told this story before, I was coaching a GP practice and one of the issues was, we don’t know when this person is going to retire. And it’s really difficult for the whole practice, because we don’t know when they’re going to retire, and we can’t possibly talk about it. And it’s all about this person being really difficult. And we looked at how to separate the person from the problem.

Actually, the problem was, if one person retires, or get sick, or goes under a bus, this practice is in problem. So the problem was succession planning and recruitment. It wasn’t all about that person and as soon as they could see that they could work on the problem together. And it wasn’t us against them anymore. And that was really, really helpful.

Claire: I think it’s probably a bit unfair to blame someone for wanting to retire.

Rachel: Well, they weren’t blaming from wanting to retire, they were blaming them for not knowing when they were going to retire. So it was the whole, it’s really unreasonable for this person not to let us know. So the problem was completely mixed up, even though legally the person didn’t need to tell them. They were feeling the uncertainty. So the problem wasn’t the person the problem was, there is uncertainty in the future about our workforce planning, does that make sense?

And so once you can work with it was much, much easier. So separating the person from the problem. I think the next step is working out what somebody’s interests and needs are versus their position, and I found this incredibly helpful. So that the idea that you don’t just look at what the position of someone is. Like, I want to make sure I am not working this day in the rota and rotas are a universal problem whether you’re in a GP surgery, looking at your annual leave, or looking at the on-call rota or as a trainee or as a consultant, or whatever. You’ve got this position, “I want this”, and other people, “I don’t want this”. So the positions are completely opposed, then if you look deeper at the interests.

So in the book, they talk about the position is what you say you want, under your interests are, why I say I want that. So you know, why is it that I’m saying, “I can’t ever be on call on a Thursday”. It might be that I’ve just got to pick up my child and I don’t have any childcare? Well, there’s something going on at home, it’s really important to me. So my interests are to actually be able to look after my family properly. And then, underneath that, you’ve got your needs, like what must I have? I must have a happy, safe home environment, as well as a happy work environment. And once you start looking at the deeper interests and needs, you’ll find that actually people are much more aligned, rather than on different sides of the argument.

I guess, at a macro level, you can think about the whole of the NHS, because actually what we want is good patient care, good safe patient care, right? And people to have better outcomes, yet, everyone’s fighting with their different positions about this, we need this, and then I need this resource. Actually, overall, the resources come from the same pool, right? So that’s a really, really macro issue. But I guess you can see this played out in departments, as well.

Claire: I think a key point is within the NHS, that interest should always be the patient and we do very often lose that. The reason we’re all here and the reason we all stay and do our job and help people is putting patients at the centre of it. You see that when you’re stressed and when you’re looking after patients that are unwell, you can see there are different conflicts. I kind of have a broad story where I had a conflict with a senior consultant at A&E.

I didn’t refer to the patient and then my consultant told me I really shouldn’t have accepted that patient but I didn’t really feel like I was able to say “Hang on, I just need to speak to my boss. I’m not really fully sure about this one.” And then ultimately, I was left with this patient that really needed to be looked after another speciality and then eventually got quite confrontational in the middle of the A&E shop floor and I felt quite upset. But eventually, the consultant kind of said, “Well, what do you want?” I was like, “I need your help.”

And things were very different after that. And at the end of the shift, he actually saw me and said,” Look, I’m really sorry, I was really stressed”, and apologised. And I’m pretty sure I kind of apologised too and said, “Yeah, I was really stressed, too.” That was just a really difficult situation that I had not been in before. And I guess putting the patient at the centre of that would have been really helpful because I was not the best person or speciality to be looking after that person.

Rachel: I think there are two things about that. The first thing is, I would say hats off to that consult for actually saying, “What do you want?” Because that’s when you start to dig into that other person’s interests and needs. We’ve got these positions, but deep down, what would youn like? What do you want? Do you want this rota to be changed? What is it that you want? So however you did it, good question might have been inactive, slightly wrong. But secondly, I have got a bit of a “yes, but” there, Claire, because I do think this thing about patients can be used as a stick to force people to do stuff. “Oh, it’s for the good of the patient. Okay, so I’ll sacrifice my family, my weekends, my everything like that.” So yes, I think patient needs and looking at a patient and getting good health outcomes, absolutely.

And we all should quite rightly have that as an outcome. However, also, having happy, engaged staff is a good way to have good patient outcomes. So I think looking at the interests of actually in this department, we all want to work together, we want to be happy, we want to feel safe with each other. So how can we get to that? Everybody, everybody wants that deep down, they want to have good relationships, so you can start to dig into the interests and needs and in that way, as well. And interestingly, the example you gave,”What do you want?” “Well, I want to feel supported in my job, I want some help with this patient. And I want them to be with the right speciality.”

Which I’m sure you want them to be with the right speciality as well, even though our positions are, I won’t say them and nor will I type thing. Actually, we want what’s best for the patient. And also, we want the the right person to be looking after them. So we all feel like we’re doing a good job. That makes sense.

Claire: Yeah, I do completely agree. Early this week, we had a conversation about the future of general practice, and talking about preventing burnout, and how you build those kinds of teams. And actually, a lot that came through was discussing the importance of that balance and actually to make the job sustainable, you really do need that balance and support and resilient workplace that isn’t just kind of drawing on your empty reserves all of the time. Because that really doesn’t work and it doesn’t do good for patients or the staff.

Rachel: There’s a book that I go on about quite a lot called Influence without Authority, which is what I base a lot of our work on by Cohen and Bradford. Which gives a really useful model, or actually, it’s more a set of principles really for how to influence and where it’s getting to, yes, talks about positions, interests and needs. This book talks about the Five Currencies. And I think that one of the key things about influencing people and managing upwards is actually understanding what makes them tick and what’s important to them.

So I remember, again, team coaching and practice once, and the practice manager was sort of tearing out her hair because they needed a particular member of staff and no matter how many times she’d asked the partners, they just wouldn’t sign it off. And none of them had any particular reasons why but she was just tearing her hair, and we had a one to one coaching session. And she’d been going to the partner saying, “Look, the rest of the staff are really tired. They just can’t cope with this workload. We’ve got to recruit this other member of staff.” And of course, you know, a really busy GP hearing that probably gets out this really tiny violin and goes, “Well, we’re all really busy. We just need to handle it.”

First of all, to this particular partner, the one that signed it off, what did they really care about? She said, “Well, they really care about doing a good job, getting really good QOF results, and maintaining the practice income.” So simple. What will happen if you don’t get this other member of staff? She said, “Well, actually our incomes going to fall because we’re not going to meet this particular target because we’re too short staffed.” I said, “So have you mentioned that to them?” “Oh, no, I haven’t yet.” So she then went along next time and spoke to them about the issues with the QOF and meeting the targets and the income of the member staff signed off straightaway.

So it’s not just it’s not to illustrate any other point apart from the fact of understanding what people’s currencies are. So in the Influence Without Authority book, they talk about the five different currencies, one of which being inspiration. So some people are motivated by their values instead of the cause. Some people are motivated by the task like getting it done, by the money by getting the right resources by expertise, they’re very task-related staff. Some people are really motivated by position, recognition and reputation and visibility. So if you’ve got someone who’s a bit reluctant to actually you know that it would give them good reputation, good visibility, then actually talking to them about that might influence them.

This is not about manipulating this is about influencing them to do something good. The other currencies is relationships. So interpersonal relationships. So if you ask somebody to do something that they think is going to really disrupt an interpersonal relationship, it’s going to be very hard to influence him to do that. Some people don’t really care about that. But people that have that relationship currency, really think about their networks and bonding, and they’re very affiliative. And then finally, some people, you’ve got this personal currency, which is freedom, and autonomy, and all those sorts of things. So people are very, very different. And I think one of the mistakes we make is assuming that another person is going to be motivated and influenced by the same thing that we are.

Kit: I think it’s really easy to make those assumptions because you know what you’re motivated by, and it’s very easy to assume that that’s the case for everyone else, because in your mind, that’s the truth. If you’re motivated by positions of power, you automatically think that’s what everyone’s aiming towards. But of course, that’s not the case. And I think that just really highlights how important it is to be open with each other. And I think actually the first part in expecting to know about what someone else’s motivations are, or what they’re seeking, what might drive them to say yes to something is actually kind of maybe sharing what your motivations are with them.

And I think if you’re open, and you’re happy to share what your position is as well—I think position is the wrong word, but your motivations are, I think that encourages that dialogue. And I think going back to the kind of clinical example, especially in radiology, I think often radiologists are often the stereotype is that is that we say no to everything, especially on calls, after hours. Sometimes there’s something in having an open conversation with the person at the other end of the phone and explaining why you might say no to something, because actually, all they hear otherwise, is the fact that you’re saying no, and that just makes them angry and annoyed and think that you’re being completely unreasonable. But actually, there might be a very good reason, for example, it might be better to do something during working hours, rather than in the middle of the night, when there’s no one else around to support you.

If you share what’s on your mind and what’s motivating you to say something and suggest something else, then they might be more willing to share where they’re coming from, as well. And I think there’s more likelihood of you reaching a shared joint decision that you’re happy with, rather than both parties leaving feeling unsatisfied with the situation.

Rachel: I love that. It’s all about, sharing your thought processes and what you’re going through. It’s interesting with the Cohen-Bradford influence model in the influence without authority book, because actually I used to think that to influence upwards—to manage upwards managed by colleagues, it’s all about what I said and dead. Actually, what I what came out of my mouth, it’s not actually it’s much more about your mindset, and listening. So there’s six different steps. The first one is assume you’re on the same side. So that’s really nice. So you’re not against each other, you’re actually wanting the best. It’s like, we want the best for patients, we want the best for staff here, knowing what matters to them, what’s really important to them.

And to find out, I don’t think you can do anything but a get to know them and be less than or ask away in a second. I’m going to ask you guys how as trainees, you feel you could ask your bosses about what’s important to them, or how you could find out another step is understanding their world. So it’s like what you said earlier, the person you’re trying to influence probably got a million different things going on that you don’t know about. And so just a bit of context about what they’re dealing with. And then you’ve got to your stuff, really. So A choosing your approach to this. Going in a very combative way, or just going in and whinging very rarely gets you what you want, as I have discovered on several occasions, but also, actually knowing what you want.

So one of the big problems in influencing negotiation and I did a negotiation course once, and if you don’t go in knowing actually what would be a good outcome for you and knowing what you’re trying to achieve. But actually, you just flip flop all over the place. And everything’s a bit unsatisfactory. It’s much easier when you can go “look, I’ve got this I’d love to discuss it. What I’d really like to happen is this but obviously open to anything suggestions, what do you think?” And then you can choose your approach and that’s when it does become about you. How am I going to do this? And then the final step is focusing on a win-win solution, i.e. one that’s that’s okay for everybody. See if you get that rota and someone’s going, “I won’t do this” and other person going well, “I won’t do this” — actually, is there a compromise? Okay, well, I would be happy to do this, on this day if perhaps I could do this on another day, and how can we get a win-win situation? That’s maybe not even on the table.

So in all of that, as a trainer, how would you find out what matters to people? How would you find out what, what’s in their world, and what’s really, really important,

Claire: I think that’s the importance of making those connections that I mentioned previously. So that kind of building trust and getting to know each other, there’s always a fine line, that I’m not quite sure where it lies. And some people obviously have a different line in terms of being nosy versus being interested in someone. But I do think good teams have a little bit of background context to each person. So for example, Kit and I were in a team meeting yesterday, and we all went around the room, that’s a new member of the team. And instead of talking about people’s priorities for the week, we talked about favourite books, favourite films, or TV series, and different people recommended different podcasts. That kind of gives a real insight into people’s common interests. But also, just kind of understanding how people live their lives a bit, I think that’s really important.

I really like to know, sort of a little bit of context to a person to get to know them. And I think in terms of that influencing and what you’re saying in terms of your currency, I think that’s really crucial.

Kit: One thing that I’ve really learnt in my time in this fellowship, so far, is that if you want to find out more about someone or you want to talk to someone, actually, it’s okay, just to ask them to approach them and say, Would you be able to spend kind of half an hour with me just having a chat about what you do, I’m really interested. And often, if they’re able to recognize that you’re coming from a place of genuine interest, they would be open to having those conversations. And I think often the problem is building up that courage to go and ask in the first place and I think this year has definitely helped with that because there has definitely been more of a culture of people saying, feel free to come and put some time in my diary, and we can have a chat.

And I think that’s gotten me used to the idea that that is something that I can do to sometimes push yourself outside of your comfort zone a little bit. Because I think it’s very easy to stick to what you’ve always done and, and not have those conversations or not approach those people who you think might be more senior and might not be wanting to talk to you. But actually, I think sometimes if you do push yourself out of your comfort zone and make a little step towards talking to someone, maybe it’s just an email, or maybe it’s a conversation in the corridor when you see them, or just introducing yourself, as Claire said before. I think it’s those small steps that then build a foundation for you to take the next step and have a more in-depth conversation or actually then take an idea to them. So I think that’s also really important and something that I will take forward.

Rachel: It’s about building that relational capital, isn’t it? And in my experience, people very rarely turn you down. If you say, “Look, can I buy a cup of coffee, and pick your brains about your job and what you do and how it all works.” And then when you get that half an hour, people love to talk about themselves and talk about their jobs, because actually, they don’t get to do that very much. Particularly if you are the boss is quite lonely at the top. And often you don’t have people to talk to. Now they’re not going to bear their souls to you. But if you start to ask questions like, you know, what’s the most challenging part of your job? Where are the real issues that you wish you could solve? And the more questions— insightful questions you ask, honestly, sidenote, and quick hints, coaching is brilliant coaching questions are brilliant, because people come up with their own answers, and then attribute the wisdom to you.

So they’ll be like, “Wow, you know, that Kit, she just was asking such interesting questions.” And when she said that she was bang on, like, you might not have said anything, but they’re attributing this. So what’s the stop you just going to find out? And often, you’ll find some absolute nuggets. And then when you see them again, you can ask them “How it’s going? How’s it gone with that thing? Was it okay? How’s your cats?” Even little things, if you remember things about people, and follow up and ask them people are ever so touched, and that is all building up the relational capital.

And there’s also things like reciprocity if you are trustworthy if you do people favours if you get out the way to help them, etcetera, they will remember that, and then that’s a really great way to influence as well. Again, this is not trying to be manipulative, it’s just being a normal human being. And it’s interesting, I’d be interested in your thoughts on this. I saw a little video either on Twitter or Facebook, a while ago, and it was for new graduates. And it was how to get on in the workplace. If it was from some boss, who was obviously completely hacked off with a bunch of new graduates, it was: turn up on time, wear reasonable decent clothes, make sure you have a wash, don’t take over long lunch breaks, don’t be hungover, when you come to work, be pleasant and polite, say please and thank you, do what you’re asked to do, and be friendly.

And at the end of this video, she said, you know what, none of that requires any sort of knowledge or skill. So, even if you’re really rubbish at your job, I mean, you’ve got to be good at your job, that does help build trust, actually, even if you don’t have the knowledge or the skill, or you’re starting somewhere new, and you don’t know anything about it. If you are just friendly and polite, and you turn up on time, and you do what people ask you to or you do what you say you’re going to do. That actually builds a lot of trust in a relational capsule. Now, I don’t know if you agree with me or not.

Kit: I completely agree with that. I think there’s so much to be said about just being a nice person. We’ve spoken about building those relationships and connections. And that’s all based on trust. And I think obviously, having the competence in whatever you’re doing is one aspect of it. But it’s such a big aspect is just, it’s just being a nice person being honest, being reliable, having some integrity, and I think that counts for so much.

Claire: I also think you know that you’re always polite, and you do your best. But it’s also about acknowledging when you’ve maybe not had the peak moment where you’ve not done your best and you’ve been a bit snappy or you’re hungry, or you’re really stressed. But it’s about having that bravery to go to someone and say, “Look, I’m really sorry, I spoke to you like that. An hour ago, 10 minutes ago, yesterday, I was really hungry.” Just apologize, just—or something like a gesture depends on how you kind of demonstrate that. But I think sometimes it’s important to acknowledge where you’ve not been at your best. So I think that gets you a lot of credibility to that. But that takes quite a lot of bravery. And I suppose it’s a bit about risk-taking. And, like I mentioned earlier, being a bit out of your comfort zone because it’s not easy to acknowledge where you’ve not been nice and perfect.

Rachel: No, but it happens to salt doesn’t it? None of us ever, totally 100% behave the way we want to. It’s also that admitting when you’ve made mistakes as well. There’s nothing that winds me up more than someone making mistake, not admitting to it. Me finding out about it, and then having to sit it just makes me feel really annoyed. Whereas if someone had made a mistake, they find out their consumer said, “I’m really sorry, Rachel, this happened. And this is what I’m going to do to put it right.” I’m like, “Brilliant, thank you so much.” That actually builds more trust with me than someone who does everything totally, perfectly the first time because actually, nobody does everything totally, perfectly the whole time.

So if you’re not admitting when you’ve made mistakes, or that you don’t know something, that’s another thing. Not admitting when you’re not sure you don’t know something that is—that really undermines trust from I think a boss, to people they work with. So I think that’s a really useful point to raise Claire. And I’ve got time has gone really quick, hasn’t it? We’re nearly the end of the podcast in a minute, I’m going to ask you for your three top tips. But before we do that, Claire, I just wanted to pick up on something I think we talked about earlier because I think in order to influence, in order to build up trust, there’s a degree of proactivity needed not just hiding under the I’m a trainee, or I’m I’m lowest in the hierarchy, even when you’re fully qualified “I’m not the Clinical Director”, “I can’t —.”

There’s a productivity that’s needed to go and have those conversations and then when you go and have those conversations, don’t do what I did. And just sit down and whinge and not go with any solutions, because that will also really wind people up. So what would you do instead of doing that?

Claire: I think we mentioned earlier how you influence and whether that’s influencing your peers and colleagues influencing your seniors or even influencing on a bigger level. And I think influencing your peers and your colleagues, that horizontal influence that we’ve mentioned, is sort of getting to know each other that coffee break culture, sitting down buying someone a cup of tea, or offering the biscuit or whatever that is. I think that’s really important. If you’re working with junior colleagues that are slightly more junior than you, then use some of your experience to kind of mentor and share good things and bad things that have happened and things that have worked well not so well. I think that gains trust and respect from them. And you can be a role model.

And then I think when you do have a problem as a junior team, then you kind of built that trust within that relationship to go to your senior and say, “Look, we’ve spoken as a group and we think this is an issue. We’ve come up with some ideas of how we think we could change things.” I think your seniors have been much more impressed and likely to be receptive to those changes if you present them with a solution, not just as a problem. And then I think there’s a lot of power in terms of building those relationships on a bigger scale. So I think as junior members of any part of society or organization, it feels like you don’t have a lot of influence and power, but actually, it’s kind of that collective influence that you can build.

So it’s all about building connections, people that have mutual interests. For example, one of the things we’ve done as a fellow group is set up a series of discussions and consultations with early-career GPs and GP trainees about the future of the general practice. Already, we’ve kind of got some really interesting buy-in from different organizations, because it’s a space that isn’t being filled when big decisions are being made about the future of the way we work. And the way that’s worked is people working very hard and putting a lot of effort and time into it. It’s about building those connections and networks to influence on a much bigger scale.

Rachel: Wow, we’re out of time, really. So I’m going to ask you for your three top tips. Kit, come to you what are your three top tips for managing upwards or horizontally?

Kit: I think my first tip is to acknowledge that it can be difficult sometimes, and don’t beat yourself too much about it. If you are finding a situation difficult. The second tip would probably be: look internally at yourself, and your self-confidence and your belief in yourself that you’re setting out to do the right thing for a cause that you believe in, and have that kind of belief in yourself. And the third would be, kind of very much what we’ve discussed, look externally at the relationships that you’re building with the people that you’re trying to influence, especially focusing on building that trust, so that you can work effectively with them.

Rachel: Thank you. And it’s interesting, what you said about looking internally, sort of builds up your confidence that I do lots of coaching with lots of senior leaders. And almost always one of their objectives is to be able to manage up with so even people that are really senior struggle with this and struggle with the confidence. So it’s a universal thing and so don’t beat yourself up about this, if you’re struggling, but it’s a really good skill to gain at any point. What about you, Claire?

Claire: So I think, number one is the kind, try and build those connections. Second, would be present solutions, not just problems. And thirdly, I think we need to be prepared to take risks and put yourself out of the comfort zone in the stretch zone. And I think that’s when you’re more likely to get better results and an influence.

Rachel: Thank you—amazing tips. I’ve just been jotting a few things down as we’ve been speaking as well, I think my top tips would be number one, work out what’s really important to that person you’re trying to influence. Because with the best will in the world if they have KPIs or they have targets they need to meet. And you’re talking about something completely unrelated, or that might even work against those targets, they aren’t going to agree to it. So you need to work out what’s important to that person and that means listening and asking questions. And the more you listen and you ask questions, the more relational currency, you will build up with them, the more you’ll get some trust.

And conversely, if you’re gonna just go around whinging and behaving really badly, then don’t expect to be able to influence people very well, because they will remember the way you behaved. And then I was finally I would say, stay in your zone of power. So a lot of coaches that I work with are like, “Well, if only I can influence them to do this or that” and, and often it’s stuff that they really have no influence over. And as we know, we cannot control what other people do, we can influence with our conversations and things. But the end of the day, a lot of stuff is out of our hands, we have no control. And so stay in your zone of power. Look at what you can control, and try and accept those things that you can’t.

And then finally, I just wanted to say a word to all those bosses out there, because actually, most people are also having to manage up with an manage, I don’t like the word manage downwards, but manage people who work with you or for you: we need to realize that and I think you said this, right at the beginning, that trainees and more junior people bring a whole diversity of ideas and experiences and probably have some really good ideas about different ways of doing things. Particularly if they’re from different generation, different culture, all those sorts of things that it’s really helpful to listen to people and take on their ideas.

And I think just everybody, treat your boss like a human being because they really, they really are. They have hopes, fears, dreams, worries, and anxieties, just like anyone else. And if you can be a listening ear and build up a good relationship, then that is going to stand you in really good stead. Thanks. That was really helpful. And, yeah, it’s made me think about a lot of things. So, guys, if people need to contact you, how could they get ahold of you or read anything further about this? What would you recommend?

Kit: I’m very happy to be contacted on Twitter or email and the links will be in the show notes.

Claire: Second, you can contact me by email or via Twitter too

Rachel: Fantastic. We’ll put that in the show notes and the bits we’ve been talking about Getting to Yes. And also Influence Without Authority. So I’d recommend anyone who’s interested in this to read those Getting to Yes, it’s a really quick easy read, so it’s been really helpful. So thank you so much for spending the time to be here. And we’ll have to get you guys back on to talk about more stuff because I think this is a really fascinating topic. So thank you.

Claire: Thank you so much, Rachel.

Rachel: Bye!

Rachel: Thanks for listening. Don’t forget, we provide a self-coaching CPD workbook for every episode. You can sign up for it via the link in the show notes. And if this episode was helpful, then please share it with a friend. Get in touch with any comments or suggestions at hello@youarenotafrog.com I love to hear from you. And finally, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please rate it and leave a review wherever you’re listening. It really helps. Bye for now.

Download our Stop Start Continue Checklist Toolkit

Podcast links

Get in touch and book a slot with us for live program courses of the Shapes Toolkit. Bookings are now open for Summer 2022 and Autumn 2022!

Find out more about the Resilient Team Academy to join a supportive and thriving community of leaders.

You are Not a Frog Episode 102: Why FAIL is Not a 4-Letter Word.

Learn more about Red Whale Lead, Manage, Thrive! Courses

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

Influence Without Authority by Allan Cohen and David Bradford

Learn more about the Cohen and Bradford Influence Model

Keerthini Muthuswamy: Twitter | Email | Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

Claire Edwin: Twitter | Email | LinkedIn | Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

Looking for advice on a dilemma? Want us to cover a particular topic? Get in touch at hello@yourenotafrog.com.

Have any questions? Contact Rachel through these platforms:

LinkedIn: @Dr-Rachel-Morris

Twitter: @DrRachelMorris

Email: rachel@wildmonday.co.uk

Find out more about our training here.

For more updates and episodes, visit the You Are not A Frog website. You can also tune in on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Sign up here to receive a link to the episode workbook and CPD form downloads for each podcast. You can use them for reflection and to submit for your appraisal.

You can also join the Shapes Collective Facebook group where we chat about the hot topics and regularly post interesting articles.

Other Podcasts

Episode 143: Is It ‘Normal’ Not to Cope?

When you’re burning out, stop blaming yourself and start being compassionate. If you want to know how to cope with stress and burnout in the normal and human way, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 142: How to Stop Your Finances Controlling Your Career

Dr Tommy Perkins joins us for a conversation about money and career. We talk about why people make unusual financial decisions and what motivates a person to spend. Find out how you can make the changes you need in your life without worrying about money when you tune in to this episode.

Episode 141: You Choose

You might feel your obligations box you in. But the truth is, you make a choice whenever you act — even if it seems you have no choice at all.

Episode 140: How To Stop Emotional Eating, Eat Better and Feel Better with Dr Matthea Rentea and Keri Williams

Keri Williams and Dr Matthea Rentea talked about the causes of emotional hunger and how it affects our mood and hormones. They also discussed their inspiring weight loss journey and explained why diets don't always work. Finally, they imparted tried-and-true advice on how to stop emotional eating. Don't miss out on this episode if you're looking for the most practical ways to manage binge eating and experience consistent weight loss!

Episode 138: How to Balance Life and Work

Dr. Claire Kaye joins us in this episode to discuss why we should never aim for work-life balance, and why you should aim for life balance. If you want to learn how to do a life audit to work out your priorities, this episode is for you.

Episode 137: Shark Music

If you're not careful, the assumptions you make can turn your thoughts into a spiral of dread. Don't listen to the shark music!

Episode 134: How to Tell People What They Don’t Want to Hear

No one wants to hear a no from other people. However, for many professionals, knowing how to say no and maintaining your boundaries is a must. Jane Gunn joins us once again to talk about how you can say a clear no. Stay tuned to learn how you can say no in the best possible way.

Episode 133: But Is It A Tiger?

Are the things that annoy you in your daily life causing frustration, irritation, and bad moods? Learn how to stay calm in the face of irritations, shake off disruptions and make better decisions even in the heat of the moment.

Summer Replay 2022 Episode 3 – How to Break Up With Your Toxic Relationship With Your Career with Dr Pauline Morris

Dr Pauline Morris joins us to share her career counselling advice for physicians and other professionals in high stress jobs. We discuss the common pitfalls that lead doctors to unsustainable work habits. Pauline also sheds light on why staying in your comfort zone can be detrimental to your performance. To avert this, she shares tips on how to better recognise and advocate for your own needs. We also learn about the importance of self-care and taking time for yourself.

Summer Replay 2022 Episode 2 – Should I stay or should I go? with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 131: What To Do If You’re Stressed AND Bored

Rachel discusses how to address and navigate the toxic combination of stress and boredom in the workplace. She talks about the role of learning in living a good, meaningful, and self-actualised life. Rachel also lays down five ways that will enable you to fit learning into your schedule without increasing the chances of burning out.

Episode 130: How to Say F**k It and Become Ridiculously Relaxed (Even about Stuff That REALLY Matters) with John C. Parkin

John C. Parkin joins us today and encourages us to say ‘fuck it’ more in our lives! Not everything is important, and sometimes we try too hard living up to society’s excessive expectations. John shares how overcoming stress and setting boundaries often results in overthinking and feelings of guilty. He wants us to calm down and breathe! Let’s learn to finally prioritise relaxation in our lives and see how much better we become through it. If you’re struggling with stress and want to know how to calm down and let go of what you can’t control, then this episode is for you.

Episode 127: After Burnout: Going Back to Work with Dr Katya Miles

When major issues occur in your life, it’s often necessary to take a break and deal with them, and of course, there’s also the other reasons we take significant time off work - maternity or parental leave, taking a sabbatical or taking a career break. If you want to know how to go back to work thriving, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 126: Using Nature to Answer Your Big Questions With Henri Stevenson

Henri Stevenson joins us to talk about the ways connecting with nature can shift our thinking and open up new solutions. We discuss the differences in our thoughts and feelings when we're in nature versus within artificial walls. She shares her stories of finding metaphors for life situations reflected in nature and what she learned from them. Henri reminds us that sometimes, the solutions to our problems may show up in quiet spaces when we take a few moments to connect with nature. Curious about how to take time to learn and connect with nature? Learn how and much more when you tune into this episode!

Episode 125: How to Say No and Deal with Pushback with Annie Hanekom

Everyone has difficulty enforcing their set boundaries, from top-end executives to junior employees. Logically, we know that we cannot do everything people want, but biologically, our minds are hardwired to please people. In this episode of You Are Not a Frog, Annie Hanekom guides you through how to say no and deal with the inevitable pushback.

How to Change When Change is Scary with Dr Claire Kaye

Change can definitely be scary. However, it doesn’t always have to be a difficult experience. Dr Claire Kaye joins us in this episode to talk about how you can approach change proactively. Whether you dislike change or thrive on it, her insights and enlightening tips will help you make the most of the opportunities in your life. Are you undergoing a difficult change right now? Learn more about how to change even when change is scary in this episode of You Are Not a Frog.

Episode 123: How to Live With No Regrets with Georgina Scull

Georgina Scull joins us in this episode to talk about what she learned from writing the book, Regrets of the Dying: Stories and Wisdom That Remind Us How to Live. She shares three revelations that people have while on their deathbeds: not being able to make other people happy, living up to other people’s expectations, and trying to rewrite history. We walk you through practical steps to help you reflect on your true desires so you can live a meaningful life.

Episode 122: How to be Happy at Work with Sarah Metcalfe

Joining us to talk about the importance of happiness in the workplace - and how we can find it - is Sarah Metcalfe. The founder of Happiness Coffee Consulting, she shares her top tips on simple things you can do to pursue happiness and share it with others. Even in high-stress jobs, it’s possible to choose happiness and spread it. And the results can be extraordinary. If you want to learn more about how and why we should be happy at work, tune in to this episode.

Episode 121: How To Be A Happy Working Parent with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to discuss the common struggles of working parents and the things we need to unlearn. She shares how to take radical responsibility as a parent and delegate responsibilities from housework to emotional load. We also teach you how to stay in your zone of genius and accept help when you need it. It’s time to live a life you love and enjoy, even amidst all your responsibilities! If you’re struggling to balance work and parenting, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 120: Making Online Meetings Work with John Monks

John Monks joins us in this episode to discuss designing better online meetings and interactions. We clarify the difference between a meeting, a presentation, and a workshop. We also discuss creative ways to design online meetings that energise and infuse rather than drain and demotivate. And John shares some simple exercises on limits and boundaries that can radically improve our problem solving and creativity. If you want to know how to make the most out of online meetings, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 118: How to Manage Upwards (and Sideways) with Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy

Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy talk about their experiences working within a hierarchical system as junior doctors and share what they have found to be essential if you want to build trust and foster good relationships with your seniors, your juniors and your peers. If you want to know how you can build trust and influence your workplace, and manage upwards and sideways this episode is just for you!

Episode 116: What I Got So Wrong About Mindfulness And How It Might Transform Your Life with Dr Steve Pratt

Dr Steve Pratt joins us to discuss what we really mean by mindfulness, and how it could work for you. He'll debunk some of the myths of mindfulness and how you can make it worth your time and effort. We'll discuss how certain techniques can help us live happier, be less anxious, and harness our resources to make better decisions. Finally, Steve shares his mindfulness practices and takes us on a quick three-minute breathing exercise! If you want to learn about mindfulness, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 114: How to Get an Appraisal that Doesn’t Suck with Dr Susi Caesar

Dr Susi Caesar joins us to talk about how you can elevate and enjoy your professional life with annual appraisals. She shares the purpose of appraisals and how they can help you choose the best way forward in your career and personal life. Dr Susi also gives her top tips on what you can do to make this process more meaningful. If you want to know more about appraisals and how you can benefit from them, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 113: What To Do When A Junior Is Badmouthing Your Colleagues with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to discuss what we should do when we see inappropriate behaviour like badmouthing. He shares how we can manage difficult conversations with the intent of helping others. We also discuss the importance of recognising triggers through the SCARF model. If you want to know how to deal with difficult conversations for a better workplace, listen to this episode.

Episode 112: Why We’re Ditching the Term ‘Imposter Syndrome’ with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding joins us to talk about imposter syndrome and why we need to drop the word from our vocabularies. We also discuss how self doubt can be helpful to us. Finally, she shares tips for overcoming wobbles and incorporating more self-compassion into your life. If you want to get over your imposter syndrome and practice self-compassion, then this episode is for you!

Episode 111: What To Do When You Start To See Red with Graham Lee

Graham Lee joins us to discuss our emotional states and ways to apply simple mindfulness techniques to change them. Most conflicts are rooted in unmet needs. When we admit those needs, we can instantly change relationship dynamics. Graham also shares tips on what to do during stressful situations where your emotions cloud your judgement and thinking. If you want to use mindfulness practice to be more aware of your emotions even during difficult situations, tune in to this episode.

Episode 110: How To Stop People Pleasing And Absorbing Other People’s Angst

Dr Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mowbray join us to discuss how our core beliefs shape the way we respond to situations. When taken too far, empathy and helping people can be a big cause of stress. In addition, we also talk about we can learn to reframe and reassess their core beliefs. If you want to know how to help people without absorbing their emotions, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 109: Is It Possible To Have Fun At Work? With Dr Kathryn Owler

Dr Kathryn Owler joins us in this episode to share her fascinating research on the characteristics and traits of people who enjoy their current jobs. We dissect the common themes these people have in finding success in their careers. And we also talk about changes we can implement as individuals to make work more fun and enjoyable. If you want to start adopting the mindset people who have fun at work have, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 108: What We Wish We’d Learnt at Med School with Dr Ed Pooley & Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Ed Pooley and Dr Hussain Gandhi join us in the latest episode of You are Not a Frog. They discuss the management skills a doctor needs that you won't learn in med school, plus tips to help fresh doctors feel empowered in their workplace. Whether or not you work in medicine, these skills are crucial when it comes to working effectively and managing your own and others’ time. Tune in and listen to the experts talk about the management skills med school doesn't teach you and how to learn and develop them today.

Episode 107: Define Your Own Success In Life With Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to talk about the importance of honesty and clarity in defining our own success. We may think that achieving certain goals will make us happy, but evidence shows us it’s the other way around. It’s only when we’re happy that we can be successful. We also discuss how to overcome common barriers to our happiness and success such as fear, guilt, and uncertainty. If you want to know how to live a happier and more successful life, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 105: The Simplest Way to Beat Stress and Work Happier with Dr Giles P. Croft

In this episode, Dr Giles P. Croft joins us to discuss how our thoughts and emotions trigger stress signals. He shares his controversial approach to tackling stress, and why most of our efforts to cope better don’t really help at all. We also delve into the importance of pausing to allow yourself to calm down and letting go of the things you can’t control.

Episode 104: How to Cope With Nightmare Relatives and Colleagues Without Losing the Plot

In this special Christmas episode, Corrina Gordon-Barnes shows us how to create the groundwork for a peaceful and successful holiday season, even while navigating difficult relationships with relatives or colleagues. Corrina guides us to relax our expectation of a perfect holiday with our family, so we can face reality in ourselves and others. She explains a simple framework to allow you to resolve conflict, and walks us through what we can do during difficult gatherings and how to shift our responses to create different outcomes. Tune in to improve your strained relationships with relatives and co-workers through empathy and letting go of past assumptions.

Episode 103: How Not to Settle For The Way It’s Always Been Done

Dr Abdullah Albeyatti talks about improving your life and career by making changes and taking risks. He explains why settling for the familiar could be slowly ruining your life and how you can avoid this situation. Finally, he shares his top three tips to become a changemaker in your field. If you want to start doing things differently, creating change, and take more risks, then this episode is for you!

Episode 102: Why FAIL is Not a 4-Letter Word

Drs Claire Edwin, Sally Ross, and Taj Hassan join us to discuss how we can manage and deal with our failures more effectively. We explore the idea that rather than doing something wrong, failure is an opportunity to really grow and learn both as individuals, as leaders and as organisations. In any situation, it’s important to remember that we’re all human. It’s okay to be honest with ourselves and each other about our mistakes - after all, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. If you want to know how to change your mindset around failure, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 101: Making Helpful Habits Stick with Sheela Hobden

Sheela Hobden joins us to discuss how we can harness the power of checklists to create a routine. She shares how you can approach your goals in a more realistic way and learn to encourage yourself using specific goal setting techniques. Sheela also recommends creating identity-based goals to ensure that you keep building your new identity even after completing certain milestones. Start small, and eventually, you’ll see these good habits stick!

Episode 100: Dealing With the Guilt of Not Being Okay With Dr Nik Kendrew

Dr Nik Kendrew unravels why we experience overwhelming guilt when bad things happen to us. He also shares some tips, techniques, and resources on how to deal with guilt, especially in these difficult times and circumstances. Apart from this, Nik talks about the significance of scheduling our entire day to do important things. Finally, he discusses why setting boundaries is necessary to maintain our sense of self.

Episode 99: How to Deal with Criticism When You’ve Reached Your Limit with Dr Sarah Coope and Dr Rachel Morris

Dr Sarah Coope joins me to talk about the workload of medical professionals and the benefits of setting boundaries while dealing with criticisms amidst the global pandemic. We discuss the three elements of the Drama Triangle and ways to navigate or avoid them reliably. As we dive deeper into the conversation, we explore the art of saying 'No' through acknowledging our limits. Awareness and recognition can go a long way in maintaining our boundaries. If you want to take the first step in recognising your limits, handling criticism better and setting proper boundaries, tune in to this episode.

Episode 96 – How to Deal with Difficult Meetings with Jane Gunn

We hear from the expert in conflict management and mediation, Jane Gunn. She discusses important tips to keep in mind to host great meetings. She shares some practical conflict management tips and how to make decisions that you and your team agree on. Jane also emphasises the importance of putting the fun back in functional meetings and the need to give a voice to participants.

Episode 93 – How to Delegate, Do It, or Drop It with Anna Dearmon Kornick

Anna Dearmon Kornick joins us to share the time management strategies crucial for busy professionals. She lays down tips on how medical practitioners can have more control over their days. Anna talks about how to manage admin time and imparts ways to combat distractions. We also discuss the importance of delegation both inside and outside work. For this, Anna introduces the passion-proficiency lens and knowing your zone of genius.

Episode 92 – How to Avoid Becoming the Second Victim with Dr Caraline Wright & Dr Lizzie Sweeting

Dr Caraline Wright and Dr Lizzie Sweeting join us to discuss the second victim phenomenon. They explain why patient safety incidents are occupational hazards and how they can affect healthcare providers. Caraline then shares her personal experience of being in the “second victim” role. Finally, they share tips on how to avoid second victimhood and how to provide support to someone going through it.

Episode 91 – How to Break Up With Your Toxic Relationship With Your Career with Dr Pauline Morris

Dr Pauline Morris joins us to share her career counselling advice for physicians and other professionals in high stress jobs. We discuss the common pitfalls that lead doctors to unsustainable work habits. Pauline also sheds light on why staying in your comfort zone can be detrimental to your performance. To avert this, she shares tips on how to better recognise and advocate for your own needs. We also learn about the importance of self-care and taking time for yourself.

Episode 90 – What to do About Bitching and Backbiting with Dr Edward Pooley

Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to discuss what to do when colleagues make inappropriate comments about others. We talk about why it’s crucial to consider the question behind the question in workplace backbiting. Ed also teaches us how to challenge in a supportive way. Most importantly, we learn some strategies to prepare ourselves to speak up when the situation requires it.

Episode 89 – Should I stay or should I go? with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 88 – How to Ditch the Saviour Complex and Feel More Alive with Rob Bell

Rob Bell joins us in this episode to discuss the perils of the saviour complex and the desire to keep hustling even when we’re miserable. We learn that taking time for rest and reflection only helps us get stronger. You can’t heal and help rebuild a broken system if you don’t look out for yourself first. Tune in to this episode to find out how to ditch the saviour complex, feel happier and live a more fulfilling life.

Episode 87 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 5: What Should I Do When I Think a Complaint is Unfair? And Other Questions with Drs Sarah Coope, George Wright, Samantha White, and Andrew Tressider

We’re joined by a panel of expert guests to share their thoughts on how to handle complaints. Together, we discuss ways that you can adjust your perspective and respond to unfavourable situations. Most importantly, we tackle issues regarding malicious complaints and how to cope with them. If you’re having trouble managing yourself during complaints, then this episode is for you.

Episode 86 – Gaslighting and Other Ways We’re Abused at Work: What’s Really Going On? with Dr James Costello

Dr James Costello joins us to talk about his new book and the insidious ways that organisations and individuals can undermine us. They compel us to do extra emotional labour for us to cope with the workplace dynamics. We also chat about what happens when authority and power are misused. Finally, James shares some of the disastrous consequences bullying in the workplace can have and what we can do about it. Tune in if you want to know what to do if you suspect that you or a colleague are experiencing relational abuse in the workplace!

Episode 85 – How to have crucial conversations with Dr Edward Pooley

Good communication between colleagues is crucial for the success of any organisation. Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to teach us how to communicate well. He discusses the three strands present in any conversation and helps us understand how we can be more aware of each. We also share some frameworks that can help you navigate difficult conversations. Understanding the importance of emotion is crucial in being an effective communicator and connecting with your team.

Episode 84 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 4: Creating a Workplace Where It’s OK to Fail

Professor Susan Fairley and Dr Jane Sturgess join us to discuss how to create a workplace that doesn’t shy away from failure. We talk about how civility can save lives and also touch on the issues around incident reporting in healthcare. Most importantly, we talk about creating a culture where people can have difficult conversations without defensiveness. If you want to know how to approach failing and speaking up in the workplace, tune in to this episode.

Episode 83 – The Ups and Downs of Being a Man-Frog with Dr Chris Hewitt

Joining us in this episode is Dr Chris Hewitt who also uses the metaphor of a man-frog in coaching professionals to have a better work-life balance. Chris talks about why we find it so hard to recognise burnout. He also shares his top tips and practical strategies to address work dissatisfaction. If you want to stop feeling like a man (or woman) - frog in a pan of slowly boiling water, listen to the full episode.

Episode 82 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series Episode 3: Surviving the Process

Drs Jessica Harland, Caroline Walker and Heidi Mousney join us in this episode to discuss healthcare professionals’ experiences when dealing with complaints. We talk about the different emotions you may experience and practical tips on getting through. If you want to know how to survive the process after making a mistake at work and receiving a complaint, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 81 – When Soft and Fluffy Met Coronavirus with Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews, Associate Director of Leadership for East and North Herts NHS Trust shares how, through using just five crucial questions, you can check in on people, rather than check up on them. The 5 questions will help you to find out how people really are, help them look out for their colleagues, empower them to solve their own problems AND communicate empathy and support. Want to know how you can apply compassionate leadership in your organisation? Then, this episode is for you.

Episode 80 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 2: What to Do When You Make a Mistake with Drs Clare Devlin and Dr John Powell

Drs Clare Devlin and John Powell join us to discuss the proper way of responding to professional mistakes. We talk about why doctors have a hard time whenever they make a mistake at work. Clare and John also share valuable advice on minimising negative consequences and getting a good outcome for you and your patient. If you want to learn a roadmap for what you should do you make a mistake at work, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 79 – How to Give Yourself Permission to Thrive with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us once again to talk about burnout and giving ourselves permission to thrive. Having experienced work burnout, Katya shares her story and discusses the red flags of burnout. We also talk about why we find it difficult to give ourselves permission to thrive and how we can overcome our own internal barriers. If you want to learn about how you can listen to your needs so that you can thrive in work and in life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 78 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series 1: Preparing to Fail Well with Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer

Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer join us in this first episode in a new series on ‘Complaints and How to Survive Them’ to talk about coaching doctors and dentists through complaints made against them. We also talk about the perfectionist mindset and how changing our perspective towards failure can help us and those around us. If you want to know how to deal better with complaints made against doctors and other professionals in high-stress jobs, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 77 – Denial, displacement and other ways we neglect ourselves with Dr Andrew Tresidder

Dr Andrew Tresidder joins us to talk about how many medical practitioners and other professionals in healthcare and high stress jobs neglect their health and well-being. We're so focused on taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves but our well-being is vital if we want to keep doing the work we do. Find out why healthcare professionals need to learn more about health, as opposed to only learning about disease and if you want to know how to focus on taking care of your health and well-being, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 76 – Tech Tips for Happy Hybrid Working with Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Hussain Gandhi, or Dr Gandalf of eGPlearning, joins us in this episode. He is a GP, PCN director and host of the eGP Learning Podblast that shares deep dives into health tech for primary care. He shares his tech and time hacks for hybrid working to survive and thrive in the new virtual environment. If you want to find out how to improve your hybrid working experience, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 75 – How to Escape the Drama Triangle and Stop Rescuing People with Annie Hanekom

Annie Hanekom joins us to shed light on the different roles which interact in the drama triangle. She shares the pitfalls of taking on each role and how we can actively shift from these roles into something better, fostering healthier relationships at work. If you want to know more about how you can step out of the drama triangle, have better conversations and build healthier relationships with your colleagues, make sure you tune in to this episode.

Episode 74 – Managing your Time in a System Which Sucks with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to share his take on time management techniques for busy individuals. He discusses the three types of competing demands and how to manage them. We also talk about being more comfortable holding difficult conversations about workplace issues - vital to help change the environment we work in. Tune into this episode to discover how time management techniques and communication can help you get a calmer and more time-efficient workplace.

Episode 73 – How to Find Your Tribe: The PMGUK story with Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman

Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman join us on this episode to discuss the importance of a work community. We talk about the inspiring stories from the online community they created, the Physicians Mums Group UK (PMGUK). Nazia and Katherine also share their tips on how to increase connections and find your own tribe at work. If you want to know how to create a network of supportive colleagues and feel more connected, then tune into this episode.

Episode 72 – Working well – from anywhere! with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us to discuss how to work well from home by creating healthy boundaries. She shares how to be more productive by using the third space hack and taking breaks. Katya also talks about how to be more active and better connect with people in the workplace. If you want to learn about working well from home and achieving a better work-life balance, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 71 – Create a Career You’ll Love with Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to discuss how to find a career you love. As an executive coach specialising in career development, Claire is an expert in guiding people how to find a career they love. We talk about the value of job networking and diversifying in our career journeys. We also share our tips and experiences on how to find a career you love. We do this by helping you identify the roles that best suit you and how to go about getting these roles.

Episode 70 – How Safe Do You Feel at Work with Scott Chambers

Scott Chambers joins us to talk about why we need to make people feel comfortable and safe enough to speak up in their workplace. When we create psychological safety in our team, we improve overall happiness and boost performance! If you want to learn how to create psychological safety for a better and happier team - whether you’re the boss or not, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 69 – Make Time for What Matters with Liz O’Riordan

Liz O'Riordan joins us to share productivity life hacks. These have helped her transform how she approaches work. Now, Liz can spend quality time with her family and enjoy life. In this episode, she teaches us how we too can achieve this. If you want to learn some new life hacks, beat burnout and work happier, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 68 – The Revolutionary Art of Breathing with Richard Jamieson

Richard Jamieson discusses how we can utilise breathing techniques to feel calmer, make better decisions and be more productive. He explains the different steps we can take to change our breathing patterns. When you’re in a high-stress situation, remember this: just breathe. If you want to know how to use breathing techniques to beat stress in everyday situations, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 67 – Bringing Your Best Self to Work with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding discusses how to bring your whole self to work without leaving bits of you behind. Sarah shares her own story of experiencing burnout at her old job and rediscovering her true passion. We also discuss how applying our core strengths to our jobs can mean the difference between burnout and having a sense of fulfilment. Don’t miss out on this episode if you want to learn more about how to be yourself and how to bring joy back into your work!

Episode 65 – Passing the Naughty Monkey Back with Dr Amit Sharma

Dr Amit Sharma joins us to discuss the effects of taking on too many of other people’s ‘naughty monkeys’. We talk about why professionals in high-stress jobs so often take on the rescuer role and how to shift that mindset. Amit and I also discuss the importance of empowering patients to take control of their own health. If you want to know how to avoid being weighed down by too many naughty monkeys, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 64 – What to Do When You’re Out of Fuel with Dr Jess Harvey

Dr Jess Harvey, a GP partner and GB triathlete, talks about what happened to her after running out of fuel and feeling burnt out. She discusses how we often ignore the symptoms and signs for too long and why resting and refuelling is as important as what we're doing in the first place. If you’re feeling burnt out, tune in to this episode to find out how you can plug the holes in your energy bucket!

Episode 63 – How to Survive Even When Times are Tough with Dr Caroline Walker

This episode is part of the COVID-19 Supporting Doctors series, and joining us again is Dr Caroline Walker. She's here to discuss why rest is crucial, especially for people in high-stress jobs. Caroline also shares key strategies that can keep us going through the crisis. The previous year has been tough, so don’t miss this episode to start 2021 better prepared.

Episode 62 – Self-Coaching for Success with Dr Karen Castille, OBE

Dr Karen Castille joins me in this episode to discuss her book on self-coaching. She shares powerful questions to ask yourself which will jumpstart your self-coaching journey. She also talks about the importance of developing this vital skill and crafting powerful life questions. Before we close the show, Karen gives her top tips for self-coaching. Don’t miss this episode if you want to learn how you can find clarity and achieve success through self-coaching!

Episode 61 – The Self Help Book Group on Happiness with Dr Nik Kendrew

In this episode, You Are Not A Frog regular Dr Nik Kendrew joins me to discuss the concept of happiness. We tackle the everlasting question of ‘What is happiness’? We also talk about perfectionism and fear and how these can hinder us from doing the things we want to do. At the end of the show, Nik and I give our top tips to being happier. If you want to know more about living a happy life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 60 – Creating a Workplace that Works with Dr Sonali Kinra

Dr Sonali Kinra joins us to discuss why people leave their jobs and how to prevent it. We talk about the importance of workplace culture and its role in creating an environment that makes people want to stay. We also discuss why you need to seek opportunities that broaden and develop your career. Don’t miss this episode if you want to find out how to keep yourself in a job you love.

Episode 59 – A Social Dilemma? With Dr James Thambyrajah

In this episode, Dr James Thambyrajah joins us to talk about social media’s subtle yet profound effect on our daily lives. We discuss the perils of being unaware of how our online decisions are influenced. James also shares his insights on how we can improve how we stay informed and inform others. Tune in to this episode if you want to learn more about how to go beyond your digital echo chamber.

Episode 55 – The One About Alcohol

Dr Giles P Croft is back to chat with Rachel about his experiences following a revolutionary read he was recommended. You might remember Giles from episode 46, where he talked about how as humans, we naturally default to happiness.

Episode 52 – A year of the frog

The week’s episode is a special one as the Frog celebrates a year of podcasting! It’s been quite a year - including charting in Apple’s Top 100 Business Podcasts in the UK!

Episode 50 – Freeing yourself from the money trap

Joining Rachel in this week’s episode is Dr Tommy Perkins, as well as being a GP Partner, and father, Tommy is one half of Medics Money. Medics Money is an organisation specifically aimed at helping doctors make better decisions with their finances. It’s run by Tommy and Dr Ed Cantelo who is not only a doctor but a qualified accountant.

Episode 49 – The Self Help Book Group No 2 with Nik Kendrew

This week Rachel is joined by You Are Not A Frog regular, Nik Kendrew. Last time Nik joined us, we discussed a book that has helped him in his professional life as a GP, trainer and partner as well as his personal life. Nik’s back this week to talk about another brilliant book and to share what insights and learnings he’s gained from it.

Episode 47 – How to Have a Courageous Conversation

Rachel talks with Beccie D'Cunha about the conversations that we avoid and the conversations we really need to have with our colleagues, teams and managers. They can be described as difficult conversations, but we can redefine them as courageous conversations - because ultimately it takes courage for both parties to listen and be heard.

Episode 46 – Default to happy

Rachel talks with Dr Giles P Croft about his take on how to beat stress and burnout. Giles  is a psychology graduate and former NHS surgeon who stepped aside from clinical practice for a decade to explore a number of career paths, including health informatics, cycling journalism, public speaking and high street retail with his wife.

Episode 45 – Rest. The final frontier

Rachel is joined by Sheela Hobden, Professional Certified Coach, wellbeing expert and fellow Shapes Toolkit facilitator. We talk about why rest isn’t just important for wellbeing, but important for productivity and creativity too. 

Episode 40 – Leading with tough love with Gary Hughes

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Gary Hughes, author of the book Leadership in Practice, blogger, educator and facilitator who is a Practice Manager by day. We chat about how leadership in the COVID-19 crisis has had to adapt, and the different roles that a leader has had to take.

Episode 37 – How to manage conflict during COVID with Jane Gunn

Rachel is thrilled to welcome back Jane Gunn – lawyer, mediator and expert in conflict resolution who has been known as the Corporate Peacemaker. This episode is for you if the thought of addressing a difficult issue with one of your colleagues send you running for the hills…

Episode 20 – A creative solution to stress with Ruth Cocksedge

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Ruth Cocksedge a Practitioner Psychologist who started her career as a mental health nurse. She practices in Cambridge and has a particular interest in EMDR for PTSD and creative writing as a way to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Episode 11 – The magical art of reading sweary books

In this episode, Rachel is joined once again by Dr Liz O’Riordan, the ‘Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer’, TEDx speaker, author, blogger, triathlete and all round superstar who has been nominated for ‘Woman of the Year’.

Previous Podcasts

Ways to stay in touch.

Join the community

Fill in just a few details to hear about the latest tools, services and resources designed to help GPs and others members of the Primary Care team become more resourceful and resilient in the workplace.

2022-10-14T02:17:45+01:00