Physician (Manager), Heal Thyself Too

You probably sit down at least annually with each of your staff to have a conversation about their growth and development in their current job and perhaps with an eye to future roles.

You look at an array of possible learning vehicles, such as external courses, internally provided workshops, special assignments, job shadowing, coaching, mentoring, webinars and so forth. If you are serious about supporting them you schedule at least a quarterly check in as to what they have been learning and how they are applying this in their work. And I salute you if you are one of those rare managers who go a step further and meet with their employees before taking a course/program to identify specific learning objectives and again afterwards to clarify what they learned, how they plan to apply it over the next 30 days, and how you can help.

If you do this, it is great! You are being both a catalyst and a support in developing the talent in your unit.

But what about you?

Are you as dedicated and disciplined around your own development? Are you meeting with your own boss annually to clarify ways to expand your own effectiveness as a manager? And do you insist on quarterly check-ins to keep your boss involved and keep you on the right track?

Here are some questions designed to prompt your thinking:

  • What is my current edge for development? (link to blog post <…what-is-your-edge-for-development/>)
  • In what areas or ways would I like to be more effective in 12 months time than I am today?
  • Why these? Why now?
  • What does my immediate manager suggest for me?
  • What forms of learning work best for me?
  • What resources to I need for this? (my time off the job, funding, involvement from my boss, approval from higher up, etc.)
  • How do I plan to use my newly acquired skills, knowledge, perspective, way of thinking, etc. ?

All of us should be in a continuous state of learning and growing. The complexity and constantly changing nature of the working world demands it. If we want our employees to engage in this, we need to model the behavior. After all, isn’t modeling one of the core roles of a leader?

© 2014 – 2016, Ian Cook. All rights reserved.

Ian Cook About Ian Cook

Ian Cook, presenter and consultant, works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team. To book Ian for a training seminar, team facilitation or keynote presentation, call toll-free at: 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or e-mail: For more articles and book reviews of interest to managers please go to: