Pandemic Kindness Movement
When faced with unique obstacles or challenges, such as COVID-19, leadership is one of the most important human factors skills that will ensure safety and mission success.
Leadership is a concept that is easier to recognise than it is to define. It doesn’t mean that “you get your own way” or “you are the one that always has the best solution”. It’s about using non-technical skills to influence your team to achieve repeatable, safe and desired outcomes.
Many of you will hold an important leadership role by virtue of the authority vested in your position. However, there is much more to leadership and it is important to develop your own style to lead teams through a crisis.
Here’s a couple of thoughts which will start you off on the right track:
“It’s not about you!” If you are in your position for the prestige, kudos or money, your values are probably misplaced. It’s all about the people under your responsibility.
“It’s all about you!” Your professionalism, personal standards, excellent non-technical skills and proficient and competent technical skills.
If you remember these two starting principles, you can’t go far wrong.
- Captain Stuart A James
Here you will find a suite of leadership resources from the Clinical Excellence Commission in NSW to guide optimal leadership during a crisis like COVID-19.
Human Factors is the study of how we interact with everything in the workplace – each other, the physical environment, equipment, processes and culture. It helps us understand how people work and how that work can be performed more easily in the right way. Given potential for error is heightened during a health crisis, an understanding of human factors is particularly useful in enhancing safety, reducing error, enhancing personal well-being and performing efficiently.
Understanding how human factors affect teams and safety during COVID-19
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), processes and requirements in relation to the management of COVID-19 vary across the globe. This can generate doubt and anxiety in healthcare workers.
Learn why mental rehearsal and simulation is critical to increase staff confidence in PPE and processes, optimise staff performance and identify issues ahead of time.
Why Leaders Eat Last - Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek explains why humans are designed to work together in the face of danger, why leaders are tasked to make us feel safe and how we are biologically wired to succeed.
How to lead – intent-based leadership
Captain David Marquet was unexpectedly assigned to the worst performing submarine in the fleet, the Santa Fe – a vessel he knew nothing about.
During a routine drill, Marquet ordered a command. The officer on deck repeated the command, knowing it was wrong. Marquet soon realised that replicating the leader-follower environment in which he had been trained meant his crew would follow any of his instructions, regardless of whether it was right or wrong, regardless of whether they knew better or not.
Once Marquet stopped giving orders, the crew went from ‘one thinker and 134 doers, to 135 passionate, creative thinkers’.
Twelve months later, the Navy inspected the Santa Fe and awarded it the highest score in recorded history.
Here, David shares his experiences and learnings for leading a highly successful team.
The five tactics implemented by Rush University Medical Centre to prioritise staff well-being during COVID-19
At the outbreak of COVID-19, Rush University Medical Centre commissioned a special Wellness Task Force comprised of psychiatrist, psychologists, practice providers, nurses and chaplains. Here, you will learn about the five key tactics the Taskforce developed and how they supported the Centre’s workforce during this time.
WHO’s five strategies to keep health workers safe
The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls upon global leaders to implement five strategies in an effort to keep health workers safe.
The Neurobiology of Human Connection - Sophia Parnas
Neuroscience tells us that if people don’t feel valued and understood, they cannot connect with others and will not be effective workers. Sophia Parnas explains why successful leaders must be compassionate leaders and establish physically and psychologically safe work environments. Parnas also gives leaders practical tactics on how to lead workers during stressful circumstances.
Leading with empathy -Simon Sinek
According to Sinek, the real job of a leader is not to be in charge, it’s to take care of people in their charge. Commonly, organisations are filled with managers, not leaders.
Empathy is being concerned about the human being, not the work output. Sinek explains why great leaders need to have empathy and perspective, what empathy looks like in the workplace, the importance of vulnerability and how to help people be at their natural best.
Building a psychologically safe workplace - Amy Edmondson
Workplace silence is a way we feel we can protect ourselves from not looking ignorant, incompetent or negative. However, every time we withhold, we stop ourselves and our colleagues from learning and innovating.
In a psychologically safe workplace, we beleve we won’t be punished for speaking up; in fact, speaking up and asking questions is expected.
Edmonson shares her three tips on how to build a psychologically safe work environment and strike the right balance between safety and accountability.
How to Get People to Follow You - Simon Sinek
“Get the environment right, you get the right behaviour; get the wrong environment and you’ll get the wrong behaviour”.
In this video, Simon Sinek defines leadership and talks about how to lead with purpose.
He also explains that leadership is the accumulation of many small things over time, and so should be treated with consistency instead of intensity. Because of this, leadership is difficult measure in the short term, but easy to measure in the long term by way of corporate success.
Finally, Sinek explains how leadership is always about others, and addresses the widely held belief that millennials are difficult to manage.
Locating Yourself - A Key to Conscious Leadership
Our brains are wired to perceive threat in order for us to survive. However, when we are in a place of threat and insecurity, we are hampering our chances of innovation, collaboration, creativity and relational connection.
This three-minute animation highlights the importance of questioning whether we are in a place of creativity and learning, or threat and defensiveness.
How to turn a group of strangers into a team - Amy Edmondson
More and more, we are losing the luxury of working within stable and familiar teams, and are needing to work with different people all the time to get our work done, otherwise known as ‘teaming’. So how do you make teaming a success?
Amy Edmondson uses a remarkable case study to demonstrate coordination and collaboration with people across all boundaries to achieve an extraordinary outcome.
Mick Aspinal offers short, concise advice about qualities that are critical for success, such as teamwork, communication, awareness and decision-making in challenging environments. In this video, Mick outlines his simple philosophy on leadership.
High Performance Leadership
Kyle Tyrell was a commander in the Australian Army for 24 years. During his tenure, his sole purpose in life was to lead soldiers in hostile environments that would now be classified as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).
In the 10 years since leaving the Army, Tyrell has noticed that the corporate workplace has also become volatile and uncertain.
High performing teams can’t exist without high performing leaders. Here, Tyrell outlines his tips on successful leadership in a VUCA environment, based on five critical elements of high performance leadership; trust, courage, commitment, ownership and mission focus.
Why do good leaders make you feel safe?
Trust and cooperation are paramount in building safe environments. External threats are a constant; it’s the environment within the organisation which is the variable, and it’s the leader who sets the tone.
Sinek discusses why, if you get the environment right, everyone has the capacity to do extraordinary things.
Brené Brown on Blame
In this short animation, Brene Brown describes how blame gets in the way of empathy and accountability.
Graded Assertiveness - Dr Sarah Dalton
Often in critical clinical situations, junior staff have better situational awareness than those more senior and identify issues that require urgent response. However, it can be difficult to have these conversations.
Here, Dr Sarah Dalton describes graded assertiveness and offers clever techniques for junior staff to employ when needing to challenge their authorities when there are safety concerns.
How can I communicate effectively?
Mick’s Message - NITS Brief
A brief video outlining the NITS (Nature-Intention-Time-Special instructions) technique, an effective communication tool from aviation to communicate safety-critical information in situations where there is limited time.
ADEPT (Advanced Emergency Performance Training) - Leadership Communication
This ADEPT resource breaks down communication to identify how misunderstanding can occur.
Read ADEPT leadership communication resource
How can I manage stressful situations and competing priorities?
ADEPT (Advanced Emergency Performance Training)
Here you will find simple, evidence based non-technical skills resources developed by the ADEPT team. These concise bites help leaders of all levels develop their skills in teamwork, communication, situation awareness and performance.
Read situation awareness resource
Mick’s Message - Keeping Your Head
A two-minute video teaching a simple breathing technique to help stay calm during a crisis.
2 minute toolkit
These short videos help health workers deal with day to day issues in their practice by applying leadership, teamwork and other human factors tools. The first two “toolkits” set the scene. Come back here regularly for more 2 minute story/2 minute tools to help you navigate day to day challenges.
The Pandemic Kindness Movement webpages are created by clinicians across Australia and hosted by the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI). Provision of these links and resources does not imply endorsement nor recommendation from the ACI or NSW Health.
Resources for executives, managers and senior clinical leaders
These resources are specifically selected for our senior leaders but are applicable to leaders at any level.
How can I help people feel safe and valued in our team?
A selection of resources to help our people feel safe in these uncertain times.
How can I help members of our team perform at their best?
Supporting our people to work well together and improve the team’s performance
How can we manage concern or conflict?
How to support people to manage stressors in the workplace