Sunday, January 9, 2011

Treat Yourself Like Athletes

This past week I was in St. Louis as party of Ascension Health's Formation for Catholic Healthcare Ministry Leadership. The two year program is in partnership with the Aquinas Institute of Theology.

We had great speakers and conversation throughout the week. I will reference them through other blog entries.

Timm Glover, VP of Mission Integration at Middle Tennessee Medical Center spoke with us this past Friday. His presentation Cultivating Peace: Tending to the Soul of Leadership was really amazing. One thing that struck me was his reference to healthcare providers as "Heathcare Athletes." He indicated that athletes typically train 90% of the time and perform in a game, race, etc. the other 10% of the time. It is probably even less than that if you truly counted all the training hours. On the other hand, healthcare providers (and many industry employees for that matter) have the reverse...10% of the time training and 90% of the time performing. That is very challenging mentally and physically. Timm discussed the importance of "recovery rituals" stating that elite tennis players have strong recovery rituals in place and can reduce their heart rates by 15% in the 15-20 seconds between points. So much comes down to our breathing techniques. He reviewed some of the the Eight-brocade techniques that could work for us before we get on with our busy day or at various points in the day.

In my New Year's Resolutions blog, I discussed the improvement of our healthcare workforce.
As much as I discuss the importance of health, I know that we could do a much stronger job with some "recovery rituals" throughout the day in my organization. Yesterday, I met with a group of leaders and asked how much time do you need to recover when you exercise or exert yourself. The answers ranged from 30 seconds to 3 days! The reality is that in a sprint or after lifting heavy weights, it could take up to 3 minutes to catch your breath and fully recover.

Therefore, I took just one minute for every one to "catch their breath" before moving ahead with the days events.

Try it out and treat yourself like work athletes!

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