Three Coaching Skills for Leaders and Mentors in Academic Medicine



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Provide your mentees with the support and agency to overcome their own obstacles.



Many formal mentors and leaders in academic medical settings are asked to take on significant mentoring responsibilities in addition to their clinical work, teaching, research, and scholarship. To be a successful mentor requires you to create an empowering dynamic with your mentees and focus them on developing their careers and solving challenges. But those tasked with mentoring do not often receive any training on how to do so effectively. By incorporating coaching skills into your mentoring role, you can transform the relationship, create a safe environment for your mentees, and empower them to reflect and address their own barriers and obstacles.

The best way to learn about coaching is to do it. In this workshop, you will use a guiding worksheet to practice three core coaching skills in pairs and have ample opportunities to ask questions and receive feedback. You will leave with a new mindset on mentoring and a powerful set of tools for:

  • Asking powerful questions and listening actively
  • Exploring a mentee’s barriers and obstacles
  • Developing next steps and creating accountability

Coaching has many applications in academic medicine in teaching and leadership. You will learn to recognize situations when coaching skills can be applied with powerful results.

Who Should Attend

Health and wellness professionals working in higher education who would like to benchmark their thinking, as well as share and gain ideas for operationalizing testing and contact tracing at their institutions in the fall, should participate in this discussion. Institutional leaders or members of task forces related to the fall 2020 reopening of campus may also benefit.

Surgeon, writer, and public health researcher Atul Gawande has said, “coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.” 

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


March 30, 2021

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern


This interactive workshop is designed around the following questions:


What is the definition of professional coaching?

To begin the workshop, you will be introduced to the concept of professional coaching and its relationship to mentoring and leadership in academic medicine.



How can I create a safe space for coaching and mentoring conversations?

Learn how to establish a psychologically safe environment for candid sharing.



What are the core coaching skills I can use in my mentoring role?

In this highly interactive section, you will learn and practice three core coaching skills using a guiding worksheet to:

  • Create a “level 3” conversation using powerful questions and active listening
  • Use a “level 3” approach to explore barriers and obstacles
  • Develop next steps and create accountability



When and how do I use coaching skills as a mentor in the academic medical space?

Learn when it is best to share your experience and provide practical guidance and when it is best to entrust your mentees with finding their own answers.


Portrait of Karen Souter

Karen J Souter, MB BS, ACC

Anesthesiologist and ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

Karen is a practicing anesthesiologist and an ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with over two decades of experience as a university faculty physician. Her extensive knowledge of academic medicine informs her work as a coach. Karen’s areas of coaching expertise are in career planning, promotion portfolio development, medical leadership, and navigating the fine balance between a successful career and a nurturing home and family life.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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