Each month, we profile a special member of our community: a student, alumni, faculty member, or partner. Check out this month’s inspiring story below.
Amanda Bjorn, BA, BSc(OT), ACC, RCC™, BCACC™
Amanda Bjorn Consulting
ME to WE to ALL Development Approach
Lead Coach, CHA Learning / HealthCareCAN
Role/partnership with CHA Learning:
Amanda Bjorn is the Lead Coach for CHA Learning’s Online Coaching Services
Amanda is a Business Coaching Advantage Certified Coach™, holds an ACC Credential with the International Coaching Federation, and is a Registered Corporate Coach™ with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches.
A former Occupational Therapist and the former Executive Vice President, People, Culture and Strategy at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, she has spent her 20+ year career working in health care. Her experiences take her from the hospital bedside to the boardroom. She is passionate about creating healthy workplaces for those who provide care by developing the leaders who influence them. In 2022, she started her own consulting and coaching firm so that she could bring more humanity to workplaces, especially health care organizations. Amanda is the creator of the ‘ME to WE to ALL’ development framework as well as Providence Healthcare’s PRISM Award-winning Leadership Development Institute, and the most extensive public library collection of leadership books in Toronto.
Amanda has been coaching leaders since 2013. Her clients describe her as “corporate with heart”- she enables innovation, creativity, and strategy while enhancing people’s ability to see the ‘human side’. She enjoys working with leaders who want to make a difference in their own lives and those around them to build more positive workplaces. She loves working with people who are open to taking a bold look within themselves, to learn who they truly are – discovering the dark parts they have been unwilling to peek at and their brilliant strengths.
Earlier this year, Amanda Bjorn partnered with CHA Learning / HealthCareCAN to launch CHA Learning’s Coaching & Professional Services so that together, we can empower healthcare professionals and help them reach their full potential. Coaching equips participants with the necessary skills and tools to maximize their performance, knowledge, and impact.
Mark your calendar, or register today, for our upcoming virtual webinar session, Surviving to Thriving: Leveraging Coaching for Healthcare Professionals, where Amanda will introduce healthcare professionals to coaching and discuss the exciting benefits and opportunities that coaching unlocks for individuals and teams.
April 27th, 2023,
12:00 pm (noon) ET
Virtual: Zoom Meeting
A Little More About Amanda Bjorn
What is something you have accomplished or worked on that you are proud of?
I am proud of the impact that I have had on the individual and collective lives of the people who do such amazing work in health care organizations. Shifting organizational cultures in a way that lets the people who work there know that they matter, are valued, are heard and are cared for is so important for creativity, innovation, and quality care to flourish and brings me great joy.
What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of work/professional development?
Outside of work, you will find me hiking. The forest is my happy place, and my husband and I have enjoyed forest bathing and hiking in Northwestern Ontario, even in the winter. Last year we started snowshoeing, and this year, we got a sled so that our elderly dog could enjoy the forest too.
Who do you admire in healthcare/Coaching, and why?
I admire Jos de Blok. He is the CEO of a neighbourhood nursing organization in the Netherlands called Buurtzorg. Jos saw an opportunity to enhance patient care while simultaneously enhancing the experience of the care providers. He is guided by the principle of placing humanity above bureaucracy which led to building an organization where teams of nurses operate without a hierarchical management structure, meaning there are no bosses over subordinates. All team members plan, set directions and priorities, evaluate each other’s performance, teach each other, and make tough decisions themselves or with the help of a coach. I admire de Blok’s innovative thinking and am inspired by how he has built a successful company around the simple acts of caring for employees and doing the right thing for patients. It seems strange to me that it is considered revolutionary to build a patient and provider-centred organization based on freedom, trust, autonomy, and meaning, and without command and control.
What would you want someone to know entering CHA Learning’s Coaching Services?
I would want them to know how much coaching has helped me. Working with a coach was not only the greatest catalyst in my career and leadership growth, but it also helped me greatly as a human being. Knowing my strengths and values and how to leverage these in my life has been priceless. Gaining the confidence to be vulnerable, courageous, and creative has enabled me to feel more engaged and creates a climate of inspiring others to be who they know they can be.
How do you make room to continue learning while working/leading/living?
Learning is one of my top five greatest strengths. I recently completed a program called FutureWise Leadership, and in 2021 I completed the Team Coaching Advantage Program, which sparked my love of team and group coaching. I am constantly reading to learn and improve; my favourite book is called Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux.
What are the best ways that leaders/colleagues can support other leaders/colleagues, whether within the same organization or different organizations?
We need to get to know ourselves better to truly collaborate with and support others. In my ME to WE to ALL Model, I share that the more we have managed to understand our inner complexity, the more we become capable of responding to others with appreciation and kindness.
When we truly get to know ourselves, we become freer in our interactions, with no personal emotional strings attached, no unresolved personal issues playing out in meetings, no resentments, and no ‘impossible’ conversations. We become able to be comfortable with all aspects of ourselves, allowing us to accept the values, strengths and shadows of others.
We take personal accountability for our actions and refrain from blame and shame. We become more comfortable with ambiguity, uncertainty and discomfort.
We are able to resist being defensive and judgmental and listen with curiosity, empathy, and interest. We ask more than we tell, which builds decision-making and leadership skills in others and instills a great sense of psychological safety and trust. I believe it is our responsibility to make it safe for others to interact with us.
We take the learner’s path more often than the judger’s path. We see others as creative, resourceful and whole – with hopes, dreams and fears that are just as important as our own.
We value and leverage the difference vs judging others. Different perspectives become valued because we know that together we create remarkable things beyond our individual contributions.
Amanda joined CHA Learning/HealthCareCAN‘s podcast serial The HQ as a special guest to talk about the role of coaching in staff and organizational development. Have a listen!
CHA Learning offers a series of services for individuals, groups and teams to enhance leadership potential, team effectiveness, skills and knowledge and culture. Learn more about our coaching and professional services, and schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with Amanda, by following the link below!