Learning at the Edge with Binata Mukherjee

Alicia Burson

Binata Mukherjee Discovers “The Total Experience was Much More than the Sum of its Parts”: An Experiential Approach to Training Faculty in Academic Medicine to Coach

Binata Mukherjee, a physician by training, has led the development and delivery of human capital programs for more than a decade. Her work at Rice University and the University of South Alabama is centered on helping individuals transform in their leadership journey. She is instrumental in developing and managing the healthcare leadership concentration in the MBA program at the Mitchell College of Business (MCOB), coach training for medical faculty at the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine, healthcare leadership certificate program at the MCOB, and teaching a variety of leadership courses.

Binata’s teaching is informed by her experience in leadership roles before transitioning to academia. Introduction to mindfulness at an early age, life experiences in leadership roles, and living and working in different countries, prompted her to delve deeper into a journey of self-discovery of her authentic self, understanding human nature, and healing. Rooted in the belief that awareness of and the ability to be with one’s emotions are critical for a leader, she brings that ‘consciousness’ to her teaching to help individuals lead their professional and personal life with choice. Her research interest includes understanding how coaching can facilitate the development, growth, and wellbeing of individuals and how to effectively teach medical faculty to integrate coaching in educating learners.

She is a certified leadership coach, Integral Unfoldment coach, Kolb’s Experiential Learning Profile (KELP) administrator, EQi 2.0 administrator, mindfulness facilitator, iREST Yoga Nidra teacher, Yin Yoga teacher.

Binata’s research concludes:  Coaching in academic medicine may help learners with performance and development by evoking self-awareness and embracing lifelong learning. Studies have evaluated the impact on coachees and program outcomes. Limited information exists about educating faculty to integrate coaching. We explored a 26-hour experiential training program attended by 20 faculty at an academic medical center. Data from post-training focus group discussions, post-training survey, and reflections during training were used in a mixed methods reflexive thematic analysis to discover participants’ training experiences and perceptions about coaching. We identified 3 themes: (1) perceptions, skills, and understanding of coaching with subthemes (a) knowledge and process of coaching, (b) coaching skill development, and (c) impact of coaching; (2) perceived additional benefits from coaching encompassing (a) personal development and (b) illuminating discoveries; and (3) effective instructional practices to teach coaching incorporating (a) learning community emphasizing experiential learning and (b) suggestions for future. Improved understanding of coaching underscored the importance of relationships, vulnerability, listening to the whole person, being non-judgmental, empathy, and curiosity. The new coaches demonstrated willingness to influence personal and professional development of learners. In the process of coach training, the faculty not only recognized the benefits of coaching others but also realized personal benefits.






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