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Firstly, thanks for asking such a great question.
Also, thanks to @Liz for her reply too. I agree with much of what she has said so i’m not going to just echo her good advice. Instead let me build on it.
There’s the ideal – this is what should really happen – kind of meeting, which should maximally be about the future, and less so about the past. This really only works where regular informal feedback and relationship building one2one meetings and more structured quarterly review meetings are happening. these regular meetings allow for feedback and recognition/coaching/mentoring/training to happen in as close to real time as possible.
The trouble is, very very few practices have this level of meeting structure or commitment in place, so instead we end up with the (slightly dreaded) appraisal.
My advice to you is to have spent some time thinking about where you want to be professionally – skills/experience and personally – in the next 3 years, then break it donw to what you’d need to be true in a year to consider yourself on track.
Perhaps have a bit of a reflection session on how you’d performed clinically this year, also where your non-clinical skills are at. Consider what you’ve really found energising and perhaps what has been quite draining.
You might do a personal S.W.O.T. analysis, where you ask the following questions and take a personal inventory.
1. What am I strong at?
2. What are my weaknesses?
3. What opportunities are there for development in the practice and beyond?
4. What are the potential areas of threat in the external environment that might get in the way or need to be addressed?
Ultimately the objective is to have a clear plan for the “what happens next” to which you can strive in the next 12 months.
Also, don’t forget it’s your opportunity to offer feedback to your employer too!
An on the notion of giving and receiving feedback, using this as a ground rule has helped me a lot over the year: When you give it, do so with the intent to help someone out. And when you receive it, do so with gratitude, even though it might sometimes sting. Always give it thought, try not to react, but give it space to percolate! Doing so will allow you to take the gift, or reasonably reject it.
I hope that’s helpful.
May I check if you are registered for the Thrive course? If not, check it out in the courses section as there is a whole section in the course dedicated for how to prep for reviews.
Good luck and let us know how it went! Also, would you mind if I made a little video about this for our socials?