Feedback on leadership and management skills is always valuable.

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One of the most powerful ways to assess your performance and development needs is to gain meaningful feedback from those with whom you work. This is particularly true for developing your leadership skills as these are often more complex to observe or measure, so gathering as much data as you can is important. And aligning this to decent leadership standards makes the process especially productive and relevant to medical leadership and management performance areas.

This can be useful when you are applying for a new job or role, planning your appraisal, CPD or considering a career change or transition.

I’ve started to recommend and use the recently launched FMLM 360 tool as this follows the FMLM Leadership Standards that have been specifically designed for medical leaders. These standards roughly fall into the three leadership areas of Self, Team Player/Leader and Organisational Responsibility and System Leadership. Also, the 360 tool allows you to register as – a team member, team leader, operational leader and strategic leader meaning that you can assess your leadership development at any stage in your medical career. Find out more about about FMLM 360 HERE (£72.00 including VAT).

The trick with feedback though is to turn the potential learning into action. I think reflection on the nature of the feedback, understanding the different perceptions, considering the themes that occur are important, but doing something about this is key. I often use the following questions when I receive feedback or when I’m supporting others to action plan on the back of 360 reports:

1. What is valuable to me and how can it make me more effective?

2. What are the benefits to me and those I work with?

3. What can I practically do to enact this learning?

4. Who can I share this with in order to help me or hold me to account?

Of course there may be feedback in the 360 report that you don’t agree with or may feel unfair. You may be right, but it is important to still reflect on the context, why someone may have viewed you or the situation in this way and what you can extract that is still of value to you.

If you would like to talk over your 360 report call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at 

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. Bill Gates

FMLM launch the ‘Essential skills’ courses – a new series of personal and career development courses.


I’m delighted to have been asked to run two more taster sessions for the FMLM.

Our sessions in June on Leadership & MBTI and Conflict Management were really successful so it’s great to run a couple more. See below for some of the feedback.

1. What makes you tick as a leader? Understand your values and beliefs.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 09:30 – Imperial College London. Click Here to book on the course.
In this workshop we will help you to understand your core values, how these relate to leadership and how they are demonstrated in the healthcare setting. This is an important part of developing your professional practise.

2. Boost your mentoring skills.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015, 13:30 – Imperial College London. Click here to book on the course.

Doctors at all stages in their career are increasingly being asked to deploy mentoring skills, whether formally or informally. You may have received training for this, or just picked it up along the way. However experienced you are at mentoring, it is critical to stay fresh and keep developing your skills.

Both courses carry 3 CPD points.

Feedback from previous attendees on the MBTI and Managing Conflict courses:

“It is important to understand myself before I can hope to understand and inspire others. This course gave me a bit better understanding of some elements of ‘self’ and left me wanting to understand more.”

“Really helpful to do questionnaire and immediately receive your own feedback about your indiivdiual style. Helped by the entertaining experimental games to understand the styles.”

“As a junior doctor about to begin my training in Anaesthetics it is important to know at this stage what my leadership style is and how I can improve it further to enable me to be a good leader as I increase in seniority.”

“The course allowed us to explore real scenarios and gave options to create real solutions. An all inclusive course where everyones contribution was valued.”

“Thank you for the excellent teaching and useful workshop.”


If you are interested in finding out more about these courses, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

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I’ve been ask by local faculties of The Royal College of General Practitioners to hold two more pre-retirement courses.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 08.43.30These events have been designed by myself and friends who are GPs. The intention is to provide a workshop that allows people to explore their transition towards retirement and consider their ideas about what they might do.

10th September 2015 (Evening) Link here – RCGP Vale of Trent

14th November 2015 (Saturday) Link here –  RCGP East Anglia

NB, this excludes pension / financial planning.

Previous attendees to this workshop said:

“Very good as I thought I would completely give up work but opened up my mind to non-medical options.

Excellent, helped me work out what I’m going to do in a positive way, excellent, thought-provoking and therapeutic.”

“Brilliant fun – cover so much ground really well and safely.”

Recently retired GP David Poll shares his thoughts on retiring here.

I am David Poll, just “ex-GP” from my practice in Belper, Derbyshire, where I worked for 30 years. I have retired and have had a fantastic set of leaving do’s. It’s been a weird time, deciding to leave a very happy working environment to an unknown that I have thought about endlessly for the past couple of years, but which inevitably will be a new phase of adjustment and learning. I am still working as an educationalist at Health Education East Midlands, but for only 16 hours a week. The practicalities of my pension being available was one key factor in my decision to stop clinical practice and I have been through various categories of other reflections including consideration of what I will do with all that time, stopping clinical practice, what legacy I will leave behind, what advice I might offer to GPs starting in practice now and what I will miss most and least. I am ready though now. I would describe my emotions over the lead up time to have ranged from terror, through acceptance to eager anticipation and excitement. It has undoubtedly helped me to share views, advice and the feelings of others.

To book on these courses, follow the links above.

If you are interested in finding out more about these course, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

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Last month, myself and Louise Kiteley of Coaching Innovations ran a one-day interactive and practical session called Take Time Out – building resilience, managing change and working differently.

This well attended session saw GPs, Practice Managers and Senior Nurses come along to take stock of their skills, approaches and look at new ways of problem solving and dealing with the relentless pressures in primary care.
The following interview with Dr Chris Hewitt (Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Local Medical Committee) explores what we learnt, and observed, during the day. 

Q: What did we cover during the day that you think was particularly powerful for people?

Seeing GPs, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses having the headspace to think, to share experiences and ideas with colleagues with similar roles, challenges and environments, was enormously energising and uplifting. From the feedback it is clear that this experience was shared by course participants. I found it particularly powerful to gain more insight and to learn more about how my personal preferences around how I learn and communicate (and the preferences of those around me) influences how we all cope and look out for ourselves and each other.

Q: What do you think people particularly struggle with regarding ‘resilience’?

The i-resilience model was interesting – the need for a balance of confidence, social support, purposefulness and adaptability in order to endure and thrive, although on first inspection was clearly common sense, deeper review provided a clear framework for where as an individual we might be neglecting an area that could make us more vulnerable. Social support is particularly neglected. People put on a brave face or bottle things up, and we are wary of asking colleagues or networks for support to help deal with challenges and adverse situations.

Q: What is it about ‘change’ that can cause a lot of difficulty?

William Bridges transition model highlighted that the physical changes we overcome, do require a catching up of psychological buy in, with acceptance and change to pre-existing familiarity and habits which is required to go through the ’neutral zone’ of transition.  What was particularly interesting is that accepting and adapting to change – new premises or patient access systems – then requires people to ‘transition’ in their behaviours, working patterns and psychological acceptance, all of which occurs at different rates in different individuals.

The session was financially supported by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Local Medical Committee and the Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Service.

Attendees said:
  • “Enjoyable, constructive.  Having the headspace and tools to think laterally around work issues, impactful.”
  • “Opportunity to work with different folk/groups, really helpful.”
  • “Great course – well-presented and facilitated.”

If you are interested in attending or hosting a course like this, call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at

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A client bought me flowers a couple of weeks ago – to say thank you and to show how much she appreciated what we have done together.

Not that I expect this kind of thing you understand, but it got me thinking about appreciation in general and how it’s so important in our relationships.

My own appreciation of the power of appreciation really grew a few years ago when I read Nancy Kline‘s work. She believes that there are ten crucial elements/behaviours that must be present to allow people to do their very best thinking. I strive to have these in place when coaching and they are:

Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Diversity, Incisive Questions and Place.

I think appreciation comes in many forms (not just flowers) but it can be; just being there, being attentive, saying thank you, listening, asking how someone is or remembering important details about them. It all adds up to a feeling of being valued. And we all need that.

But it’s just as important to appreciate others explicitly too. Giving appreciative feedback is so valuable, and yet free. So make it count and do it well by being:

Succinct – Sincere – Specific

I’m not talking about being gushy here. I’m talking about being genuine and honest. Here’s an example from my testimonials page:

Alexis has that rare quality of listening not only to the words you are saying but also the nuances. She is able to analyse and effectively summarise. But she does not force her opinion on you; the conclusions you draw are your own.”

This is why I value my clients feedback through evaluation so much. It’s a form of appreciation that is always concrete, sincere and developmental for me. You can read other feedback on my testimonials page.

Contact me on 0754 0593476 or email me on

The human mind thinks more rigorously and creatively in a context of genuine appreciation.” Nancy Kline