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


Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 13.47.35Spotting when you might be getting stale and how to freshen up.

Renewal is an important part of personal development and it seems to be a theme for many of the people I work with. There is the very real potential to get slightly bored with doing the same things, or run out of ideas at any stage of your medical career, despite how busy you are. Obviously there are huge challenges at a day to day level for doctors currently, but it is important to recognise when you need a refresh in order to avoid starting to burn out.

Some of the signs that people describe having are; low energy, lack of interest and a feeling that they are not fulfilled. Left un-checked this can descend into low esteem, poor morale and unhappy working relationships.

This is difficult because Doctors are expected to manage their own careers and develop the non-clinical interests and ideas away from their clinical base; whether it be education, management, research or organisational development. But there is no clear pathway or training and development to access. On the flip side, as doctors you do have relative autonomy to explore options, as long as you priortise yourself.

In order to access the right opportunities or spot the potential in new areas, you need to know what matters to you and what is of interest.

Take time out to establish:

  • Your personal values
  • How you like to learn
  • What you have learnt about yourself and your work
  • What skills you have gained
  • What you would like to get better at or improve
  • What you would like to be a part of

Clarifying for yourself the above will help you identify what you are and are not interested in, and how you would like to make a change.

So, here are some of the things that people I know have undertaken in order to refresh:

  • Start a new activity (teaching/research)
  • Get involved in policy or strategy development
  • Take on role in professional society or college
  • Investigate roles in medical education (post and undergraduate)
  • Get involved in mentoring or appraisal
  • Join a ethics committee or NICE
  • Become the lead for a local service
  • Get involved with your Local Medical Committee or CCG
  • Join your Clinical Senate
  • Take on a quality improvement task/role or pathway redesign
  • Write articles / newsletters or a blog
  • Use social media to connect with people who have similar interests as you

Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there’s not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.” Steven Hall

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

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How can Doctors improve their interview performance?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.37.22I’ve been pretty busy recently, some of which has been supporting doctors through interview processes for jobs. This has included people applying for training grade and consultant posts.

I thought it would be useful to note down some useful steps in managing the process, and anxiety.

My four stage process:

1. Purpose

Be clear about your purpose for applying for this post. That might appear to be obvious for those of you in training grades, but it’s always useful to reflect and consider the speed of your journey and the variety of experiences it offers you. The drive to get to the next stage is strong, but the end goal is not your only consideration. If you are beyond training, then make sure your purpose for looking elsewhere is clear. You might too easily focus on ‘moving away’ from an undesirable situation, but it is equally important to ‘move towards’ something that is right for you and your circumstances.

Tip – do not underestimate the emotions this can generate. 

2. Plan

Plot what you need to do and by when in order to be ready. Again, this may appear obvious but focusing too heavily on ‘the big day’ is a common mistake. Get the planning and organisation right and the actual interview itself is far less of a trial. Break down the known interview areas and plan out what your experience and knowledge is on this subject. Think about the meaningful examples you can talk about (animatedly) that are authentic and credible.

Tip – create a practical plan that you can work on steadily, within the timeframe.

3. Practice

Practicing your answers and talking through your ideas is crucial to making sure you produce a polished performance on the day. Doing this with friends or colleagues is good, but alone can also work. Hearing yourself articulate your responses is a great way to make sure that you are being succinct and specific. If you are required to do a presentation, practice it. Dress rehearsals help expose gremlins and it’s better to uncover these whilst practicing.

Tip – Don’t leave this till the last minute, have several goes at it. 

4. Performance

Make sure you are in the right frame of mind on the day. This really matters but will be helped considerably by the previous stages. If you have got 1, 2 and 3 right then you should be feeling pretty good at this point. However, make sure that you are ready to display the very best version of you. Make a note of how you present yourself at your best. What does it look like and how does it feel?

Tip – Consider what impression you want to leave and how you will achieve that. 


If you would like to talk over Coaching for interviews call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at




I’m really enjoying watching the Olympics. It is inspiring to watch people reaching towards their goals and fulfilling their potential. Heartbreaking for them when they don’t, and fabulous to see the joy when they do. But what has really struck me over the last few days is how clear-cut it appears. You win, you lose. You get a medal, you don’t. I envy this with sporting performance. There is seemingly less grey area and it is obvious what you are aiming for so; all the hard work is directed at one point.

My clients are all Doctors and I think they know what this kind of hard work over many years feels like. They know what the step by step achievements mean, the sacrifices it takes and how it moves them that little bit closer to their goal of becoming a GP Partner or Consultant. It seems like an Olympic effort.

But after the Olympics are over, or you have got that Partner / Consultant post? What next, how do you take stock, redefine where next and what to do? How can you continue to develop your performance, judgement and practice for rest of your professional life and what do you aim for?

I believe coaching helps you identify, plan for and sustain your personal best.

There was a moment in sports when employing a coach was unimaginable—and then came a time when not doing so was unimaginable. We care about results in sports, and if we care half as much about results in schools and in hospitals we may reach the same conclusion.”

Atul Gwande (Endocrine Surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts)

For full article in the New Yorker Click Here