Giving feedback on consultation performance

Appropriate feedback to GP registrars on their performance in consultations is a powerful tool with which to facilitate an improvement in their consultation competencies. When giving feedback there are a number of principles in order to ensure effective feedback.

  1. Creating the right atmosphere.
    • remind the registrar that their training is about learning and development.
    • be open, accepting, genuine.
    • present feed back as a means rather than an end.
    • be primarily positive especially in the early stages.
    • discus the provision of feedback including negative emotions.
  2. The features of effective feedback
    • personal, i.e. geared to the leader’s needs.
    • immediate, i.e. should take place soon after observed performance.
    • concentrate on performance rather than personality.
    • specific rather than general,
    • positive rather than negative.
    • provide positive alternatives.
    • is generalisable.
  3. Guidelines/method.
    • clarify maters of fact at the beginning of feedback if appropriate.
    • opening – “How did it go/you feel” – registrar goes first and describes what he/she did well.
    • trainer then discusses what he/she did well.

Often tendency to describe what went wrong, what he/she was unhappy with first. Allow this to be expressed, flag perceived problems but set aside and address later, resist temptation to deal with these at this stage. (DO NOT FORGET – ignoring perceived ‘bad’ efforts can be destructive).

  • registrar then describes what she/he did not do well.
  • registrar to suggest alternative strategies.
  • trainer then discusses what he/she did not do so well and explore methods of improvement.
  • recommend change-
  • summarise and agree.
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