As a physiotherapist, one of my most important and crucial tools in developing as a clinician, is self-reflection and constantly evaluating my work critically. How did I do today and with this particular case / client / process? What did I do well? What could / should I have done differently? Did I miss something? If things went well, what could I have done to make them even better? If things didn’t go well, where did I go wrong? It means learning from the cases that didn’t go well, but also learning from the cases that went well: Not settling for solutions that are only good, as there might be even better ones available.
In addition to self-reflection, professional development also means taking (and giving) critically constructive feedback: Not seeking approval nor having the reflexive mechanism to just say ’Well, it doesn’t matter what they say’. Because in order to improve you will need feedback and you will need to be able to take it – positive or negative. Sometimes it might be painful, but breaking it down to granular level helps to chew it. Creating filtration skills is also very helpful: Understanding who to listen to and how to process the things they are telling to you. Personally I feel that I have learned a thing or two about filtration. During my 24 years as a football referee I was under evaluation at all times and received feedback constantly – from whoever. I experienced feedback across the spectrum from factual to inappropriate, from those who knew what they were talking about all the way to those who didn’t know anything but talked anyway. The feedback was about my performance, my personality, my appearance and looks – and everything possible. I learned a lot about how to deal with things and my feelings and how to process the feedback I received so that I could develop. In the physiotherapy world things are a bit different, but there are similarities too (for example here in social media). There are always those who don’t like what you do or those who are having a bad day and unleash their bad feelings into you. It doesn’t bother me much. I am truly grateful to all of you who every now and then send messages, ask things and comment constructively and critically – thank you!
(The pic has little to do with the text. These were good football boots.)