At the moment I am listening to an audio book by Brene Brown called 'Dare to Lead'. She talks about vulnerability and trust building for leaders and it really hit home to me in regards to our graduate physiotherapists starting in private practice.
You see trust is built with our graduates in a layered process. It is not given just because you are the owner of the practice, you have a Masters or you have a large client base.
Trust is built with our graduates in the small moments and that is why we need to spend time with them frequently and often when they first start in our businesses.
Most graduates will 'armour up' at the beginning of their careers out of fear. This is a protection mechanism for themselves against their patients and you as their boss and a mentor. This armour disguises itself as overconfidence, challenging behaviours and poor ability to accept feedback.
If you want your graduate to be honest with you about their limitations and be vulnerable enough to open up to you as a mentor when they don't know something, then you need to build trust slowly and incrementally.
It is recognising the achievements they make in their professional and personal lives.
It is the ability to guide and not tell your graduate the answer to walk them through the process of complex clinical reasoning and justification.
It is about being the person they can come to and disclose what they don't know without judgement or feeling ashamed.
This is a process. This process takes time.
Depending on how heavy the armour of the graduate is, this could take alot of time to slowly peel back the layers of defence.
Rewarding when you make a breakthrough? Absolutely
In my mentoring experience, I find those that have the heaviest armour are those high distinction students that have never failed at anything in their lives.
They seem to have an answer for everything.
Take the time to get to know your graduate personally and professionally. Once they know you care about them and their learning and development despite the potholes they will hit along the way, they will thrive in private practice.
I recorded a 9 min audio on the topic. Listen to this audio