Continuous professional development is crucial for practitioners to provide quality services to their clients. In this regard, evaluation forms are helpful tools that can be used to monitor one’s progress, assess one’s work, and get feedback from peers (Uğur & Turan, 2019). As a result, an individual can set goals for improvement based on the evaluation results. An interview session was conducted where my expertise as a practitioner was self-evaluated and reviewed by a peer. Essential practitioner skills include building, evaluating, and ending relationships, beginning and ending a meeting, active listening, exploring problems with clients, prioritizing, and using interpersonal qualities to promote respect and empathy (Uğur & Turan, 2019). The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the skills and behaviors exemplified by the practitioner during the interview session, identifying strengths and weaknesses and relating them to research.
To begin with, it is essential to identify my strengths by discussing a successful use of skills during the interview session. Based on the evaluation results, it is evident that I demonstrated attending behavior with my open body posture, congruent facial expression, and eye contact with the client. These aspects play a pivotal role in building trustful relationships and ensuring effective communication. Another example of the successful application of practitioner skills was the use of questions to explore and evaluate problems with clients. This ability demonstrates my genuine concern for the client and indicates a professional approach to the issue.
Furthermore, I demonstrated the ability to learn about the severity of problems and challenges, explore the situation and its impact, and determine their effects on the individual. I successfully evaluated the environment and stressors and identified the client’s strengths and resources. These behaviors are critical for a practitioner to provide the necessary guidance and explore the patient’s problem. The assessment of the session demonstrates my ability to evaluate and end relationships with clients efficiently. I emphasized the importance of the patient’s accomplishments, strengths, satisfaction with the progress, and plans for future work. These aspects are vital for the practitioner to ensure positive outcomes of the session. Finally, I confirmed my genuineness by appearing sincere, client-focused, and relaxed during the meeting. This quality emphasizes my ability to provide relevant comments and reactions to clients’ feelings and behavior, aiming to support them.
Apart from the practitioner’s strengths, it is essential to identify aspects that require improvement. In particular, the assessment of my session indicates several behaviors that can be enhanced with more practice. According to my partner’s evaluation, I did not demonstrate sufficient active listening skills, which is one of the essential skills for a practitioner. I summarized the content but did not refer to the patient’s speaking style. Therefore, I plan on improving my active listening by reflecting on the client’s feelings, the meeting’s content, and the perceived meanings during the discussion of the problem.
Another weakness that can be improved is my ability to define the focus of the meeting. This skill is vital to guide the process and promote the client’s success. I can address this problem by identifying problematic patterns, supporting self-efficacy, and developing MAPS goals. In doing so, I can help the individual focus on a specific challenge and achieve results. Finally, the evaluation highlighted the need to work on my empathy skills, which are crucial to understanding the client’s feelings, problems, and unique experiences. Overall, being aware of one’s weaknesses is necessary to promote professional and personal development.
Research and Evaluation
During my session, I demonstrated solid theoretical knowledge and practical skills that contributed to the positive outcomes of the interview. At the same time, a critical self-evaluation of my progress and a peer’s feedback allowed me to identify weaknesses and challenges for me to overcome and develop as a professional. According to Manley, Martin, Jackson, and Wright (2018), continuous career growth “is fundamental for making sure frontline staff practice safely and effectively” (p. 134). In this regard, by conducting an evaluation, one uses it as an instrument for monitoring progress and performance. Uğur and Turan (2019) highlight the importance of professional skills and behaviors for practitioners who help clients better understand and address their problems. My reflection supports these research findings by indicating how expertise or a lack thereof can affect the client’s outcomes. In general, progress-tracking using self-assessment tools and peer feedback is an efficient technique to evaluate and improve one’s professional skills.
To conclude, the evaluation of my interview session allowed for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of my professional approach, which can be used to make relevant adjustments and develop an improvement plan. It is essential to maintain my observing skills, the ability to use questions effectively, as well as attending behavior. In my future sessions, I will try to improve my active listening, define the focus more clearly, and demonstrate empathy to the client. My plan for these improvements includes the following steps: set objectives for specific skills, focus on practicing them and assess progress regularly. Such an approach can contribute to the practitioner’s professional development and growth.
Manley, K., Martin, A., Jackson, C., & Wright, T. (2018). A realist synthesis of effective continuing professional development (CPD): A case study of healthcare practitioners’ CPD. Nurse Education Today, 69, 134-141.
Uğur, N. G., & Turan, A. H. (2019). Critical professional skills of MIS graduates: Practitioner vs. academician perspectives. Journal of Education for Business, 94(4), 251-258.