“Whether you’re on a sports team, in an office or a member of a family, if you can’t trust one another there’s going to be trouble.”
― Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
If Stephen Covey is right, then the GP sector is going to be in trouble… I actually think it already is. Over the past two years, we have seen the levels of trust deteriorate in the world of General Practice. GPs often find it hard to trust practice owners and managers and practice owners become cautious and skeptical when dealing with GPs.
The result: an inordinate level of importance being placed on contracts – sometimes causing GPs becoming so focused on contracts that they lose sight of looking for the best job and the greatest job satisfaction.
Because the levels of trust are so low, it becomes hard to get it right when negotiating contracts. If the contract is too tight, it creates concern about being trapped into a harmful agreement; if it is too loose there is concern that something might be forgotten.
“In a high-trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing, and people will still get your meaning. In a low-trust relationship, you can be very measured, even precise, and they’ll still misinterpret you.” (Stephen Covey).
As recruiters, we are often caught in the middle and we see the damage that is done. Practice owners rightly wish to protect their business interests and GPs rightly try to protect their job satisfaction and personal income and as a result, many good opportunities are missed. Unless we have the trust of both parties, we also can’t do much to help the situation.
“The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted. —MAHATMA GANDHI”
At the positive side, we see successful relationships forming and many great outcomes from contract negotiations. Many of our practice owners have a strong reputation with GPs and their track record means that new GPs quickly build trust. Others show integrity in the way they approach negotiations and inspire confidence that they will deliver what they have promised.
The result of a good negotiation is exactly what makes us get out of bed in the morning: The knowledge that we have been able to achieve a good match between a GPs and a GP practice – a match that will last long term and bring professional and personal satisfaction.
Over the coming months, our goal at Alecto is to continue to work with both GPs and practice owners to build trust that underpins success. We continue to look for reliable trustworthy practice owners who can deliver what they promise and reliable, capable, skilled doctors who bring ongoing success to themselves and the practice owners.