Your role as a PD Buddy also requires keeping up with your student's personal circumstances. It is important to keep up with what is going on in the trainee's personal life as it can greatly impact on their ability to effectively engage with their learning.
Below you will find an example session plan that you can use to structure the time with your students.
You are encouraged to add, remove and change this plan as you see fit - this plan should give you a basis to work from.
Open the session with developing rapport and building trust. Remember this session is about them sharing important information which could be difficult, stressful, or painful. You need to create a space where they feel safe enough to trust you and share what is really going on in their lives.
In the early stages of your relationship, you can just spend some time getting to know each other.
We suggest during your first session, you set up an agreement with your student about how you will work together.
Explain the purpose of the Personal Development Buddy relationship
Explain your role as PD Buddy (they will also have one for Education) and what you will commit to
Decide together the format of the meetings and how these will work
Clarify what is expected behaviour from trainees and their role
It can be challenging to know what/ how to ask about personal issues. So here is a checklist of topics to check in on, each time you meet with your Buddy. Remember to ask open questions in order to get more information.
You don't need to know how to solve their problems. Also don't promise that you will solve them.
You also cannot promise confidentiality either, as you will be discussing their personal circumstances with the PD Buddy team. Reassure them that it will only be for the purpose of getting them the support they need.
Since we last met...
Has anything changed with your family situation?
ie, with spouse/partner/children/dependents/parents/family in another country
Has anything changed with your financial situation?
got a job/ lost a job/ took a loan/ waiting for benefits
Has anything changed with your housing situation?
loosing housing/ looking for housing/in the process of moving/recently moved
Has anything changed with your immigration situation? (ask this for asylum seekers)
upcoming immigration interview/ recent immigration interview/ looking for solicitor
Has anything changed with your physical health situation?
injury/illness/recent diagnosis/long term health condition
Has anything changed with your mental health situation?