In the course of a day at your practice, there may be many conversations among you, your staff and the patients, but another very important form of communication may be missing.
How often do you hear suggestions from your staff about how to improve operations, address problems or increase production?
Have members of your team talked to you about their personal career aspirations, or how they feel about their role at the practice?
As the team leader, you need to initiate meaningful interactions with your team, and you can’t do it when you’re chairside, caring for patients. There are, however, three ready-made channels for this kind of communication. Staff meetings, informal conversations and performance reviews.
Morning, monthly and special meetings all provide opportunities for you to “pick the brains” of team members. Ask questions and encourage dialogue and an exchange of ideas. I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you hear.
“Hallway” conversations can play a surprisingly important role in encouraging staff members to share their thoughts with you. By asking specific questions about how the work is going, you’ll be sending the message that you care about what team members think. You may pick up valuable observations and insights this way while making it easier for staff to speak up during meetings.
Annual performance reviews are as valuable for one-to-one exchanges as meetings are for group interactions. Ask for the team members’ views about how things have been going, what they can do to improve their own performance, and how the practice can help them advance their careers.
Want to be a better leader? Learn to listen to your team.
For more team-building advice, check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “The 9 Areas of Expertise: Team Building.” It’s available here.
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