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Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" style of presentations and writing will make you smile or just shock you into taking some action. Either way, she is very effective at empowering others to reach their goals and feel better about themselves. Her entertaining workshops are available for national and international audiences. Writing for the dental industry since 2010, she uses an alterego (Diana Directive) to illustrate her points in a sarcastic but effective way. Presentations can be scheduled by contacting Lisa at www.discussdirectives.com/dental.html.
Are you a good boss ... or are you the underlying cause of your practice's problems?
Shh! Can you hear what your staff is saying about you? Don’t get me wrong, I am not proposing you put a baby cam up in the break room. That could be illegal or really destructive to morale if you got busted. What I am questioning is whether or not you have a clue what your employees think of you. As unpleasant as that may sound, you need to know.
Ask yourself the following questions…
Do you listen to your employees or do you just blow off their ideas as being frivolous?
An important part of being an effective leader is to listen to the people you work with. If you think you have all the answers and have no need to listen to others, maybe you should work for Donald Trump. (Did I really say that?) Not trying to be political and all, but it is the same thing. Are you “The Donald” who doesn’t need advisors or employees to share ideas on how to improve your business strategies? (If so, please reconsider.)
Do you treat your employees with respect for their expertise?
Respect is a “big deal” in the world of business. If you don’t respect your staff, do you think your patients will notice it? ABSOLUTELY. There is very little that your patients miss. They sit in your chairs in the waiting room and operatory and listen to every single thing going on around them. (It gets boring out there. Gossip breaks up the monotony of waiting when you are running late.) They know how your day has been going even before you greet them. And, they know what your staff thinks of you even if you don’t. (What a shame you can’t survey them to find out!)
Do you cut corners all the time?
I know you are running a business. Overhead and benefits are frightening. But, do you skimp on things you know should be done right? In one practice, it was a huge concern about cutting corners on cleaning supplies. I am not joking. The employee was given water to clean mirrors that had been splattered with saliva. (And yet, the dentist never understood why the mirrors never looked clean enough.) Do not do anything to jeopardize the health of your employees and patients. You know that, but just be careful how you are cutting corners.
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Do you like being the boss or are you uncomfortable handling difficult situations?
If you are, hire someone who knows how to run the business. Get a coach. Learn what your weaknesses are as a boss and do something about it. Problems don’t go away just by burying your head in the sand. Let’s face it, no one is going to care more about your practice than you, the owner. The scary truth is that sometimes, you, the boss are the problem.
Do you have a backbone? Can you take action and terminate the slacker in your practice? Do you have any idea what it does to morale when the boss lets someone get away with murder? (OK, it isn’t as serious as murder, but it could end up being malpractice or a lawsuit of some sort.)
My point is this…I am not trying to bash “The Boss.” Instead, the goal is to help you to look at the full picture. You have so many responsibilities and pressures to make this practice flow smoothly. My question is: Can you take a good look at yourself to see if you are the problem. So… what kind of boss are you?
If you have had experiences you would like to share on this bosses that are the problem, email firstname.lastname@example.org.