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3.24.06 Issue #211

Spring Cleaning: Make Room For Success

Dr. Nancy Haller
Executive Coach
McKenzie Management

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It’s spring. Nature’s way of saying that life will go on. A time of revitalization and renewal. A time for planting seeds, literally and symbolically. Spring also is a perfect time to review your life and your practice. Clear away the cobwebs. The ritual of cleaning ‘house’ is about to begin.

  • Take an inventory of your office and your business.

Even if you're stopping short of a total overhaul, everyone has some debris to sweep away. Start with your physical surroundings. Is your work space messy and unorganized? Is your desk in disarray? When you’re surrounded by clutter, your mind gets bogged down which prevents you from thinking clearly and being focused. By making room and space you will be more productive and creative.

I’ve coached many ‘pack-rats’. Although they really can find things in their many stacks and piles, even chronic savers admit that they work better when their physical environment is organized. If the clutter doesn’t bother you, it often irks people around you. Worse, you send a negative message to your employees. The excess that surrounds you reflects less about thrift and frugality and more about indecisiveness and lack of control. Live your life from a position of abundance rather than from a fear of scarcity where you need to save everything ‘just in case’. If you find it hard to know what to keep and what to throw away, hire a professional organizer to help you sift through the clutter and advise you. It will increase your efficiency, affect your bottom line, and leave you with more leisure time.

  • Just as you rid your life of physical clutter, it's important to spring clean your relationships too.

Analyze what is working for you and why. Then make a plan to weed out the people who are toxic and draining. Whether it’s a colleague or an employee, relationships need basic maintenance if they are going to be life-giving to you. Make a list of people who zap your energy. Identify the specific behaviors that create tension or stress for you, and what would need to change to lessen that source of irritation. Talk with those individuals and give them feedback about what you want for them to do. Avoid rehashing old problems and stay focused on your expectations for the future.

  • If feedback doesn’t remedy the problem, remove the dead foliage.

If a relationship isn’t working, you need to remove it to allow room for new growth to emerge. By surrounding yourself with positive staff and colleagues, you will get more of the results that you want. Remember that the goal is to improve and grow your practice. Who is contributing to that end result, and who is an obstacle to you?

Set up performance improvement plans with employees who are falling short of their job responsibilities. Schedule consistent individual meetings to review what they are doing. Keep a file on each person and document your discussions. If you do need to terminate an employee, you will have the necessary paperwork to move forward legally.

  • Throw out the bad business

You probably have patients who are high maintenance. Some are costing you more in aggravation than they’re worth. The same for insurance companies that drive you crazy. Get rid of them! You have the right to be picky. And you won't attract new business if all your time is spent with the energy drainers.

  • Be a stead gardener.

When the seeds of your efforts start to germinate, continue to cultivate what you’ve planted. Do you have employees who are root-bound? If a member of your team has outgrown their job, find new ‘pots’ for them and encourage them to blossom in new ways. The same applies to your own leadership. Make a commitment to learn new skills. Keep yourself sharp and honed. Then enjoy the harvest!

If you’re ready for more success, energy and confidence, contact Dr. Haller at She’ll help you and your practice bloom

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