No Excuses Feedback
What would it be worth if you were able to improve the productivity and effectiveness of every member of your staff? To reduce employee conflicts? To prevent communication breakdowns? To increase practice revenues? To expand the quality of work-life satisfaction in your office?
It would be priceless!
You have two choices: you can tolerate mediocre performance or you can insist on a team that follows your standards and executes on your goals. If you choose the latter, you must start holding your employees accountable.
In coaching dental leaders, I have found that too many do not hold their people accountable. But it’s a leader’s job to provide effective feedback for his/her employees. Constructive suggestions can help them succeed. On the other hand, resisting your feedback may cause them to miss an opportunity to grow and develop within your practice. The key to creating a successful performance conversation is to emphasize what the employee needs to do to succeed, rather than focusing on what has caused them to miss the mark in the past. Here are some examples to illustrate how to improve your communication and overcome resistance and denial.
Jenny is your Front Desk employee. She has a challenging job that entails scheduling, billing, and general reception duties. You have a busy practice that requires her to juggle customer service with detailed tasks. Over the past three weeks, several patients have complained about how Jenny has talked to them. You are concerned about this and schedule a private meeting with her. She makes excuses as follows:
Jenny: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m friendly with the patients”
No one likes to listen to what they're doing wrong, and the words are not that easy to say either. It’s natural that people will react differently to information about their behavior and performance. Remember, feedback with employees can be uncomfortable, but it’s rarely as bad as you imagine. Getting to agreement should take no longer than 20 minutes. Additional time should be scheduled to discuss solutions to the agreement. If you’re still struggling to get an employee to acknowledge the issue at this point, it is time to stop the conversation.
Last but not least, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Create messages that avoid inflammatory wording. Anticipate how the employee is likely to react to feedback and prepare for how you will respond. Demonstrate leadership courage. Continue to give effective feedback and watch your people improve - both themselves and your practice!
To assist you in building skills in feedback, read the “Communication Series” Ideas into Action Guidebooks offered through McKenzie Management.
Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at email@example.com
Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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