3.21.14 Issue #628 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Avoid ‘Selfie-ism’ on Your Team
By Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

The term “selfie” has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s a photograph taken with a digital phone camera held at arm's length that is generally uploaded to a social media source. President Obama was caught snapping a selfie during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service (no political commentary on that funeral faux pas). More recently Ellen DeGeneres took a group selfie with other celebrities at the Academy Awards presentation. Why even Pope Francis has been in a selfie!

Selfie-ism is everywhere these days and there’s nothing wrong with self-expression…if kept in check. If not, there’s narcissism, a personality trait that describes individuals who believe they are special. They have a sense of entitlement that can wreak havoc on your practice. They are not good team players!

The single best measure you can take to avoid narcissism on your staff is to hire conscientious, stress-resistant and cooperative people. Employees who are carefully screened for positive work attitudes are significantly more likely to be flexible, collaborative and open to feedback. This leads to more harmonious interactions between staff and more positive relationships with your patients.

Be forewarned - narcissists excel during interviews. They know exactly what you want to hear, feel and see in a candidate. If you rely on traditional interviews, be aware that they are subjective. Interviews measure social skills, not job suitability. Individuals who create a positive impression are viewed as more capable than quiet or nervous applicants. Because they are not objective, interviews are the least accurate predictors of job success. Narcissists can be charming, extraverted and agreeable. But once on your payroll, they will assume a grandiose sense of self-importance that creates competition and conflict. 

Perhaps you rely on resumes and believe that this improves your hiring accuracy. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 90% of all resumes contain false information! Narcissists tend to inflate their skills, abilities and knowledge. 
You may rely on reference checks, convinced that talking with previous employers will give you useful insights. Forget it. Former employers generally reveal nothing of significance. In fact, in many states it is illegal to give any information except for dates of employment. And if a narcissist were terminated for poor performance in her last job, do you really think that employer is going to tell you? The most likely information you’ll get are dates of employment.

With the staggering cost of hiring a narcissist, you owe it to yourself to find a better way to evaluate potential employees. The solution is to match the applicant’s personality to the job. McKenzie Management has done that for you. We conducted personality-based job analyses for four dental positions - Dentist, Front Office, Hygienist, and Clinical Assistant. First we identified experts in the dental field who have direct and current experience with each job, its duties, responsibilities, and requirements for successful performance. These ‘subject matter experts’ then completed work style surveys for each of the four positions. The surveys consisted of questions about the requirements for effective performance using a rating scale of Unhelpful, Not Required, Helpful, or Essential.

The end result is the Employee Assessment Test. By having the candidate/employee answer 107 questions online, you can tell how close your candidate matches peak performers in their job description.

Studies show that employee assessment testing outperforms traditional interviews 4 to 1 in predicting job performance. As a complement to your selection process, testing is a proven, effective method of hiring team players. The Employee Assessment Test strictly adheres to legal guidelines for pre-employment testing and is available only through McKenzie Management.

If you’ve had the misfortune of already hiring a narcissist, you know what a difficult management chore that is. They project overblown self-confidence and self-esteem when in fact they are fragile in both regards. If you criticize narcissists, they will likely act as if their feelings are hurt and they're humiliated, or they'll become extremely angry and lash out (never in-between). Be concerned about lawsuits as you try to rid them from your practice.

High conflict personalities in the workplace are experiencing a stratospheric increase. Expand your hiring process and include the only reliable and scientific means of identifying and avoiding the selection of a narcissist into your ranks. And if you’d like some guidance on managing one already onboard, give me a call. I’m here to help.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at (877) 777-6151 or email nhaller@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here

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