6.24.16 Issue #746 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Are You a Morale Booster?
By Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

Communication is the real work of leadership. In fact, "multi-modality" in communication is essential. What you say is only the beginning – your behavior, actions and decisions also are ways of communicating. If you are going to have a productive, loyal team, you need to learn how to create a consistent message through all of these. It's been said many times: Leaders Lead by Example.

Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following statements:

1. I inform employees how their contributions fit into the practice’s goals
2. I am aware of each staff member’s career goals and consider them when delegating responsibilities
3. I have canvassed my staff through a questionnaire or dialogue about the office morale
4. I concentrate on being enthusiastic, serving as a role model
5. I seek free exchange of communication with my staff
6. I think of examples to empower my staff, involving them in decision-making

If you answered ‘yes’ fewer than three times, you need to step up to the leadership plate. Demands on your time become even more crucial when business is booming. It’s natural that you expect your staff to help you out when the pressure is on. But productivity and efficiency in your personnel team are the result of consistent training and coaching. Unfortunately, because developing employees takes time, it generally gets neglected until problems arise. By then emotions can flare up and it feels like you’re putting out fires.

Building a strong, cohesive office requires time upfront, but the investment yields long-term gains. The foundation of a good staff begins in the selection process – hiring the right people and matching their skills and work styles as closely as possible to the responsibilities of the job. Pre-employment assessment can be an invaluable tool to strengthen the processes you already have in place. 

Even if you hire the right people, that is just the first step. Since there are no perfect job candidates, it is much more realistic to expect that your employees will have strengths and talents, as well as areas they need to improve. Those are referred to as developmental needs. Once they are on-board, it is necessary for you to train your staff. In corporate America, employees are referred to as ‘Human Capital’ because they are your greatest asset. Just as your dental equipment needs servicing from time to time, so do your employees. Help them understand not only the concrete parts of their job, but even more importantly, how you expect them to do those tasks. In turn, you are coaching your staff to assist you in achieving organizational objectives.

Performance-based feedback is essential. It tells your employees that they are on-track, or it gives them information that they are off-course. Be brief and objective. Stick to the matter at hand.  Ask them what kind of help they might need to perform better. Voice confidence in their ability to succeed. Give them encouragement. And remember to praise them. It is very important to notice even the smallest efforts they make toward their identified goal. Coaching may be helpful in training you to be a more effective leader for your staff.

Simultaneous with coaching the individuals in your office, you need to ‘coach’ your practice. That means treating it as if it were a living thing…which it is. Your practice evolves, changes and fluctuates from day to day. In essence, it breathes and it needs attention. Develop a clear mission statement. Accurately explain why your practice exists and what you hope to achieve in the future. A good mission statement articulates the essential nature of the practice, its values and its work. Then you need to communicate that vision every day, every way.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at nhaller@mckenziemgmt.com

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

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