From Problem Child to Positive Powerhouse
Most practices have experienced it at one time or another - a problem child. And I’m not talking about a screaming three-year-old, in fact, it may well be the hotheaded 33-year-old who has the rest of the team ready to crawl under the nearest chair. This individual is negative, defensive, and can come up with an excuse for virtually anything. Quick to point fingers and even quicker to run from accountability, this person may be so profoundly controlling and territorial that even the slightest suggestion that something could be improved will be treated as a personal affront, resulting in days of sniping and discontent.
If your practice used 360-degree evaluations, what would your co-workers say about you? Are you the power player, the go-along to get-along type, or the problem child in your office? The good news is, anyone can change - well, almost anyone. It’s a matter of becoming aware of your behaviors and committing to make adjustments where necessary, starting with your attitude. Not only will an attitude adjustment improve your work, it just might enhance your life as well. An article published by Mayo Clinic in March noted that positive thinking yields health benefits including:
• Increased life span
Positive people also are much better team players than those who are constantly finding fault with everyone and everything around them. So spurn the sourpuss.
But it’s not so easy to take a good hard look at ourselves. If we could only see what others see, perhaps we’d understand why people react the way they do to our comments and behaviors. Maybe it’s time you see your actions as well as your attitudes through your coworkers’ lens.
Listen to your comments. Are you never at a loss for something negative to say? If you have legitimate issues or complaints, bring it up with the person who can take action or suggest to the doctor that the matter be discussed during a staff meeting where everyone can offer input to address it. Otherwise, leave the whining to the two-year-olds.
Are you never at a loss to dish the latest to any and all who will listen? “Did you hear about Mrs. Wentworth? Well let me tell you…” “Did you happen to notice the doctor’s husband hasn’t been in as much lately? You know what I think…” You assert that you’re just making conversation. Call it what you want, but it’s gossip and it’s poison for any practice. Pick a different topic, the weather, the latest movie, a good book you’ve read, a new recipe you’ve tried. That is making conversation.
Are you always running behind, caught in traffic, oversleeping and generally undependable? You mean well, but darn you just can’t seem to get your act together. It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate, and your teammates are tired of your excuses. Set the alarm earlier. Allow more time to get your child to daycare. Pack your lunch the night before. You’re accountable to your coworkers, and it starts with being there when you’re supposed to be.
You’ve been doing your job this way for five years, why should you change it? You dig in at the mere suggestion that a system be changed or improved to enhance efficiency and/or patient service. After all, you know what you are doing, and there is no point in someone suggesting that you do things differently. Pay attention to the barriers you’re erecting in the way of system improvement. Be open to change and you’ll benefit from the opportunity to learn something new.
Do you know exactly, precisely, and specifically what your job duties are, and if others don’t, well too bad? If someone asks you to do something that isn’t in your job description, they can expect either a “that’s not my job” response or something along the lines of, “I’m always having to clean up after so-and-so.” Weak employees draw lines of demarcation. Strong teammates step in to help with the heavy lifting to get the job done happily and with a smile.
So, are you the problem child? If so, choose to be the practice powerhouse instead.
For more information on this topic, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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