Article Date: 12/1/2013

Staff Meetings
PERSONNEL POINTERS
staff meetings

Improve Your Team Meetings

Communicate effectively and efficiently by following these five tips.

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REBECCAL. JOHNSON, CPOT, COT, COE

While most doctors and office managers agree that the chances of business success improve as team communication improves, finding the time to meet with your team and make it effective is challenging.

Here are tips that maximize the impact of your team meetings.

1 Make it important.

Everyone should know that you personally value the time together. So arrive early, start on time, and avoid postponing.

Cancelling at the last minute shows a lack of respect and tells your team the meeting was not important — the wrong message when trying to keep your team informed and engaged.

2 Schedule at ideal times.

While there is value in meeting first thing Monday morning to discuss the upcoming week, there is also more risk in being interrupted by an emergency patient who had a problem over the weekend.

Also, your staff may feel rushed and silently resent it if you squeeze a meeting into a lunch hour, even if you provide the meal. Plan the meetings when there are minimal interruptions.

I recommend blocking the patient schedule at the end of the day on Friday, which I’ve found has fewer interruptions and allows you to put the week into perspective and motivate the team for the week to come.

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3 Distribute an agenda.

Open forum meetings can turn into complaint sessions that accomplish nothing. Therefore, distribute an agenda a few days before the meeting to give team members an opportunity to formulate thoughts and ideas about the discussion topics.

The agenda can be as simple as a small white board in the break room where everyone writes down discussion items during the week. This sets the stage for everyone to have a voice in meetings.

4 Motivate.

Too many people manage a team meeting as they would a checklist. This loses momentum and effectiveness quickly.

Similarly, a basketball coach wouldn’t spend halftime asking each person to report their points scored. This doesn’t motivate the team for the second half of the game.

Instead, say something that inspires your team to “win the game.” For example, share positive comments made by a patient, and tell the team how you felt when you heard them. Acknowledging their specific accomplishments is a powerful motivator.

5 Involve everyone.

If some team members tend to be quiet, ask them what they think about an idea.

This lets them know that you value their thoughts and opinions, which in turns motivates them.

No “I” in team

Team communication is crucial to the success of your business. Bringing everyone together consistently improves communication while fostering a culture of team spirit. OM

MS. JOHNSON IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF EYETRAIN4YOU, AN OPHTHALMIC STAFF COACHING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. E-MAIL HER AT REBECCA@ EYETRAIN4YOU.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRIC MANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: December 2013, page(s): 29