Article Date: 12/1/2013

Business Strategies
business strategies

Four Ways to Manage the Boss

Management is a two-way street, so here's how to help your boss do better.

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GARY GERBER, O.D.

If you're a practice owner, please don't read this. It's not for you. Please hand it to your staff.

Staff member, your boss has read article after article and gone to many lectures and classes about how to manage you. Yet, they may still struggle and do a poor job. So, it's time to turn the tables and give you advice on how you can manage your boss.

1 Set clear expectations.

Let your boss know that you expect certain things to happen during the course of a day and through your tenure with the practice.

Specifically, let them know that during a typical work day, you expect that the stresses of day-to-day clinical care and practice ownership won't spill over into interactions with you.

Also, inform them that if a patient is non-compliant, stubborn, obnoxious, rude or just plain stupid, it's not your fault and that as the doctor, they are best qualified to deal with this behavior at the point of contact. Let your boss know that saying, “Let's see whether our front desk can help you with that,” is not only unnecessary and delays the inevitable, it's not appreciated.

Next, make it clear that you're human and will make mistakes. Just like when they make mistakes and you don't discuss them in front of patients or staff, you'd appreciate the same courtesy.

Further, tell your boss that, through the long haul, you think a raise for a job well done and meeting certain pre-determined office goals is perfectly reasonable. If you're working hard, have your head in the game and are contributing, you should be fairly compensated.

Also, make it clear that when the boss says, “Tomorrow we're going to be doing X,” you expect that tomorrow you'll be doing X. You expect that X is in line with the practice mission and values and not some flavor of the month management advice your boss read on a Facebook page.

2 Be consistent.

Let your boss see the same positive behaviors repeatedly so that future performance can be anticipated to be stellar and leave no surprises. Dealing with your boss erratically and inconsistently makes both of you crazy.

3 Be honest.

If you have something on your mind that is helpful in pushing the practice forward, don't hold back, and don't sugar coat it. Being in a dark room for hours on end may cloud your boss's judgment from time to time. If you feel your boss can't take genuinely constructive advice or criticism, and it's bothering you, let them know it. (If this doesn't help, consider working elsewhere in an environment where feedback, even if not used, is at least appreciated. You deserve to be happy at work too.)

4 Be smart.

Tell your boss that you expect them to stay up-to-date with clinical care and that it's embarrassing for you to hear about a new product from a patient instead of them. Also, inform them that you'd appreciate them learning the day-to-day happenings in the office and how they run. (While you might not need them to be an expert in every front desk task, they should learn enough to be able to chip in when you're understaffed.)

Doctors, in case you peeked at this ;), building a great team means that “staff management” is a two-way street. OM

DR. GERBER IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE POWER PRACTICE, A COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN MAKING OPTOMETRISTS MORE PROFITABLE. LEARN MORE AT WWW.POWERPRACTICE.COM, OR CALL DR. GERBER AT (888) 356-4447.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: December 2013, page(s): 65