Is Your Healthcare Team Warm Enough?

Healthcare teamworkTamika rushes into the clinic. She’s late. 32 minutes late, to be precise. As she arrives she meets the eyes of the Medical Receptionist, who glances at her disapprovingly. Darting into the back, she pulls off her gloves and hurriedly hangs her coat in her locker.

Her manager, Kate, is suddenly there. “You’re late” she declares.  Continue reading

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Exit Interviews Are Stupid. Stop Doing Them.

exit-interview-293jt020112It’s a bit absurd if you think about it.

The employee who has chosen to leave is consulted as to the direction and performance of the team and organization.

Doesn’t really make a lot of sense, does it?

We assume that, freed from the need for self-preservation, these departing employees will shine a light on what’s really going on in the unit or practice. That these interviews, when compiled, will identify patterns or prevalent issues in need of reform.

Here’s an idea. How about asking your current employees? Continue reading

Coaching vs Mentoring vs Feedback: What’s the Difference?

Coaching and MentoringBrowsing Twitter, LinkedIn, or your favorite business blog these days subjects you to a barrage of advice about what you should be doing to lead more effectively. Become a coach to maximize the performance of your team! Nurture a mentoring culture to bring the best out in people! Give constant feedback to engage employees effectively! But which one should you be focusing on? What’s the difference between them? Here’s a quick rundown:  Continue reading

5 Retreat Activities to Ignite Team Performance

retreat“Saying I don’t have time to attend training is like saying I don’t have time to stop driving the car to fill up for gas.”

If I knew the source of this quote I would gladly credit him or her for this pithy analogy. I’ve shared this quote repeatedly during my career because it highlights, quite nicely, the flaw in the “I don’t have time” argument. If you don’t set time aside to refuel, you eventually won’t go anywhere. Continue reading

It’s Time to Plan your Spring Retreat

springCould it be?

Mild temperatures. More daylight. Flecks of green appearing across the landscape. Have we finally seen the last gasp of a long, tedious winter?

Shhhhh! Don’t say it too loudly. We don’t want to jinx anything. But we may actually, finally, thankfully be here. Spring. The season of hope, rebirth, and renewal. Take a breath. Drink it in. At long last, it’s time to…

RETREAT!

No, no, no, I don’t mean retreat as in “run away!”  I mean, RETREAT: withdraw, gather, and regroup from what is difficult. A spring retreat may be just what your team needs to overcome challenges and reinvigorate their performance.

Why plan a spring retreat? They can be powerful tools when planned and executed thoughtfully. Retreats are the chance to attend to the care and feeding of your team. They demonstrate your commitment and investment to understanding and meeting team needs. They enhance discourse- often helping focus on purpose, issues, strategy, or growth. Retreats can be what I call “fun with a purpose,” a chance to showcase the unique personalities, talents, skills, and knowledge of the team as a whole.

Retreats can be grand affairs that take teams away from work to unique places or they can take place in the conference room down the hall. They can be a week long, a day or two, or even just a half day. They can be filled with exercises, activities, presentations, teambuilding, and any number of eccentric components, or they can simply be a discussion- of what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. What your retreat looks like and what happens there is entirely up to you and will likely be based on your budget and what you can logistically pull off.

As we emerge from the grey isolation of an unusually long winter, ask yourself: “Would my team benefit from a retreat?”  If so…then get to planning!  And don’t worry- I’m here to help. Come back to the blog next week for 5 Retreat Activities to Ignite Team Performance. 

Healthcare managers: Less Telling. More Asking.

telling vs askingMany managers get caught up in the part of their job that focuses on the dispensation of information. Indeed too many managers think that is the job. What they fail to realize is that their jobs often become easier and their teams function more effectively when they reign in their instructing, advising, directing, and informing. To get the most out of individuals and teams, managers at all levels should remember this simple mantra: Continue reading

Use this one word for happier, more compliant patients…

one_word_centeredThere are an endless supply of books out there in the world on moving others to action. I recently read Daniel Pink’s To Sell Is Human, which I highly recommend. Another great one in this category, a classic really, is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini. Continue reading