Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Welcome back to The Therapist's Coach and thanks for checking in this evening.
We teach by what we do, by the examples we set. That much is obvious. What isn't so obvious is the number of bad lessons we are teaching every day by WHAT WE ALLOW. As a leader you are being watched. Guarantee it. Nothing is going unnoticed by your teams and reports. Especially when you are doing nothing about something.
"...and she just sighs all the time at the reception area. I don't think I can write her up for her attitude, can I?" I helped this manager see that the word "attitude" needed to be changed to "behavior" in her clinic. The behavior this front office associate was demonstrating was definately not aligned with the daily mission of her clinic. I suggested that she make a Behavior Standard a major part of all of her employee's job descriptions. Now, a significant weight is given to:
"maintains a positive work environment by communicating and presenting oneself in a manner so that it enhances relationships with customers, team members and management."
If I write a Behavior Standard as a major percentage of any of my team's job descriptions, right off the bat there is reason to address the incongruency. If you ignore poor performance or bad behavior there is no motivation for this employee or any other to change. In the constant busyness of days and that likelihood that many new leaders avoid confrontation, the message is reinforced, in this case, "I tolerate this negative front office vibe and I allow the rest of my team and (and customers!) to be barraged by their co-worker."
In a meeting with several private practice owners last week, they were asked to give a percentage of the number of "A" employees on their staff. An "A" being the above and beyond, the person who supports your department/practice goals, pitches in, share knowledge, adds to the social environment...It was quite revealing to hear their responses..."A's" came in at about 25-30%. If an organization is really the people why is this number so low? By not taking action are we actually rewarding the "B's" and "C's"?
In your therapy leadership position what might you be allowing? Is there something taking place around you which you observe but are silent about? Something you may be putting off until tomorrow or the next day to address?
Stop and give yourself some window time to ponder these questions. It is very possible to adjust your own behavior in ways that will encourage others to follow, using your behavior as their new standard. Expect the "A".