July 26, 2012
Do you know that old saying “energy begets energy?” The concept is that the more energy you expend the more energetic you feel. So, if you’re feeling tired, get out and take a walk, go to the gym, clean the house – do SOMETHING and you’ll feel more energetic. Well, the same concept can be applied to the medical practice – and it’s the Practice Manager that sets the tone within the office. So if the Practice Manager is upbeat and energetic, then the practice and team will feel that energy and become more energetic themselves.
Have you ever walked into an office where the energy was low or, even worse, negative? You can see team members going through the motions – they’re doing their jobs, but there’s no enthusiasm or commitment. In this environment, patients are treated like a number. The job is getting done, but there’s no personality or vitality. The team can’t wait to go home. And, I guarantee, the patients aren’t too eager to return.
The Practice Manager plays a pivotal role in setting the attitude for the environment of the office. He / she is responsible for motivating the team, handling concerns and complaints, setting policies that ensure the office runs smoothly, addressing challenges proactively, etc. When handled well, this will create a positive, energetic work environment with productive, motivated team members who are challenged to give their best each and every day. If handled poorly, the team deteriorates into disengaged, disgruntled employees who are caught up in poor office dynamics rather than focused on giving their best to their patients.
The Practice Manager has a great deal of influence over the key factors that impact and motivate the rest of the medical team within the practice. The key to happy employees is in giving them:
- Trust and autonomy
- Knowledge through training in skill development, as well as the policies and procedures of the office
- Understanding the role he/she plays in the practice
- Encouragement to offer ideas and suggestions
- Appropriate compensation and rewards
- Motivation to be the best they can be
So, as the Practice Manager, how do you ensure that you bring positive, upbeat energy to the practice each day?
“To be fully engaged in our lives, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.”
– Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement (2003)
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next. So look through the following list and choose the items that you know bring you energy. Try something new from the list and see how you feel. Add to the list. Share these ideas with your team – it’s a well-known fact that energy is contagious. A team of highly energetic people can completely change the environment of your practice.
- Eat a healthy breakfast – try some Greek yogurt with fresh berries instead of the breakfast sandwich from your favorite coffee haunt. If you don’t currently eat breakfast, start now. It will fuel your energy for the whole day.
- Use caffeine in moderation.
- Get plenty of quality sleep (I know – easier said than done).
- Recognize your most productive time of the day and use it to tackle the most difficult tasks. Checking a difficult project off your To Do list will give you an incredible sense of accomplishment which in turn gives you energy.
- Get up early enough for a morning exercise routine – even a 20 minute walk outside will change your outlook on the day. Or, work the exercise into your lunch hour and transform your afternoon productivity.
- Meditate. If you’ve never tried it, there are lots of great meditation tracks on iTunes. Again, this doesn’t have to be a big time commitment – you can start with 5 or 10 minutes.
- Make sure you’re doing something just for you – reading, planning a vacation, meeting a friend or something more challenging from your “bucket list”.
- Avoid or eliminate negative energy in your life. It will only drain you. Find out what you need to do to change the dynamic and then do it.
- Identify the #1 energy drain in the practice and make a plan to change it.
- Listen to a motivational speaker while driving to work or taking your morning walk.
- Play your favorite music.
- Work on a project with an upbeat, energetic co-worker – the energy will be contagious.
- Try laughter Yoga. Studies show that engaging in a laughter activity first thing in the morning can set your mood and energy for the rest of the day. A laughter yoga class will be fun, engaging and full of positive energy. Find a laughter yoga class near you.
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