You are not just an office manager; you are a leader at your dental practice. But what does it really mean to be a leader? It means stepping up and owning the role, cultivating a leadership mindset, and leading by example. Here are five tips to bring your best manager self to work every day.
Take accountability – especially when you are wrong.
One of the best ways to gain respect and earn trust as a leader is also one of the hardest. That is, admitting when you messed up or are wrong. Be direct and clear with how you missed the mark and how you plan to do better next time.
Take it a step further by regularly soliciting feedback. Whether through anonymous surveys or regular one-on-one meetings with team members, ask what processes or practices, if any, would better support your team in reaching their objectives.
Cultivate curiosity, and always be learning.
Inspire a culture of curiosity and learning at your practice. Be genuinely interested in colleagues by asking questions. Promote continual learning by taking classes yourself and encouraging staff members to pursue professional development opportunities. Employees will be happier when they know you are invested in them as people and their continued growth.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
There is nothing more frustrating than a boss who does not communicate expectations clearly. Make sure everyone on your team has a clear understanding of their role and duties. Because people process information differently, put expectations in writing, communicate them verbally, and place visuals around the office.
If there are process changes or new technology integrations, alert your staff well in advance of the changes. Repeat instructions and have employees explain things back to you in their own words to ensure everyone is on the same page.
When someone voices a concern or a question you can’t answer right away, don’t sweep it under the rug, but make sure to acknowledge the concern or question and follow up with the whole group later.
Set the tone for a “we” vs. “I” workplace culture.
It takes a collective effort to make a practice successful, and it’s up to you to set the tone for the group. Cultivate and reinforce a “we” mindset by clearly staying “we,” praising team achievements, and building in time for the team to get to know each other outside of daily tasks.
Connect with your team like you do your patients.
Communicate that you are invested in your team by being present and giving them undivided attention in the moment. Make a habit of recognizing and appreciating individuals in front of the group. Above all, focus on building strong relationships, and the rest will fall in place.