In the middle of medical emergencies or client complaints, veterinary practices can become awash in stress, anger, frustration, and other negative emotions. It's up to every practice owner, practice manager, and team leader to generate positive vibes in the workplace, not pile on more negativity.
Check yourself against the five traits of positive leaders to see if you're a paragon of excellence or a Negative Nancy (or Ned). These tips appear in the latest newsletter from veterinary consulting and accounting firm Lacher McDonald and Co., CPAs, in Seminole, Fla.
1. Positive leaders play to employees' strengths.
Extroverted, friendly people go on the front desk; introverted people handle back-room efficiency. Computer whizzes sit at the keyboards, and non-computer-literate team members get training to bring them up to speed. We all love to feel good at our jobs, and positive leaders put team members in a position to excel.
2. Positive leaders praise in public and correct in private.
Managers who make the most of every workday encourage the group to celebrate everyone's hard work. When people make mistakes or act inappropriately, a wise manager takes an employee aside to find out what happened and how it can be prevented in the future. You learn a lot more from a team member who isn't feeling defensive and embarrassed in front of coworkers.
3. Positive leaders keep the peace.
Your hospital can get crazy. Positive leaders focus on fixing the problem at hand, ditching the blame game, corralling people's short tempers, and getting the workday and appointments moving again.
4. Positive leaders provide encouragement.
"Thank you" and "good job" easily come off the lips of a positive leader. Annual or more frequent evaluations are a time of recognition and encouragement to grow.
5. Positive leaders tutor as well as terminate.
Positive leaders counsel team members struggling with organizational, communication, or medical skills, or with personality conflicts. But positive leaders also terminate those who've been given the chance to excel and can't—or won't—change.
For more tips on proactive, positive management styles, see the related links below.