Often times, doctors are frustrated with their team’s
inability to deliver results after they have been pre-defined.
The scenario goes like this:
Staff are often coming to the doctor with problems that they
should be able to manage on their own. Even after the doctor has laid out
exactly how he/she wants the situation to be handled, the staff consistently
can’t produce the result. The doctor doesn’t have time to help solve every
problem the staff faces and feels like he/she has tried everything to change
The doctor from the above scenario is a problem solver but
has not developed their staff to handle their own situations. By telling his/her
staff what to do every time, the doctor has created a work environment that
hinders personal development. Most
likely, the doctor failed to define the purpose of their directives and how the
process matches with the values of the practice. This lack of communication
opens a gap that is filled by each team members own interpretation of the
purpose of the task at hand.
Purpose is a direct determinant of action and confusion
takes place when each team member has a different interpretation of purpose.
This creates the challenge to achieve one common goal and overall will yield
endless questions from team members.
A “staff improver” will find success in managing their team
with minimal questions and confusion using this simple approach:
When someone approaches you seeking a solution to a problem,
tell them you have a solution, but would like to hear their solution first. A
lot of times the staff members solution will work or will only require small
adjustments. Remember to always provide correlation between the solution and
the practices purpose and values. Over time, staff members will learn that their
opinion matters and works while following the common values of the practice.
Also, they will learn to not expect an answer before they share their input.
Eventually they will develop and rely less and less on your directions. This
idea relates to the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for
the day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”