The Key Feature of Being a Successful Manager

June 24, 2024
Monica Ayre

Being a medical practice manager demands a multifaceted skill set, ranging from leadership acumen and organizational proficiency to financial expertise. Amidst this array of competencies, one indispensable skill reigns supreme: communication.

Medical practices thrive on teamwork, and effective communication is the vital link that binds your entire team. According to 86% of employees, company failures are mainly due to insufficient internal communication.

In a medical setting, a gap in this link that binds the team together implies reduced patient outcomes, increased risk of medical errors, and potential penalties for noncompliance. Practice managers must prioritize effective communication to prevent this gap and ensure that every aspect of patient care runs smoothly and efficiently.

Let's discuss the fundamental communication skills that empower practice managers to be successful in leadership roles and explore strategies to enhance them.

Essential Communication Skills for Practice Managers

Practice managers must handle daily operations, such as scheduling, billing, and patient care. It's a role that requires clear communication, efficient task delegation, and a commitment to promoting confidentiality. Here are 5 essential communication skills for mastering your leadership role:

  • Empathy — Studies show that 96% of individuals desire a more empathetic approach from their colleagues and superiors. People want to feel heard and understood. For practice managers, being able to empathize helps build stronger relationships among team members, boost morale, and create a supportive and collaborative work environment.
  • Active Listening — The first step in nurturing empathy is to listen. The first step in nurturing empathy is to listen. The first step in nurturing empathy is to listen. By actively listening, managers can gain insight into physicians' and patients' perspectives, facilitating collaboration and creating a genuine and successful care plan.
  • Interpersonal Skills — Building positive relationships, resolving conflicts, and collaborating well with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders is vital to succeeding as a practice manager. It's equally important to demonstrate emotional intelligence and adaptability during a crisis.
  • Language Proficiency — As practice managers, you'll encounter diverse written documents, from policies, guides, and electronic medical records to agreements with partners and insurance companies. Language proficiency empowers you to effectively convey information through written correspondence and uphold meticulous documentation standards.

Inculcating these communication skills empowers you to communicate effectively with healthcare stakeholders such as your team members, patients, owners, and regulatory bodies.

How to Improve Your Communication Skills?

Clear, timely, and inclusive communication equips team members to collaborate effectively, solve problems efficiently, and contribute to organizational goals, potentially increasing productivity by up to 69%.

Let's explore strategies to enhance your communication skills and help you excel in practice management.

1. Self-Reflect

Take a moment to reflect upon how you communicate with others.

What are you good at, and what could you improve on?

Think about times when you've effectively communicated and areas where you could have been more effective. For example, you might reflect on a recent team meeting where you struggled to convey your ideas. Focus on those weaker areas.

Furthermore, you can also use self-assessment tools like the DISC model, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument to assess your strengths and weaknesses. These tools give you valuable insights into how you interact with others and highlight areas you need to improve.

2. Communicate Frequently

How often you communicate with your team can affect how smoothly things run. Consistent interaction is crucial for building trust, fostering collaboration, and ensuring everyone aligns toward common goals.

Implementing regular check-ins, whether weekly or daily, helps maintain clarity, prevents misunderstandings, and promotes accountability. Leveraging diverse communication channels like email, instant messaging, or video calls enables real-time communication, facilitating a cohesive workforce that improves decision-making and enhances productivity.

3. Adapt to Your Audience

Adjust your communication style to align with the preferences and requirements of your audience. Consider factors like their expertise level, communication preferences, and cultural background. For instance, an experienced staff may possess a higher level of technical understanding when compared to a newcomer. Similarly, communicating with senior executives or regulatory bodies demands a formal tone, which may not be appropriate for interactions with patients, nurses, or doctors.

Furthermore, you may need to modify your communication style based on the mode of communication, whether it's face-to-face, over the phone, via email, or in a video conference. This adaptability ensures effective communication across diverse audiences and situations.

4. Be Succinct

Convey your message clearly and concisely. Avoid confusion or misinterpretation by using simple language without unnecessary jargon or verbosity.

For example, when explaining a complex concept to your team, break it into digestible chunks and use simple language. Technical terms can make concepts indigestible; try simplifying the explanation using everyday language and relatable examples.

Moreover, by incorporating examples, analogies, and visual aids, you can make your points more accessible and easier to understand, ultimately fostering better communication and collaboration within your team.

5. Provide Feedback for Improvement

About 75% of employees consider feedback invaluable and essential for their work.

Practice giving feedback, acknowledging your team members' hard work, and highlighting areas for improvement. Constructive feedback paves the way for continuous growth and employee satisfaction. Additionally, be open to feedback yourself. This mutual exchange promotes growth and development while enhancing employee satisfaction and inspiring them to strive for excellence in their work.

Although written instructions aid in task delegation, effective communication extends beyond written guidelines. Verbal communication offers the advantage of instant clarification, feedback, and the chance to tackle any queries or issues promptly, thereby boosting efficiency, minimizing errors, and nurturing a collaborative atmosphere. Additionally, mastering nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice enables practice managers to convey empathy, build trust, and establish rapport with patients and colleagues. By developing essential communication skills and understanding nonverbal cues, practice managers can create a positive and productive work environment conducive to optimal patient care and professional growth.

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