Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men (or women) to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Employees who feel that they are being micromanaged perform at a much lower level
Not only have I observed this phenomenon while coaching clients and talking with their staffs, but research confirms it too. The Journal of Experimental Psychology, Franklin Covey Solutions and others come to the same conclusion: micromanagement can cause real damage to any business. Micromanaged employees do not feel trusted or valued. They are not free to use their own ingenuity or creativity.
Unfortunately, nothing in dental school teaches us how to actually run a business and empower others
We are not taught about staffing, practice management, and team building. That’s why many Endos wind up overwhelmed by their own doing. If you micromanage everything, you’ll have unhappy, less productive employees; wind up doing busy work instead of revenue-producing procedures; and feel resentful and burned out in no time.
Ask yourself these questions to see if you’re a micromanager:
- Is it difficult for you to delegate work always thinking that you alone can handle a situation correctly?
- Do you stick your fingers into other people’s tasks?
- Do you sweat the small stuff too much?
- Do you ignore the value of your staff and not allow them to make decisions?
- Is your solution to problems to fire staff members rather than determine the root cause (which may be you!)?
- Do you stifle the creativity of others by overriding their ideas?
- Are you constantly frustrated with things not being done your way and do you show your displeasure for all to see?
If you are a micromanager, here are some ways to loosen the reins, empower your staff, and relax your shoulders.
It is totally understandable for any of us to become micromanagers. There is so much to control in an Endo office and, since we don’t get any real training in office management, we can feel we have to hold on for dear life. But once you understand how counterproductive it is to get your fingers into everything – to know when you’re needed and when you’re just in the way, you can make the shift.
The fix: Empower everyone and just be an Endodontist
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOU ARE GUILTY AS CHARGED. Talk to your staff and let them know you are aware of being a micromanager. When they know you are taking responsibility, they will respect you even more. I know of one Endo who told his staff, “If you catch me micromanaging, tell me.”
- SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES: Work with your staff to set up the most efficient systems and have them put into writing so that new employees can get up to speed quickly. This is where an investment of your time can pay huge dividends. When things are predictable and seamless in an Endo’s office, everything runs more smoothly whether that’s scheduling, the actual dental procedures or any other element of your practice.
- HIRE THE BEST. You can’t expect superior work from staff members who are just not up to the task or do not have the proper background or basic training. The extra dollars you spend will give you so much more peace of mind.
- STAFF MEETINGS AND STATUS REPORTS. To keep you from feeling unplugged when you can’t have your hands in everything, ask your staff for regular status reports and hold monthly staff meetings for open conversation, brainstorming current challenges and celebration of wins. When there is a problem, approach it as something to be solved rather than an opportunity to point fingers. People can’t work in a vacuum and they can’t do their best without interaction with you. These regular meetings will help create a creative, friendly and fun culture.
- TRAINING. Invest in ongoing training so each employee is at the top of their game. Welcome suggestions from your staff on ways to make the practice more efficient.
If you’d like to do a deep dive into the dynamics in your own office to increase efficiency and revenue, let’s get on a free introductory 30-minute call. Just email me at email@example.com.