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Five Tips for Better Meetings, Communication is Key

Five Tips for Better Meetings, Communication is Key

Nearly all practices can benefit from improved communication. In this column, I’ll be sharing some tips for making meetings productive and efficient. Reaching out to groups within your practice can improve morale, invigorate and encourage problem solving, and generally make your work life more pleasant and profitable.

1) Reinforce what is important and solidify culture. Any opportunity to communicate with a group is an opportunity to build a common understanding of the goals and challenges facing the practice. Without this holistic understanding, how can you expect staff to show any initiative beyond their narrow job description? Accordingly, be sure to point out how staff’s activities advance your strategic objectives and how the practice is moving towards these goals together.

2) Insist on engagement. Leadership should actively and consistently seek feedback from the entire staff in the most welcoming way possible. Staff is generally delighted to be consulted. Along with asking for feedback, it’s critical to demonstrate a positive and receptive attitude to feedback – especially when it’s feedback that reflects critically on the management. This is precisely the information you need to hear most, because it’s likely in your personal blind spot. In the majority of practices we’ve visited, at least a few valuable ideas from staff go unrecognized and untapped. Occasionally, management has a know-it-all or even a belittling attitude summed up well in a line from the Honeymooners – “I’m the boss and you’re nothing!” The response of “Congratulations, boss over nothing!” reflects how the healthy functioning of the practice relies on the competenceand goodwill of all its contributors.

3) Encourage accountability and reward commitment. Staff meetings present an opportunity to acknowledge accomplishments in full view of others. We strongly urge management to take every opportunity to thank staff in group contexts…


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