Are you a good listener?

Communication in the workplace can sometimes be a messy ordeal – especially in the medical sector. Days spent running from one meeting to another or hopping between appointments with patients can make it hard to talk directly to your own staff.

As leaders, we want to make sure our messages get through to our team members, but sometimes the drive to be understood trounces the need listen to what they have to say to you.

It’s just as important to consider your staff’s needs as it is for you to give them direction. It boosts confidence and will help them feel like they really are part of a team. They are your eyes and ears in the workplace and can bring up important issues that may otherwise be overlooked. Not only does that help your business move more smoothly but it also will help them increase patient satisfaction.

So what can you do?

Schedule time for conversation
Regular team meetings are a great way to touch base with your staff. They are an opportunity to flesh out important issues and discuss recent events. Make sure to leave plenty of time to address questions or concerns from your team members.

Each person comes to the job with his or her own set of skills and expertise. Whether it’s simple procedural improvements or suggestions for new equipment, you may be surprised what your workers can come up with.

Don’t take things too personally
Shying away from criticism or suggestions is never recommended. It’s easy to play the role of the boss who calls all the shots, but doing so makes it easy for drama to arise among your staff.

Issues simmering underneath the surface can come back to haunt later on. But this isn’t junior high. It’s better to keep everything out in the open.

Be honest
You, as the leader, are at the helm. But it’s the collective effort of your team that makes the ship sail. Take your staff seriously when they come to you with dissenting opinions.

Be direct when you disagree and clearly explain why without being condescending. Even if you don’t agree, you will earn some respect by taking seriously the concerns of others.

Welcome feedback
Running a business involves constant experimentation. Some projects or procedures simply don’t work well for certain work environments.

If you are boring your workers to tears with some new office procedure, find out why so you can change course. If your team comes to you with complaints, listen to them and come up with a solution.

Taking your staff seriously and treating them like adults is the cornerstone to workplace morale. A happier staff will result in team members who take their jobs seriously and make patients happier.