|Making Sense of Your Therapy Practice Leadership Vision|
Every private practice has a leader, even a solo practice. For anyone who owns, manages, or is considering starting a private practice, developing leadership skills could be the difference between success or failure. We have all heard the clichés about what it means to be a good leader: be decisive, hire great people, be a good delegator, listen to your team, share your vision, and be inspirational. Actually implementing these tactics into your daily practice management routine, however, can be a challenge.
Every year the nature of private practice is evolving. Changes in insurance coverage, regulations, technology, office staff, practice structure, and marketing needs are just a few factors that can complicate managing a private practice every single day.
When the practice is in constant flux, and you feel like the walls are caving in, how can you really be that ever-inspirational leader?
Being decisive: Making smart decisions may not be easy, but the success of your practice depends upon them. Believing in your goals and maintaining a passion for your business can drive good decisions and drive your team members to make smart decisions, as well. While you push yourself and your staff forward, however, you must also be ready to address mistakes and the problems that may arise. Good leaders recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and great leaders take accountability for all mistakes, even those of others.
Your business vision: A vision is not just a blueprint for your practice, it is a dynamic conceptualization of the methods and means with which you acknowledge the changing nature of a psychotherapy practice and the running of a business. Accepting the changes and adapting your vision is necessary to achieve your goals.
Hiring your team or vendors: Anyone brought into the inner business circle is carefully and thoughtfully vetted before being chosen, but somehow we have all experienced staff turnover and missed vendor deadlines, all to the detriment of the business' bottom line. In light of this fact, it is critical to select and nurture your business relationships. When growing your practice or outsourcing, make sure to listen to your inner voice, asses your mistakes from previous situations, and treat your team with respect and kindness. Soon, you will grow to love your team.
Inspire: Shouldn't your passion, drive, and a weekly paycheck automatically inspire your team to be the best that they can be? Unfortunately, no. Your staff and vendors need to see you as a leader who makes difficult decisions, treats everyone with respect, sees and encourages growth, takes accountability, and maintains a strong belief in oneself, especially during the most difficult times.
Delegate: Delegation can be tricky when it comes to determining leadership qualities. As a business owner and licensed therapist, you know that your time can be spent on specific duties that your staff may not be qualified to complete. As such, you choose to delegate tasks to your staff. The reality is that delegating means placing trust in the people you have chosen to be a part of your dream, but if your staff views the delegated tasks as overly trite, unchallenging, or if they are not provided with the proper tools to complete the tasks, their view of you as a leader could be compromised. Choosing to delegate important projects can help to empower your staff and effectively create an energized environment of inspiration.Listen like a business leader, not just a therapist: Everyone sees their environment in a different light, and being prepared to expand your mind to accept creative ideas and then nurture the implementation of creative solutions will help propel your practice faster than trying to self-manage every aspect of the business. It will also go a long way in cultivating an office filled with trust, inspiration, and empowerment.
Read the complete issue: The Argonaut Navigator, January 2016
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