Managing Different Personalities at your practice

Managing “Different” (aka Difficult) Personalities at Your Practice

Have you struggled to develop a cohesive team at your practice? With differing (and sometimes clashing) personalities, it can be difficult to maintain a constant team spirit among your staff members. Here are some things to remember when you encounter different personalities in your team. Plus, we have a few tips for reevaluating your hiring strategy if it’s time to add a new team member or two.

Managing “Lazy” Personalities

Do you have a team member who simply does not pull their weight when it comes to taking care of job tasks and responsibilities? Maybe they leave important tasks undone, or perhaps they are habitually late in doing their work. The first step in managing a lazy personality is to evaluate whether it is an occasional or habitual issue. The root cause may be different based on how frequently and consistently the laziness appears.

The second step is to start a conversation. Begin with a question like, “I’ve noticed you’ve been less involved lately. Can I help you with anything?” This may open a discussion on how they feel about their job and their performance. Be sure to have specific instances of their laziness in mind to discuss with them. Hopefully, a conversation will spur your team member to change their ways, but if not, you will have a record of the discussion.

Managing “Jealous” Personalities

Jealousy is often rooted in insecurity and pain, and it can manifest itself as hostility. If one of your team members is jealous of another, they may often point out their colleagues’ flaws or may even fabricate shortcomings. They make the object of their jealousy a target and might try to eliminate them from the team.

When managing jealous personalities, the key is to foster team cohesion. Do your best to make sure that every member of your team feels valued in their various roles. Highlight the necessity of every team member, especially those that may feel less important. If you give out any special projects or “rewards” to any team members, be sure to give clear, factual evidence for how and why you made your decision.

Managing “Rude” Personalities

Team members who are outright rude or impertinent can be damaging to your team, your practice, and your patients. Rude comments can drive away patients and alienate team members. Some insults may even amount to defamation and lead to legal action.

The best way to deal with rudeness is to make it clear that rudeness will not be tolerated. Establish this rule among your entire team and set a standard for the kind, professional, and courteous manner every team member should use—whether they are speaking to patients, team members, or people outside of your practice.

Managing “Complaining” Personalities

Complainers may be excellent employees when it comes to getting their tasks done and working with patients, but when it comes to their attitude, it is a different story. This type of personality will look for anything to complain about, big or small. Complaining team members often do their work (and may even do it very well) but cannot resist complaining about something or another.

An excellent way to approach a complaining personality is to set a teamwide expectation for positivity. Create an understanding that negativity has no room in your practice. A grumpy, complaining personality is usually a victim of their own mindset, so help them change it by collectively seeking the positive.

Managing “Manipulative” Personalities

Manipulative personalities may be skilled at hiding themselves. They may pose as a trusted “insider” who will try to give you information about the shortcomings and failures of their colleagues under the guise of being helpful. In reality, they are attempting to position themselves to manipulate you in your decisions about the practice.

It’s best to confront manipulators head-on. Refuse to keep “secrets” they share with you. Ask them straightforward questions when they share information with you, such as, “Why are you telling me this?” or “What do you want me to do about this?” Hopefully, they will think twice before attempting their tactics again.

Tips for Hiring

Here are a few quick tips on making sure you add the right people to your team:

  • Think about what employees want. When hiring, it’s easy to only think about what you want as the employer. However, think about what an employee might want. This might be money (offer a competitive salary), benefits (offer a good benefits package), or growth (offer opportunities to advance).
  • Reconsider employees who initially didn’t seem like a culture fit. If a job candidate had excellent technical skills but didn’t seem like a culture fit, it might be worth reevaluating. Of course, you want to avoid hiring the toxic personalities discussed above, but sometimes a poor interview performance may be due to nerves.
  • Offer remote work when possible. In a hearing practice, some positions will always need to be in the office. However, some might be done just as well remotely, such as billing, scheduling, or other administrative duties. Hiring remote personnel can widen the candidate pool.

Your team is one of your practice’s greatest assets, so it’s worth investing in. For more information about additional important assets, like your digital marketing strategy, we welcome you to contact us at Audiology Plus.

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