Practical Practice Management

Putting People In their Place

Why is it that so often when someone does something that we do not like or agree with we think that we should correct them?  Do we really know all of the “correct” answers and think others should think or do what we say?  Maybe we should take Jay’s advice and put ourselves in their place first before we open our mouth or take any action.  Sounds like pretty wise advice to me, right?

Jay Shetty has developed deep wisdom which he shares on how to live and behave.  I have learned many valuable lessons from his teachings lately.  If you haven’t had the chance to listen to him I highly recommend you visit his website and check out a few of his videos online.

I think people are hungry for the words he shares as he has over 16 million followers on Facebook!

Today, let’s strive to develop the mindset to listen and understand others first before we pass judgment.


Keep moving forward,


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Pursuit Of Happiness

To feel good and thrive, researchers say that people need a 3:1 positivity ration.  That means we need to hear three positive statements for every negative statement.

Having a positive attitude has been linked to mind-body-spirit benefits including:

  • Greater creativity and increased intuition
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of stroke.
  • Increased resilience and happiness

Challenge:  Can you say three positive statements three different times throughout your day today?

Not only will your mind-body-spirit benefit from this exercise, but so will those that are present when you are being more positive!

You can read more about research on positivity on the website Pursuit Of Happiness

Be well,


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9 Key Ingredients For A Successful Work Team

Many times clients will tell me how hard it is to get their people to become a functional team.  I have found that in many cases managers or team leaders think that it should be easy (especially if this is their first try at putting a team together).  Creating any type of team takes time, patience and communication (a lot of it) and the willingness to move through the bumps along the way knowing that they are going to build a great workforce.

Overall, we must continue to remember that we are working with “people” and we can be difficult as we all are different.  A team can only truly succeed if its players are willing to put others on the team ahead of themselves and keep their focus on the common purpose and performance of the teams’ goals.

Being selfless and focused on the team goals is not easy to do all of the time, but it is necessary to do in order to have a triumphant team.

Along with these two key elements for team success, there are 7 other elements that need to be displayed by all team members at all times.

1. Be generous – The heart of selflessness is generosity, it brings people together and advances and enhances team efforts.  If each team member is willing to give of themselves generously to the team as a whole, it will be successful.

2. Mutual accountability – Each team person holds the others accountable for the success of the organization.

3. Avoid Internal Politics – One of the worst forms of selfishness can be seen when one team member positions themselves for their own benefit regardless of how it might damage the team (playing for themselves).  Good team players worry about the benefit of their teammates more than they do of themselves.

4. Display loyalty – If you show loyalty to the people on your team, they will respond with loyalty.  One for all and all for one!

5. Common approach – Interdependence over independence.  The team members work together, helping one another see the big picture of what needs to happen instead of just individual, small parts.

6. Complementary skills – A variety of talent, skill and ability are needed for the team to be successful.  It takes time to get the right people on the team and in the right position.

7. Promote someone other than yourself – Find positive things to say about your teammate’s actions, accomplishments and qualities and talk them up.  Everyone appreciates when their efforts are noticed and acknowledged.

These nine key elements will make a big difference in your work team. It is worth the time and investment to discuss often, as a team, the ways that you could continue to improve how the team works, which in turn will improve the work culture extensively.


Keep moving forward,


TP 8/2019

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Before You Speak

“You are master of what you say until you utter it, once you deliver it, you are its captive.

Preserve your tongue as you do your gold and money.

One word could bring disgrace and the termination of a bliss.”

~Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

(Excellent daily food for thought!)

Be Well,  Tina

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You Need To Listen To Solve The Problem

When I was at a conference a couple of months ago a Malpractice Attorney was speaking on how to handle problems with patients or clients to keep them from escalating and becoming serious issues.  She said that most problems can be solved if we would just take the time to ask questions and then listen to what the person has to say in order to find a solution that would be satisfactory for them.

Active listening and clear, concise communication is the key to resolving almost all problems, yet it is something that we fail to do because we allow our own emotions, thoughts, and opinions to get in the way and react to them instead.  She shared the story below and I thought it was a good example of what we so often do, so I am passing it along.

A busy mother was on the phone talking with a friend and she heard her two daughters in the kitchen fighting with each other.  After a few minutes she asked her friend to hold on while she took care of the problem with her daughters.

When she walked into the kitchen she found her daughters fighting over an orange.  They were yelling at each other stating that they needed the orange for something they wanted to make.

The mother thinking she could settle this issue quickly took the orange and a knife and cut it in half and handed each girl a half of the orange. She told them they should have been able to figure this out in the first place and walked out so she could continue her call.

Later that day, to the mother’s surprise, both girls were still upset over the orange. When the mother asked them why were they still upset, as the problem was handled fairly, the girls replied one at a time.  One daughter said, “You promised that I could have the orange to make juice for a cake and half of the orange did not give enough juice so I couldn’t make it.”

The other daughter said she was mad because her mother told her she could make cookies and she needed the peel of one orange to make candied orange strips for the cookies and one half of an orange peel was not enough so she could not make her cookies.”

Because the mother did not take the time to hear both of her daughters’ stories and just reacted to what she thought would solve the problem, neither of her daughters got what they needed.

If she just would have taken the time to ask a couple of simple questions and then listened, both of her daughters could have gotten what they needed and both girls would have been happy.


Keep moving forward,


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Are You Having Fun Yet?

Our work lives can be so stressful on a daily basis and we all know that stress is very harmful to our physical and mental wellbeing.  My workplace is no different, especially recently with some corporate changes.  One thing that I am trying to remember throughout the day is to have fun.  Now, maybe what I am doing is not fun, but I can create fun by laughing with patients or co-workers.  Even a smile or a pat on the shoulder to someone makes me feel lighter, uplifts others and that changes my outlook to be more positive.

Levity and humor are good for our physical and mental self.  A study done by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda School of Public Heath, in California, shows that laughing impacts the immune system making it grow stronger with increased activity of T-cells, natural killer cells and antibodies.  Research has also shown that laughing reduces stress, high blood pressure and oxygenates our blood, which increases energy and relaxes our muscles.

With the decline of Americans being satisfied with their job (80%, at last count, are unhappy with their employment) you would think more employers would be looking for ways to “lighten up” the workplace.

Many employers are of the mindset that if their employees are laughing and enjoying themselves at work then the work must not be getting done.  When, in fact, people work better when they are interacting and enjoying some levity at work.

Just take a look at the management practices of Google, Evernote and Best Buy (which are just a few among the many) that are of the belief that humor, enjoyment and just plain fun make employees happier and businesses more profitable.

In the article Levity In The Workplace , Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach has studied fun at work for years.  He’s discovered that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decision-makers, and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren’t having fun.

There are many benefits to bringing humor to the workplace, take the challenge and see what good spirits you can raise at work today. Oh, and please share them with me because I am always looking for new things to bring levity to our workplace.

Be well,



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The Art Of Gratitude

We hear a lot about being more grateful and how it can change our outlook on life.  How can you do this?  I was listening to a podcast the other day and it mentioned that there was a study done by a team of researches at the University of Indiana, that showed if you just wrote down three things each day/evening that you were grateful for, for 21 days, that you would increase your level of optimism. (See link below for article referencing this study)

Over the past several years I have practice a habit of stating out loud three things I am grateful for each day as I drive to work.  I turn off the radio and ponder various things I am grateful for and then pick three for the day and state them out loud.

Recently, after doing a bit of reading on the study of being grateful I began a practice of sitting quietly with my eyes shut for three minutes and stating all of the things I am grateful for out loud.  At first, I thought three minutes was a long time, but now it passes so quickly that I am going to move my time to five minutes.  I have read about people who do this for an hour or more and would think “how could I do this” but now I am starting to think differently.

What changed?  I have found that this practice gives me a sense of being grounded in what I really believe and what I am truly grateful for.  By taking more time to be grateful I have to think more and have been able to dig deeper into my heart instead of just scratching the surface of gratefulness.  I think of things that I never would have thought I would think of and then can take a few moments to realize what my life would be like without them and how grateful I am for them.

I feel good and I feel more connected with myself and what I value.  I also am beginning to see that developing a practice of gratefulness is having a positive affect on who I desire to be.

If you have not considered this habit or tried it, I encourage you to try the 21-day challenge of being grateful.

Increase Your Optimism With Gratitude


Be well,


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Take Time To Care

With the hustle and busyness of our day-to-day lives, we can so easily forget to take time to care for others.  I know for myself that there have been times when I heard that someone I know or work with is having difficulties and my first thought is “I don’t have time to get involved.”  When in truth, it would only take a small amount of time to reach out and see how they are and to let them know that I care about them.

The second truth is when I do reach out, not only does the person respond with gratefulness, but I am the one who truly gets the blessing.  I encourage you to take the time to care, it is what we are here to do.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ~ John Joseph Powell


Be well,


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3 Key Attributes Of A Great Employee

I have managed a medical practice for 22 years now and I am always grateful for employees that have that desire to be the best they can be each day.  The way I think is ‘why come to work if you are not going to bring your best you to perform?’  No employer wants to pay 100% pay for an employee who performs 75% of what is expected.

Employees that get this and do it are so valuable to a company and should be recognized and rewarded for their effort to do their best each day.  To some people this mindset is a given, possible they were taught this throughout their childhood or maybe they had a great mentor at a prior job.  For others, they need the opportunity given to them to learn this, because it will benefit them throughout their working life.

There are so many attributes that make a great employee, but below are three that you can begin with. You can learn them for yourself, or if you are a manager or employer, you can begin to teach your employees about them so that they may increase their value to your business.

  1. Always be willing to pitch in and take advantage to learn new things – The more you learn and master the more valuable you are to the business.  This also shows your employer that you are a team player and want to learn whatever you can to move the team in the right direction and to help your coworkers.
  2. Do not think that you are above or below any task – Even though I have worked every position in the practice as I moved up to manager, you will still find me checking the patient bathrooms and cleaning them if necessary or wiping up the floor and cleaning instruments after a patient leaves a treatment room.  It takes everyone helping out and doing whatever must be done to keep the patient flow going and to get all tasks completed. (Also, what would my employees think if I refused to do the same tasks that have been assigned to their job duties?)
  3. Always be attentive – A very valuable asset for any employee is the ability to think in advance and anticipate what may be needed to get their job done or to help others to get their job done. When you see a need jump in and help if you can.  Your coworkers will praise you and thank you and you will be a valuable asset to your company.

Learn and practice these three things and I can guarantee you that you will not only feel great because you are going the extra mile to be a high performer, but your actions will be noticed by all that you work with.


Keep moving forward,


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Be Kind To Yourself And Have A Plan

Happy New Year! It is that time of year again when many people make commitments for change in their lives.  It is estimated that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are broken by February. The problem is once a person fails to keep their resolution they quit instead of starting again until they are successful.

It is important to have a “Never give up” attitude if we really want to make a change.

Here are 12 tips I found to help to make successful changes.

  • Make it non-negotiable
  • Make it actionable – to succeed you must know the steps to where you are going
  • Have solutions for your usual excuses – refuse to succumb to your usual excuses
  • If you procrastinate set a deadline
  • Schedule it in – if your change requires time, schedule it in
  • Do it daily “routine”- make it a habit
  • Monitor your progress – keep a log of how you are doing
  • Focus on the horizon – look how far you have come, not how much you have left to do
  • Take one choice at a time – I am choosing to do
  • Find someone who is doing what you want to do and imitate them
  • Teach it to someone else – walk the talk
  • Treat yourself kindly (This is an important part of making successful changes over time)

Treat yourself kindly:

We are just humans, we make mistakes, and we forget and mess up. Every day we are dealing with the challenges of growth. Two steps forward, one step back. We are not and will never be perfect and that is okay. Be kind to yourself and your self-kindness will begin to overflow on those around you and it will also make you stronger and more committed to your efforts in change. Remember to realize that those you encounter are a lot like you….be kind…life is too short not to.

The Virtual Practice Management Institute

Be well,


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