Practical Practice Management

Peak Performance Management

If you have been in a management position at any time in your employment life, I am sure you will agree that it is a position not for the “faint of heart.” I have managed a medical practice for over 23-years now and the challenges along with the victories have been many.

It took me years to realize that I didn’t need to know everything and that I needed a great team of people who were dedicated to their job and to the practice to get everything done. There were far too many years that I spent nights and weekends working while everyone else, including the doctor, had their time off. But, I wanted to be a great manager and I thought that is what it took.

Boy, was I wrong and at the expense of my own happiness and health. When I began coaching and teaching others the one thing I wanted to get across is that being a manager did not mean you had to do everything, it meant that you managed to get everything done through the team that you worked with.

At the end of this month, I will begin a new three-month virtual coaching program to teach others who manage medical practices to “manage through others” and how to do it by bringing their team together.

Managers can be overwhelmed with the amount of work and responsibility they have on them. This causes additional work stress, which affects their state of mind, and their performance is a reflection of their state of mind. If they are constantly behind and stressed then that is what they will project to others and eventually burnout.

If you manage a medical practice and are ready to change your mindset and become more successful at what you do,(and get your nights and weekends back) then click the link below for more information.

Stay safe and happy Tuesday!


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Start With Happy Employees

A couple of years ago our practice found itself in the position of needing to hire a couple of new staff members. Now, the hiring process is not one of my favorite things to do because many times for one reason or another it doesn’t work out.

I had been told that it takes going through the hiring process 10 times before you find the right employee. I know that is not true if you use the correct process the first time which is taught by my friend Jay Henderson at

As an employer or manager, you know how hard it is to keep your people happy all of the time. So, this time I thought, “I will find people who are already happy to hire.”

The interviews became fun as I asked questions about the candidates, hobbies, likes and dislikes. I could hear and observe if they sounded and appeared happy as they talked. I hired the two happiest people, at least I thought they were happy, and to this day they remain happy at work.

It is not that things don’t come up that are frustrating or difficult, but when you are generally a happy soul it is easier to find solutions and want to have the desire to make it a great day.

Also, when you work with happy people it naturally creates a happy work environment which makes for a great place to work.

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” Tom Bodett

Keep moving forward,


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The Ghost Of Christmas Past, A Management Lesson

For the past two weeks, I have been teaching in our Virtual Practice Management membership group lessons we can learn from the story “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, that can make us better managers or business owners.

This week we took a look at the chapter in which Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the “Ghost of Christmas Past”, and a spectacular lesson to be learned was in one of the encounters during this ghost’s visit. If you remember this ghost took him to his school when he was a child and was left there alone, apart from his little sister Fan, it was a painful experience for Scrooge to relive.

Then the ghost took him to another time when he was a young man to the place where he did his apprentice work. His employer was Mr. Fezziwig. The scene was the Christmas Eve work party and Mr. Fezziwig was calling Ebenezer and his coworker Dick to stop working and come join the festivities, of song, dance, drinks and a banquet of food for everyone to celebrate. Mr. Fezziwig was a merry man and enjoyed giving this grand party to his employees and friends.

All of the attendees were toasting and cheering Mr. Fezziwig the host of this grand celebration. Ebenezer was taken with this wonderful sight and memory, of fun, giving, and festivity.

The ghost of Christmas past saw this in his face and said to him, “A small matter to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.” “Small!” cried Scrooge.” “Why! is it not?” the Ghost questioned him. “Fezziwig has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money for his party. Is that so much that he deserves great praise?”

“It isn’t that,” said Scrooge, heated by the remark and speaking like his former, not his latter self. “He has the power to render us happy or unhappy, to make our service a pleasure or a toil. Say his power lies in words and look; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up. The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

Wow! What an amazing lesson!. As employers and managers we have the power each day to make those that work for us and with us, “happy or unhappy, to make their service a pleasure or a toil.” Take some time to think about that and consider what you can do to make everyone’s day the best possible.

And if you have some time you might want to read the book, “A Christmas Carol” it has so many lessons for us to learn and relearn to make our lives and those we live and work with better.

Happy Holidays,


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Don’t Lose It..

During difficult times it is easy to lose our sense of humor, but it is during these times that we really need it. Humor can lift our spirit and allow us to lift others.

A good belly laugh allows us to take in oxygen which stimulates our heart, lungs, and muscles. It also increases endorphins released in the brain which are our body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals and promote a sense of well-being. It is also a known fact that when people are laughing they feel less pain.

So, don’t lose your humor during difficult times because it is then that we all need it the most.

Wishing you a happy Thursday and holiday week!


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The Art of Customer/Patient Service

While people need and want products or services they are looking for memorable experiences when doing so.  All businesses if they wish to survive and grow must become players of these experiences.

The key factor in providing quality service that exceeds our guests’ (or patients in my case as I manage a Medical Practice) expectations is to provide ongoing training for your staff and to develop a culture that focuses on creating memorable experiences for the customers (patients) you see every day.

Five key factors for building a performance culture to create memorable experiences:

  • Everyone must understand and feel connected to the culture.  It must align with their values.
  • Make it global; everyone must buy into the fact that customer (patient) experiences are number one.
  • Performance must be measurable to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Provide continued training and coaching for staff to ensure the magic stays alive
  • All members of the staff must participate in working together to come up with creative ways to make the practice experience an amazing one.

It is important to realize that a medical practice is a business that provides services and products and you are in the customer (patient) service business.  Each encounter with a customer or potential customer is vital, you must make sure you and your staff members are really “present” during their visits.

These points may sound a little familiar to you and that is because they are part of the culture that Walt Disney has built into their extraordinary theme parks and hotels. The book “Be Our Guest” Perfecting the Art of Customer Service is full of information that you can use to transform your business service and create customers or patients that want to come back again and again and bring their family and friends.

Keep moving forward,


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Does Your Business Have Problems To Solve?

No matter what business you are in all business owners and managers want their workplace run more efficiently and more profitably.   We usually expect problems and hope to avoid them in one way or another, but what if instead of just expecting problems to “Pop” up you gather your team and look for problems to solve.

Have a meeting with your team and ask them to put on their thinking caps on, take a look at current systems and protocols and figure out what areas can be improved upon.  Most likely your team already has a few problems on their list that they would like solved.

For example, you work in a doctor’s office and patients want to get appointments sooner, but it seems that your schedule is always full for a couple of weeks out. Is there a way that you could add a few more patients a day and still give quality care?  Is there a better way to set up the patient schedule?

Have each member of the team answer the following questions about any workplace problem that you want to improve upon, you may find a “golden nugget” in one of the solutions.

These are the questions each team member needs to address to the issue that you would like to improve on.

1. What is the exact problem as you see it?

2. What is the cause of the problem?

3. What are the possible solutions to the problem?

4. These are my solutions to solve the problem:

Present the issue and then allow all staff members time, maybe a few days or so, to answer the questions and come up with possible solutions.

You will be amazed at the different ideas that everyone will present and the what is wonderful is that you will have several to try to see what actually will work for your issue.

Many times, what happens is that as each person states their solution, others will chime in, giving input which creates synergy within the group. It is almost a tipping point and together new ideas spring up from the collaboration of the group as a whole. It is exciting and rewarding for all who participate.

When you have collaboration within the work group to solve issues it is like mortar, and the team begins to bond and become stronger, which creates a better work environment for all.

Whether you have actual problems to solve or would like to strike a match under your team to move them forward, have a meeting to look for things that you might be able to do that would make your business better for your customers and for all those who work there and then be willing to try some of the ideas.

“None of us is as smart as all of us!” ~ Kenneth Blanchard

Keep moving forward,


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A Little Laughter Makes A Happier Workplace

I like to have fun, and I think most people do as well.  My father who is almost 93 still tells jokes to anyone who comes to visit or when we call him.  He may not get all of the joke correct now at this age, but the greatest part of the joke is when he laughs at the end.

You cannot help but laugh with him, it is wonderful and puts a smile on my face even if I have heard the joke a dozen times before.  It is the joy he gets from telling it and the sincere desire to make others laugh that makes the joke so precious.

I think having a sense of humor is one of the most important qualities one should possess, especially if they are in a leadership position.

I have personally witnessed people who have to work with someone in a leadership role who ruled with an “iron fist” and no sense of humor at all.  Although the employees got their jobs done and did them well, they hated their job because of their leader.

We know that levity in the workplace makes for happier and healthier employees and if the employees are happy, the customers are happy and in return the organization owners are very happy.

I cannot imagine working day-in-and-day-out at a place that was not fun. Life is just too short for that. A great leader knows how to bring levity to the workplace and inspire their employees to get their job done and enjoy it.

I challenge you today to have fun at work with your coworkers and those you serve.  Make their day a great one!

Thank you Dad for the years of joke telling you have given us!

Happy Monday to you all


“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” ~Mark Twain

Top Practices Practice Management

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Struggling With Employee Engagement?

If your job includes overseeing others to make sure tasks to run the business are getting done, then you really want to have people on your team that are engaged in order to get the best performance from them.

One of the first things that comes to our mind when we hear the word “engaged” is a couple who want to be wed.  The engagement is a commitment that each of them are making to one another that they both want to become a couple who wish to be married.  They have pledged themselves to one another and are entering a contract together forever.

At work when employees become “engaged” it is similar as above, they have made a commitment to their manager, employer, and organization.  In order for this to happen, they first must feel valued, trusted, and respected.

As with personal relationships when one of the above three feelings is violated or broken the relationship will suffer and possibly end.  The same will happen in the workplace and most likely it will take less to break the engagement than if it were a personal relationship.

One of the key components to keeping employees “engaged” is how they are treated on a daily basis.  How their manager or employer performs consistently will make or break employee relationships with them and the overall organization.

If you are a manager or employer and want to create a productive, engaged, workforce you might want to check into performance training so you can be the best for your team and they will want to become engaged to do their best for you and the organization.

Top Practices Practice Management – Tina Del Buono

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What’s It Gonna Be?

Randy Pausch the author of the “Last Lecture” said “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.”  This quote has probably been one of the most inspirational and enlightening quotes for me.  Possibly, because I am a two-time Breast Cancer Survivor and have had to choose how I was going to play the hand that I certainly did not want.

It is important that we never forget that we always have a choice in any situation and that is how we will respond and play it out and that we can choose each new day how we are going to take charge and run it.  If we start our day out with this quote above in mind our chances of success at whatever we plan are so much more likely to come to fruition than if we just let the day run us.

Happy Thursday to you all!

Stay safe out there…


Top Practices Tina Del Buono

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Creating A Circle Of Safety At Work

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we have been covering the topic of “Building Trust” with our work team in a private group I coach through Top Practices Practice Management.  One of the topics we discussed this week was the importance of creating a circle of safety at work with our team.

You cannot truly have a successful work team if there is a lack of trust between members.  Part of building trust within the team is having a bond that information shared is safe amongst the members of the team. People on the team needed to know that they are valued, cared for, belong, have a purpose, and feel secure.  This can only begin from the top and work down through the team.

Talk together about what trust means to each of them and how they think it can be built stronger within the team.

How does a business owner and their management team do this?  Here are a few ways;

  1. Open up yourselves, let them know who you are, and I do not mean telling personal details.  Make sure that you let the team know that you are one of them and no different, you just hold a different position like each of them do.
  2. Lead by example, if you make a mistake let it be known and also how you had to fix it.  Let them know that when they make mistakes they will not be punished; it will be a learning experience for everyone.  Arrive early and be there to greet your team members as they arrive.  They are watching you and will follow if you treat them with kindness and respect.
  3. Treat your staff like they are key parts of the organization, because they are.  Where would you be without them?  Let them know how valuable they are and what they do that makes the organization successful.

People will respond when treated with respect and shown that they are valued.  Take the time to get to know each other personally, taking some time to share life experiences with one another.  As the employer or manager tell them how you came to do what you do in the organization and what your favorite hobbies and dreams are.  Doing things like this shows we are all just humans trying to work together, not one of us is better than another, we are just different working for the same purpose when we are together.

Top Practices Tina Del Buono

Keep moving forward,


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