Practical Practice Management

Choose The Monday Happy Challenge

“Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin’, it was all I hoped it would be….”

Happy Monday to you all! Do you know if you asked 100 people if they are happy to go to work Monday morning you would probably get a 50/50 answer between yes and no?

We all would love to be happy every day at work, but Mondays seem to be a bit harder to get excited about. This could be because people have a great time on the weekend and would like to have it last longer, or they do not have a “happy” work environment to go to.

Promoting happiness each day at your place of work is a great challenge to take on.  If you had the choice between a happy workplace and an unhappy one I know which one we would choose.

Since happiness can be a choice and it is something that we practice to achieve, we can choose to bring happiness with us each day we go to work.

People in the workplace who are generally happy and have a positive attitude tend to be more productive and creative at their job. This, of course, makes pretty good sense because when you are feeling good and optimistic you are motivated in most other areas of your life.  If you are one of these happy people do you know that you actually can help those who work with you become happier every day?

People naturally gravitate toward happy people; they enjoy being around them because they make others feel good.

Here are three things that you can do to inspire a culture of happiness at your workplace.

  1. Be more optimistic.
  2. Offer solutions to problems.
  3. Focus on getting tasks done with a smile on your face. (Smiling is infectious)

We spend one-third of our week at work, a third sleeping, and a third taking care of our personal life. That is a lot of time invested at work so wouldn’t it be better if it were a happier place to be?

What is it that you can do today that would make your workday and those that you encounter while you are at workday a bit better?  It probably is not much, a smile, a friendly gesture, a caring attitude.  I am sure there are many ways that you can make today awesome for yourself and those you encounter while at work!

Keep moving forward,


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What To Think And Ask Before Taking Any Job

When you are in the job search arena and desperately in need of landing a job it is hard to take the time to ask the right questions to make sure when offered a position that it is the right fit for you.

Since I am on the other side of this and am the one who is doing the hiring, it is my responsibility to ask the right questions of candidates so that I can make sure the position and our practice fit with the candidates that I am considering. I have been misled a few times with excellent candidates that just need to land something until the job that really wanted comes along.

This is such a disappointment to the employer who thought they were investing in someone who wanted to become a part of their team.  It not only is a loss of time, but there is a tremendous cost to hiring, training, and then having to rehire and train again in a few months.  Not only is this costly, but it does cause a lot of stress for the employer and the employee who was biding their time while searching for their dream job.

So, if you are in the job market, I would suggest that you ask yourself a few key questions that might make you think before you take “just any job”.  Take the time to make certain that this is the job to which you are willing to commit.

  • What am I passionate about?  Do this job and workplace feed that?
  • What am I going to learn, and how am I going to contribute to the overall organization?
  • How much do I believe in their “Mission Statement” and “Culture?”
  • Do I know their real values and do they align with mine?
  • Will I be satisfied and happy with the work that I will be doing?

It is essential that you know the answers to these questions and that you are in alignment with them before you accept a position.

I am always thrilled when a potential employee asks me these types of questions during an interview as it shows me that they are committed to finding a job position that is the right one for them.  Chances are very high that if an employee finds the right job at the right place they become pretty valuable very quickly to their employer.

So, take your time, ask the right questions, and find the right job for you, which will also make the employer happy that they hired you.

Keep moving forward,



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Lack Of Sleep, Lack Of Productivity

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Preventions survey, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  In fact, these people overall get approximately 6 hours or less of sleep a night.

Medical studies relate a lack of sleep to various health problems, such as heart disease, strokes, and diabetes along with many more.  A lack of sleep is also related to cognitive impairment. Studies also show that a lack of sleep over a few days has been compared to coming to work intoxicated by alcohol. How well can you do your job if you are not sober?

As an employer, it is very difficult to have employees that are half asleep during the day and can only accomplish half of what they are required to do.  The employee expects to be compensated for a full day’s work but is only able to perform and complete 50-60% of their job expectation.

If you are someone who suffers from insomnia there are many things that you can do without taking prescription drugs to help resolve the problem.

Personally, I have struggled with waking up in the night and not being able to go back to sleep for a few years and recently have found that a mediation routine, twice daily, along with using “Sleep Easy” oil by Banyan Botanicals that my Aunt sent me to rub on my feet before bed, has been a tremendous help.

Do yourself a favor and get help with this problem.  You will be so happy you did because your overall health and wellbeing will be able to thrive once again.

Below are a couple of helpful articles on “Sleep Deprivation and results” and “Sleep Habits” that may help you.

Ten Results From Lack Of Sleep/WebMd

Healthy Sleep Habits/Webmd

Be well, Tina

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Taking Life As It Comes

I have been doing some work on gaining clarity in some areas of my life lately and I remembered an interesting conversation I once had with a gentleman who was having difficulties reaching his business and personal goals.  During the conversation, I asked how he plans for his day, week, month.  I wanted to know if he kept a calendar or planner that he scheduled his tasks, meetings and personal events.

He said that he puts important things in his phone but most of the time he relies on his memory, which he quickly added that he does forget things and sometimes this creates problems for him.  He said that he is just not the “planner” type of person.

Okay, no planner, what about a “daily to-do list?”  Nope, that takes too much time and when he gets to the office he needs to start addressing things right away.  I reminded him that we were having this conversation because he was having problems with himself and his staff getting things done.  If he wanted change then there needed to be some changes made.

I mentioned that he needed to begin each day with intention and clarity for what he needed to do and then we needed to work on a plan to help his staff do the same.  Planners and to-do lists are great tools to help get each day thought through and an agenda set with priorities of what needed to be done and when.

After we chatted for about 10 more minutes and the call was drawing to a close he said, “I’m just the kind of person that takes each day as it comes and handles whatever is thrown at me when it hits me.”

I realized that pretty much everything I had said in the past hour was just thrown out and he was letting me know that he really did not want to achieve “Clarity” in his business or personal life because it would require effort and change of habits.

At the close of the call he asked what the next step was and I told him to think about what I said and when he was ready he could send me his priority list and we could get started with a plan to move forward.

I’m sure you probably have guessed, but I never heard back from him to begin a plan.  I have talked to him since and the conversation is the same with the same issues.

“Personal power is directly tied to personal responsibility, which most people avoid.” 

~ Brendon Burchard

The Virtual Practice Management Institute

Keep moving forward,


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A Pleasant Hiring Experience

Hiring new staff members is not one of my favorite things to do.  Why?  Because it costs money (lots of it), and if you make a wrong hiring choice you have lost time and more money for the organization.  But recently because of growth we have found our practice in need of hiring two new assistants.  This means putting on my manager’s hat and really being prepared during the interview process to find good candidates.

During this hiring time I found a few really good candidates, which really made me happy.  I wanted to share a couple of things that pleasantly surprised me during my interviews.

As my coworker and I were nearing the close of one interview I asked the candidate if she had any questions for us.  She replied, “Why, yes I do.”  Which was a pleasant surprise in itself as most candidates reply, “no” to that question.  Her question was, “How will you track my training progress and how will I be informed of how I am doing?”

What a great question!  She wanted to know how would she know if she is doing well at learning her new job tasks. To tell you the truth in 22 years of being a manager I have never been asked that.  The process is usually discussed once a candidate has been hired.  I told her that I was pleased with her question and wanted to know what made her ask it.  She replied that she has had positions before and she never knew if she was meeting the job expectations or not until there was a 90-day review and sometimes that was too late and a decision was already made to be let go without any further training.

She felt that if she was to be learning new tasks that she should have regular check-ins to make sure that she was doing them correctly and if not, that she would be able to receive additional training to make sure that she is successful.  I assured her that our organization gave daily input, reviews and continued training and that I did not believe in letting new hires figure it out on their own.

My next surprise was a couple of days later when I offered this young woman a job that before she gave me an answer she had a few more questions on training, expectations and job task duties.  The one thing that really stood out to me was that she was interviewing me and our organization’s standards and protocols as much as we were interviewing her.  She was not in a hurry even though she needed the job, she wanted to make sure that it was the right fit for her.

This was very impressive for someone who has not been out of school and in the workforce that long.  She did accept our job offer and I am sure I will be learning a lot from this young woman as we onboard her to our medical practice.

The Virtual Practice Management Institute

Keep moving forward,


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Hiring? Remember The Happy Factor

When hiring a new person we (the employer/manager) have certain expectations that they are to meet, at least in our minds. But does the new hire know these expectations? Have they been listed out and explained in detail? Most of the time the answer is no, and I as a manager have been guilty of this in the past. This is why I know how important and fair it is to have clear expectations of a job position spelled out and, a training program that will cover each of them.

The goals of the business when hiring should be to make the new hire a success in their position. To do this we must have the expectations of the position as stated above, but equally important we must be willing to nurture the new hire as they onboard with the company learning their position expectations.

But before the actual hiring happens, finding the right candidate is number one.  And believe it or not “happiness” plays a big part in this search. When you are in the interviewing process it is important that you seek candidates that are already pretty “happy.”   Below are a couple of questions that can give you insight into your candidate.

  • What makes you feel the happiest?
  • What do you feel most grateful for?
  • What are the five top things you cherish in life?
  • If joy became the national currency what kind of work would make you wealthy? (I really like this one)

When you ask these types of questions you will be able to detect, most times, where the person is on the “happiness” scale. Recently, I did this with a candidate and when I asked what were the top five things she was grateful for she started talking about her family, her dog and her horses and her eyes beamed and she became excited. She then continued to talk about the things she loves to do and I could immediately tell she had a lot she was grateful for and I end up hiring her and have been very happy and so has she.

You may wonder why the “happy” factor so important? It is easier to nurture and train happy people in their job tasks. It is a known fact that happy people work harder and are happier in their role if it is a fit for them. But mostly, happier people make the workplace happier and we all want that.

So the next time you are in the market to hire, remember the happiness factor makes a big difference for having a successful employee/employer relationship.

Tiny Buddha Powerful Questions For A Happy Life

Keep moving forward,


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Set Your Course And Go!

Happy Monday and enjoy your week as you set your course of greatness!


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Empowerment Comes From Within

Empowerment is a term regarding a business management style where managers give staff members the power to make certain decisions within boundaries.

This is a definition of empowerment:

  • Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an employee to think, behave, and take action, and control work and decision-making in autonomous way with the job tasks that have been given to them.

What does empowerment actually look like in the workplace and what are the benefits of giving it to employees and do you really give it to them?

According to Captain David Marquet the author of “Turn The Ship Around”, “People are already empowered.  What you, as a leader do, is give them the voice and authority to exercise the empowerment they naturally have.”

To sum it up, it is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one’s employment responsibilities.  Captain Marquet further states, “If it takes the boss to empower them, the boss can un-empower them and that is not very powerful.” 

If you have hired the right people for the job you must trust them.  Working with them so they understand their boundaries and what their job tasks and ultimate daily, weekly and overall goals are it is crucial to allow them to do what they know they must to complete them.  You let them do their work.

Empowerment if truly implemented properly will build relationships between business owners, their managers and team members as it spreads the responsibility of ownership for the business among all team players.

The concept of empowerment is not entirely new, for years businesses have engaged in what is called “participation management.”  Empowerment carries this idea a step beyond that concept by not only allowing team m

embers to participate in decision-making but they also are empowered to make decisions on their own without seeking approval from higher management within certain boundaries of their job position.

Empowerment allows for the whole team to contribute in moving the business forward successfully.  By eliciting everyone’s input regarding new projects or making the office fun and more efficient you’re likely to pick up ideas that may not have been thought of if it were just the owner or manager running the show alone.

If you have not read Captain David Marquet’s book I suggest you do it not only is amazing what he and his Naval team accomplished it has practical applications for a leader of any sized group.  I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with Captain Marquet a couple of years ago when he was the KeyNote Speaker at our conference, and I still review the notes that I took often. He gave such valuable pearls to have in my treasure chest of leadership.

Keep moving forward,


Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by David Marquet

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Self-Discipline, How Hard Is It?

One of the most important skills that we can develop that will improve our daily life is self-discipline.

Self-discipline is the cornerstone of a healthy life.  Not only does it help us develop healthy lifestyle habits, but it affects how we feel about the way we live our life as a whole.

Everyone feels good when they know that they are doing good things for themselves and others.

Probably one of the biggest hurdles with self-discipline is the word “discipline.” Just saying it can be painful.

Discipline really does not have to be painful or difficult. You can start by taking small actions and only one at a time until it becomes something that really makes you feel good that you are doing it.

Let us say for example that you want to lose a little weight or get in better shape. You do not have to sign up at the gym and begin a 5-day a week program. What if you walked around the block once a day for a week, and then increased it to two times a day for two weeks and slowly over 90 days worked up to walking around the block four times a day?

It really starts with finding your motivation. What is the reason that you want to lose weight or get in shape? Is that reason strong enough to give you the motivation to take a “tiny” step each day in the right direction?

We need to remember that we have choices and one of them is to say “no” to things that will distract us from accomplishing things to make our life happier and healthier.

We do have the strength to say “yes“ to the right things, no matter how small, each day, to head us in the direction that we want to go.  And when we do we are winning.

It is a known fact that when people make a plan with small, simple steps to get to the goals they have they are more likely to reach them because they are achievable for them personally. You need to listen to your heart and know what you are willing to commit to it as you move towards living a better life.

You don’t need to make this hard, just do something to head yourself in the right direction today and then do it again tomorrow and every day after that!

Remember, a baby step is better than no step at all.

Be well,


The Virtual Practice Management Institute

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You’ve Got To Slow Down To Speed Up

My friend and colleague, Dr. Peter Wishnie, always teaches that you need to “slow down to speed up”.  Over the years I have found this to be true in many circumstances I have encountered.

Sometimes I get an idea from a book or podcast and think, “oh I want to do that.” And then I order the book or start trying to figure out how to implement the idea or goal into my plan and before I know it, I am derailed from anything I was working on before this “fantastic idea” led me away.

Now it is not that I shouldn’t follow a new idea, it is that I need to slow down and finish what I am currently doing and set up a plan for my new idea so that I can be successful at achieving it in the right timeline.  It is very hard not to follow those “bright shiny objects”- they are so appealing.  But if we allow ourselves to be distracted before we complete what we have started we will become very disappointed with ourselves.

Unless it is something that there is a small window of time to take advantage of, then there is time to finish what you are currently working on before you start something else.

One other thing I learned from “slow down to speed up” is that I sometimes am able to find an even better “shiny object” by thinking things through, and this has been very beneficial.

So next time you feel yourself wanting to “chase sparkly things” remember the advice my friend Dr. Wishnie shared.  I am sure you will be happier in the long run when you take the time to slow down to speed up.

Keep moving forward,


The Practice Management Institute

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