5 common mistakes by first-time supervisors: Part 2

2017 01 04 15 47 17 991 Duncan Teresa 2017 400

I often hear from team members who have been promoted that they have a difficult time embracing their new role and new relationships. I tell them that if they continue to think and act like a team member and not a team leader, then that is how they will be perceived.

In part 1 of this series, I addressed taking on too much responsibility and work relationships. Here is a look at three more common mistakes new managers make.

3. Limiting communication with your boss

Teresa Duncan is an international speaker who focuses on revenue, dental insurance, and management issues.Teresa Duncan is an international speaker who focuses on revenue, dental insurance, and management issues.

New managers see their boss all day every day, so they feel like they have constant communication. But really that is all communication about daily work. It is important to have regular strategy meetings with the dentist/employer so you can solidify your role as manager.

When you show interest in growing the practice, that is where you'll shine as a manager. But understand that there is a difference between daily management and growth management.

With daily management, you make sure the office runs effectively throughout the day without the schedule falling apart. With growth management, you know the practice inside and out. You do all you can to ensure you and your employer are on the same page when it comes to the direction of the practice.

I advise starting out with monthly lunch meetings with your employer. After a few months, schedule yourself for meetings once a quarter to review numbers and direction, and to brainstorm ways to grow the practice.

4. Thinking like a friend

It is important to approach business issues with a manager's mindset rather than a friend's mindset. You may be unsure of what this means, so here is an example.

What is your first instinct when an employee comes to you and tells you she is looking for another job but asks you not to say anything until she is sure?

“It is always important to remember your role.”

If your initial response is to agree to her request not to say anything, then you are thinking like a friend.

However, if your response is that this is a business issue and the practice needs coverage, then you are thinking like a manager.

Remember that while it's nice to be well-liked, your job as a manager is not to be everyone's friend.

I recommend changing your thought process and your reaction process. Even if your first instinct is to respond as a friend, take a moment and remember your role in the practice.

5. Fostering an atmosphere of gossip

As humans, we really want to know what's going on, especially with people whom we spend a significant amount of time with. But as a manager, these are the occurrences that can turn an office toxic.

Fostering an atmosphere of gossip causes an office to go south quickly. It takes a long time to build up a good environment, but it takes very little time for that environment to go bad.

I suggest that my clients have a meeting about problem-solving. Let your employees know that when a problem is brought to you, you'd like an accompanying solution. Let everyone know that trash talking is not the atmosphere you want to foster for your office.

At the end of the day, you should be proud of the promotion you've earned. It may take a while to sink in, but it is always important to remember your role.

Teresa Duncan is an international speaker who focuses on revenue, dental insurance, and management issues. She is the author of Moving Your Patients to Yes: Easy Insurance Conversations. For more information or to contact her, visit her Odyssey Management website.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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