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    Combatting unsolicited advice from your staff

    Opinions often come freely; learn to find value in what works, what does not for the practice


    Getting to the root of the issue

    After my uneventful check-up and cleaning, we were talking about our offices and staffing.

    Did you know these 7 men were ophthalmologists?

    “When we have our all-staff meetings, I want to hear what the staff says because they are key to my practice,” she commented. “Without them, I can’t do any of this. It seems that with some practices, management and doctors always ask their staff what they think but they don’t want to listen to what they have to say!”

    The light flashed in front of my eyes and the sound of the ocean filled my head. This was exactly it in a nutshell.

    As managers, we are continually given advice, directives, mandates, and opinions. I have learned so many lessons through the years about opinions and the giving and receiving of those opinions.

    Read more advice from Dianna Graves here

    In most cases, I have been able to weed out the good and the bad opinions when they are freely offered. I listen to each one, though I have to admit I have had to bite my tongue while doing so.

    Here are some of the valuable lessons I have learned:

    1.     “Remember when I asked you your opinion? Yeah, neither do I.” (Author unknown; T-shirt at the beach)

    People usually feel free to voice their opinion. Since it is theirs, they often feel that they can offer their opinion without repercussions. They are often meant with the best of intentions, but often come out of the blue. If you try to refute it, the response usually is: “It was just my opinion, doesn’t mean it was right or wrong.”

    2.     “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” (Victor Hugo)

    On the other hand, opinions can be the key to a locked door. Keeping an open mind to other’s opinions can be enlightening when you cannot find a solution to an issue. Even with adversaries, you often can find their experiences have some value as to what may occur in your own world.

    Often, while attending ophthalmic meetings, some of the most valuable lessons for me as a manager are the one-on-one sessions that occur between classes. These curbside discussions could be about what is occurring in clinics with Meaningful Use or with ICD-10, for example.

    Next: "There are two kinds of fools"

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