Begin to Enhance Physician Performance with Coaching

Every physician leader is charged with achieving certain outcomes. Goals to reach those outcomes may include improving compliance in quality and safety measures, identifying new ways to deliver medical services, or perhaps growing a new service line. Whatever goals or targets you have established or have been set for you, achieving them usually requires the support, input, and engagement of every member of the team.

To achieve outcomes, an effective leader must be able to communicate clear expectations, define specific behaviors, and provide feedback to an employee on performance needed to achieve expected outcomes. Many healthcare workers have had personal experiences with coaches in sports or with the concept of pursuing an athletic goal; this does not always translate easily to the notion of coaching in the workplace. A key attribute of successful leaders is their ability to coach each person who reports to them to provide feedback focused on their individual growth and development.

Every leader is a coach of his or her team—since every team has members whose strengths are different and who perform at different levels, it is important that leaders understand the nuances in providing effective feedback. This understanding is essential initially to retain those individuals who bring the best energy, ideas, and productivity to a team, and then to provide recognition and professional development for those requiring growth in their roles. Finally, all leaders must demonstrate both skill and discipline in giving specific feedback and clarity of expectations to those who do not meet the current expectations of their job.

Vital ConversationsTM is a tool that has been developed to assist a leader in identifying high, solid, and under achievers, as well as to coach each member of the service team on his or her performance, in order to achieve identified departmental outcomes. It is a tool that takes the fear out of having difficult conversations and provides a means for thoughtful recognition and growth of those whose work exceeds expectations.

Assessing Your Providers

High Achievers are easy to recognize. These physicians have expert clinical skills and an outstanding attitude to match. They often go above and beyond in their roles and are recognized as champions for improved outcomes, are known to be team players, and are passionate about ensuring quality care in an optimal patient experience.

Under Achievers are just as easy to recognize. These individuals might be lacking in clinical skill and judgment, but are easily identifiable because of common negative behaviors, critical attitudes, and obstructive actions. These providers’ words and actions typically obstruct new ideas and create an environment that inhibits progress towards achieving outcomes in the patient experience. Instead of being patient-centered or team-centered, these individuals are usually known for being self-centered. Though underachievers are small in number in most teams, departments, or organizations, they often take up most of a leader’s time, energy, and efforts.

Solid Achievers, which compile more than half the workforce, are physicians you count on to get work done. They are steady, reliable individuals with a will-do spirit. Coaching Solid Achievers into consistently demonstrating the actions and behaviors seen in High Achievers is an important role for physician leaders.

This blog post excerpts an article in the Q3 2016 issue of Provider Advisor. Complete the form below to download the issue:

April 1, 2021

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