It's hard to strike the right balance between involving your staff in decisions and brainstorming new ideas while also exercising your authority when necessary. Identifying your leadership style can help you define your office culture, hire the best candidates, and delegate responsibilities effectively.
That's why we've developed an optometry-specific quiz to figure out what kind of leader you are and offer advice to compensate for any weaknesses. You also might discover bad management habits that need changing. How do you measure up to other practice managers, owners, and leaders?
How Do You Lead Your Optometry Practice?
1. Who do you look up to most?
B. Business entrepreneurs
C. Cultural & historical heroes
D. Family members or people I know personally
2. When giving direction, you usually begin the sentence with...
A. I'd like you to...
B. Can you start this task by...
C. What do you think about...
D. Let's work together on...
3. Do you have difficulty delegating tasks to your team?
A. No, I don't hesitate to give orders.
B. Not usually, only when I'm unsure of their skillset.
C. Yes, I prefer to do the job on my own usually.
D. We usually divide tasks up as a team anyway.
4. How do you usually approach communicating changes to your team?
A. I make decisions and a game plan before telling my team what needs to be done.
B. I'll start with communicating how the change would benefit the team.
C. I tie all changes to our overall company goals and long-term growth for the practice.
D. We decide important changes as a team so everyone feels they have a voice.
5. What is your approach to interpersonal conflict?
A. I'm not concerned unless it stunts our practice growth.
B. I deal with conflict swiftly so that our productivity doesn't suffer.
C. Conflict resolution exercises are an opportunity to make our team stronger.
D. I try to keep the peace at any cost.
6. If your employees offered constructive criticism for your management, how would you respond?
A. I don't take criticism well.
B. If it helps the business, I'm open to feedback.
C. I will always listen, but not necessarily take action.
D. I welcome feedback and tweak my processes accordingly.
7. How would your team describe you?
A. Direct but effective
B. Detail-oriented and focused
C. Inspiring and creative
D. Open-minded and trusting
If you are evenly split across answer choices, that implies that you are a diverse leader who could benefit from the strengths and weaknesses of every classification.
Mostly A's: Authoritarian
Authoritarian practice leaders adopt a top-down decision making process. This means that they decide policies, work processes, and make all final decisions. Although this style can be effective and reduce confusion, it can lead to employee turnover and low motivation for career growth. You might want to work on involving your staff in decisions that heavily affect them and delegating responsibility. You might be surprised with how much more creative your marketing, sales techniques, and patient outreach may become.
Mostly B's: Transactional
Transactional practice leaders are most concerned with financial growth and productivity. Every decision they make is fueled by how it might improve the success of the practice and attract new patients. This is especially effective when your employees meet performance goals and effectively accomplish tasks. However, an eyecare team is more than just cogs in a machine. You might have to work on identifying your employee's individual goals and develop strategies that align well with their strengths and weaknesses.
Mostly C's: Transformational
You started a practice with a sense of purpose, you keep up to date on industry trends, and you want to inspire your staff to provide the best patient care. This means you support your staff personally and professionally, but might not be the best at day-to-day managerial execution. You might need to hire an office manager or even associate OD who is good at task delegation and practice organization. That way, you can focus on providing creative solutions to long-term issues and promoting an overall practice culture.
Mostly D's: Democratic
Democratic leaders crowdsource for ideas and solutions, involve their staff before making decisions, and encourage open communication without hierarchy. Although these leaders are altruistic and usually forgiving, they can be slow when making decisions. The best way to keep up productivity as a democratic leader is to stay organized and allow preparation time for meetings, check-ins, and brainstorming.
Want more tips for managing your staff? Read our ebook on Staff Management below.