As a medical office manager you are responsible for a great many things. Your duties will include, but are not limited to such tasks as;
- Hiring medical office staff
- Overseeing medical office staff
- Delegating duties and overseeing the completion of tasks
- Addressing any grievances made by employees, insurance companies, physicians, or patients in a timely and effective manner.
- Implementing and supervising office policy and procedure
- Leading and encouraging medical office staff
Any and all of these tasks can be necessary on any given day and so many more that are not listed here. This is why one of the most important facets of a medical office manager’s job is leading and encouraging the office staff.
A wise proverb says “If you think you are leading and no one is following, you are just taking a walk”. In order to be an effective office manager, it is important to be a good leader.
There are some traits that are common to the most successful leaders. The first of these common traits is that a beneficial leader is a servant or one who ultimately serves a greater purpose than his or her own. In a medical office this might mean that the office manager puts the overall success and well-being of the practice as a whole ahead of their own wants and needs or that of any one employee. This can be an uncomfortable part of the job, but leaders who are consistently honest, fair, and trustworthy will find that their employees and physicians will respect and admire them for making the hard decisions when not everyone agrees.
Another common trait among effective leaders and managers is that they are observant. Leaders who know what is going on among those they lead are most valuable. These are the leaders who acknowledge good work promptly and who confront poor work habits or problems as they happen, before they have a chance to grow into difficult or unmanageable circumstances. The One Minute Manager series by Ken Blanchard is a great resource for anyone who wants to become their most efficient and effective selves. These books are bite sized allegories that can be read in an hour or so and filled with practical wisdom that can be implemented right away. This lends itself to another common trait among exceptional leaders; lifelong learning.
Most uncommonly productive leaders are continually learning and growing. They place great emphasis on learning new and better ways to handle themselves and their business. They stay abreast of the changes in their fields of expertise and are consistently given to self-evaluation and self-improvement. These leaders are often mentors who are happy to share their knowledge and wisdom with others in encouraging and helpful ways.
The next common trait that goes hand in hand with being observant is communicating effectively. A successful leader communicates clearly, completely, and effectively. The importance of this cannot be overstated, especially in a medical setting as often times the needs of a medical office are time sensitive. Communication is often misunderstood as verbal only. The truth is that communication is sharing an idea, information, or feelings and is achieved not only with words but also body language, eye contact, personal interactions, and the written word. In an office setting, if a manager says “come to me with any ideas or problems you have” but never speaks with his employees or cuts them off when they try to express a thought or concern, then a mixed message is received and trust is broken. When office memos are unclear, a meeting is full of ramblings and complaints with no clear solutions, communication is halted and oftentimes confusion and defensiveness take the place of understanding.
These are just a few of the many traits of a productive and helpful office manager. The lists of responsibilities are varied and many but it is a job that is never boring, and often quite rewarding.