Many practices exist within a larger organization — a vast bureaucracy of rules and policies seemingly designed to frustrate physicians’ efforts to provide effective patient care. To create a more satisfying practice, you must ask for what you need. Here’s how.
1. Understand your boss. This person is your support inside the organization — the source of the “yes” you will need to move from “the way we do things around here” toward your ideal practice. Know their communication and decision-making styles, goals and priorities, and even what’s going on in their personal life (e.g., do they have kids, hobbies, or shared interests with you?).
2. Understand yourself. Think about your own communication and decision-making styles and how you might need to adjust them in order to connect more effectively with your boss, or others above you in the organization. Be clear about your own goals and priorities as well.
3. Ask for what you need. Once you’ve established a solid relationship, it’s time to schedule a conversation and ask for what you need. It’s best to prioritize your needs and present them one at a time, instead of all at once. Consider your request from your boss’s perspective, not simply your own, so you can anticipate objections and create a win-win solution. Expect to negotiate back and forth and be willing to compromise, but don’t let that stop you from being clear on what you want and asking for it.
Read the full FPM article: “A Physician's Guide to Navigating a Bureaucracy.”
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