Fireworks in the Office?

by Rick Olsen, PhD

Do you like fireworks? Some people love the bright colors and big booms. Others hate the loud noise and smoke. Same event, different reactions. Isn’t that the way with people? Everyone is different and that means working together can sometimes be a challenge.

Collaborating well together typically requires that each person be aware and adaptable. Each team member needs to be aware of the current situation and who they are. For example, Nancy might be a patient person who prefers not to be rushed and proceeding in an orderly sequence to get things done well. If she knows that about herself that’s a start! However, she also needs to be aware of situations like “that claim was misfiled so we need to post quickly for timely payment.” But, awareness is only half the formula. The second attribute of great team members is adaptability. Can Nancy adapt to the need for a quicker pace? Even though she prefers “patience”, can she perform “urgently?”

Practice managers can play a central role in fostering both these attributes. However, they often lack a systematic vocabulary and set of tools for doing so. How do you help Nancy grow in her self-awareness, situational awareness, and adapting strategies?

Well, at our annual conference in September, we’ll be using tools from The Forté Institute to foster self-awareness, adaptability, and guide those who may need to coach co-workers. You’ll learn about the four key dimensions that inform everyone’s communication style. You’ll learn about key motivators and demotivators for yourself and others and be able to have conversations—even about difficult issues—that recognize one another’s strengths and foster trust even while getting to important issues and patterns in the office.

For the general session and two breakout sessions to be successful it will be important for you to complete your Forté profile before the conference. NORM conference attendees, watch for an email from in September.

Each firework is unique. But, to fully reveal itself to the world, it needs to be ignited. Each person, with a nod to Katie Perry, can be a firework too. They just need to be communicated with in ways that motivate them to be their best self. The team will be better for it too!

The Forté Institute – Introduction from The Forté Institute on Vimeo.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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