040: Leveraging Your Team’s Strengths to Increase Productivity





Ronda Nelson: Well hello friends. And welcome to The Clinical Entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Ronda Nelson. I can’t even believe it, but this is episode number 40. We started this podcast in 2020 mid-year. It’s something I always wanted to do because I love teaching, I love speaking, and I love encouraging other practitioners how to grow, build thriving, successful practices. So having a podcast just always seemed like a dream and I thought this would be a fun thing to do. And I’ve absolutely loved every single episode that I’ve done. I think I’m kind of hooked.


So, thinking of topics to share with you is one of the things I love because I get this feedback constantly from my community and the practitioners that I coach with. I have hundreds of high-level, mid-level, and then practitioners that are just opening their practice. And I have the privilege of being able to work with them to really set up their business. That’s actually what I want to talk about today. As you’re setting up your business, how are you leveraging the strengths of your team? When you start in business, you often don’t start with a team. It is just you and yourself, that’s it. But, as your business grows, you have to bring in some help if you want to scale and take it to the next level because a one-man band can only go so far.


One of the things that I see commonly when I work with practitioners is this, they have the revolving door of the front desk person, and very often, that’s the first position that you hire for. This revolving door is a problem for a number of reasons. One, it takes so much time, energy, and resources to pay to train someone. It’s one of the biggest losers cost-wise. It’s very much a lost expense that you’re not going to recover if the employee doesn’t stay with you long term. The other problem is that your patients want to have a familiar voice and a familiar face when they come to your practice. Having turnover at the front desk is never a good idea. We want to do whatever we can to make sure that the hiring process, how we take care of them, and the culture that we create is efficient.


Now, as a business owner and CEO of your company, you have a lot of responsibilities. You not only have to do the business side, which is your CEO side, but you are most likely the practitioner as well, which makes you the employee of your company. There are hundreds and hundreds of tasks that are business and clinical-related that you have to attend to. If you don’t have someone to help you, there’s going to be a point where you’re going to say, “I can’t do this anymore, I really need to leverage someone.”


This is where the magic comes in of finding the right person to bring in and help you. The trick in the beginning can often be knowing how to delegate. Some practitioners have a really easy time delegating, maybe even to a fault, because they’ll say, “Oh, I don’t want to do that, you do it, you do it, you do it.” And then, the employee or the assistant or virtual assistant, however the practice is set up, is just doing your busy work. Those practitioners don’t want to delegate everything, but they don’t want to be responsible for the business side. They just want someone else to do all the hard work. And I get that, wouldn’t that be perfect if we could all do that? But that’s not real life when you’re running a business. Knowing how to delegate and delegate wisely is very important. It is more than just printing off a long list of to-dos, and then assigning it to someone. 


Now, you have someone in your practice that you’ve put through a hiring process, you know that they’re going to be a good fit…how do you best leverage them inside your practice? We first want to figure out what their strengths are, and then play to their strengths. What I mean by that is if you have someone who loves detail, they detail everything and you give them a spreadsheet? Oh my gosh, you’ve just given them the best gift in the world, because they love keeping track of how many patients showed up, who canceled, who rescheduled, who missed, when they’ve been followed up, who has an outstanding balance, or whatever that process looks like for you. They just love that detail. However, if you ask them to create a flyer for a promotion that you’re doing, or some supplement thing you’re doing, that’s not going to work so well for them. That creates stress for them because instead of asking them to do things that are really surrounding their strength, we’re asking them to do something that they don’t do well. And if too much of that happens, that’s when those employees start to leave. That’s when you start seeing that turnover.


Instead, we want to know what their strengths are, assign roles and jobs and tasks that play to their strengths, and that causes increased productivity and overall, happier job experience. Research shows that if we focus on our inherent strengths and we play to those strengths, we are six times more likely to be happy in our jobs. If we have someone who’s a great communicator, I am a good communicator, but if you ask me to have to sit in a cubicle and do numbers, I’m not going to thrive there. I’m a better communicator, that’s why I hire someone, I have someone on my team that does and manages that, and then they just report to me. If you give me the numbers to look at, I’m good, but I don’t want to have to assemble them.


Someone who loves people won’t do well in your billing. If you have a front desk person that is a real people person, but they spend at least half of their time doing billing, you’re going to have turnover. Now, how do we fix this issue? When you’re hiring, I like to use personality tests and assessment tools to determine whether the person is going to be a good fit in my practice. And the reason I do that is I want to see what is behind the curtain, so to speak, how are they wired? I had a business coach, and one of the things that she taught me was, a Myers-Briggs test tells you what kind of car the person drives, whereas a DISC assessment tells you how they drive the car.


So, the Myers-Briggs tells you about who they are, how they’re wired. Are they an introvert or an extrovert? Are they a judger or a perceiver? Are they a sensor? It has all these different breakdowns, there are 16 different types, and it gives you an idea of what kind of car the person drives, and then how well they’re going to fit in your practice. Then there is the DISC assessment. I have links for both of those free assessments that you can take yourself, or you can have your team take. And then there are resources where you can go learn about kind of how to interpret those tests, but it’s fascinating to learn. I love those two tests, but there’s another one that has to do with this whole conversation around determining strengths and playing to those strengths, as far as the candidate or the person that you have in your role. When we know the strengths, we can then begin to give them work that plays to those, so that they will do a much better job in practice. And you and I will be more successful running our businesses as the CEO.


Now, here’s how you do this. I’m going to put a link in the show notes that will talk about a simple test and it’s called the CliftonStrengths34 test. It’s a $34 investment for the full report. And I highly recommend that you do this starting with yourself. This is one of those tests that you will never have to take again.


Sometimes with the DISC test, or maybe a Myers-Briggs or Enneagram you can adapt and change over time. I know that I’m a different person now than I was when I was in my 20s, certain things are the same, but wisdom and life and time and age make us different than we were when we were in our 20s and we thought we knew everything, right? So, the CliftonStrengths34 test is not like that, it’s not going to change. You can take it once, and then you’ve got it forever, but I do recommend investing in the test. I’ll put the link in the show notes. For those of you that are reading, if you go to, you can find the test there.


So, start with yourself, and then here’s the secret. When you find that right employee or employees, maybe you’ve got a team working with you, invest in them and have them take the test as well. This will help you be able to redistribute work responsibilities based on their strengths. The CliftonStrengths34 test gives you so much information about how you can leverage your team, increase your productivity by addressing and playing to their strengths. And for them and for you, work then doesn’t feel like work because it’s the things that we naturally do well. If you put me in front of a camera, in front of a mic, in front of a huge room of people, or in front of five people, I am so happy. I could talk for hours about business and marketing and clinical skills, anything and everything that has to do with being a clinician and a great clinician, and I love working. That’s why I love working with coaching clients. I love my business coaching collaborative, I love working with practitioners, that’s my strength.


Noe if you were to ask me to sit down and balance my bank statement, I can do it, but I will put it off as long as I can because I don’t love it. That’s why I have a great bookkeeper, and she helps me do that because it’s not the thing that makes work enjoyable. I’m trying to find ways to make my team love their jobs, because then they don’t go anywhere, and I don’t have that turnover. And they look like a genius, I look like a genius, everybody wins. That natural motivation to complete tasks, to have success, and to improve the overall outcome and trajectory of the success of the business begins to be overwhelmingly increased because your employees and you are playing from a place where it’s a win-win-win for you.


Now, here’s what you can do. Once you find out your strengths, focus on your top five, those are your most powerful talents, and then read everything you can about them. On the link that’s in the show notes, CliftonStrengths34, when you purchase that $34 test, you want to get the full report, and then understand what your strengths are because every strength also has a place where it needs to be put into check.


Personality tests and the CliftonStrengths34 test are an indispensable tool in developing and growing a thriving team that will help you as the CEO, as the boss, as the business person, that’ll help you grow an even more successful practice. You still have to be the clinician, and that is where you get to sharpen your skills over there, on that side, the clinical side, but as a business owner, whether you like it or not, my friend, if you signed up and you open to practice, you are now a CEO. Sorry to break it to you, but you are. And this is one of those things that I work on when I help practitioners, I help them recognize their role as a CEO. And finding and playing to the strengths of the people on their team is one of the most crucial elements that you can do as a boss, as a CEO, and as a business owner and business builder.




Now, if you like what you hear, I’d love to have you join the rest of my community as I share weekly strategies every week, go to to get on the mailing list. I’d love to share with you more tips and strategies about how to build your practice. And before I go, don’t forget, if you would take time and go leave us a review, this helps us get the word out to other practitioners who want to grow their practice, so they can have an even greater impact in the world.


Until next time, thanks for being part of my community, my tribe. I love having you join me here. I’ll be back next week with more of The Clinical Entrepreneur podcast.




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