DR. ACE GOERIG
OWNER & CO-FOUNDER
The pursuit of happiness is a classic Catch-22 dilemma because often we must focus on the very things that are holding us back. Almost always, the limits we have in our life and practice can only be addressed by leaning into them rather than shying away from them. As a result, we can sometimes feel our roadblocks even more amplified — seemingly dragging our energy down when we need it the most.
The most successful people have a mindset that begins with a personal pledge to be happy in the moment — whether doing something you love or working on the biggest problem you are facing. Finding joy and satisfaction in the engagement process is an essential component to growth, so that problems are seen as opportunities, and limits are seen as doorways to new possibilities within your reach.
Happiness is also essential to developing a culture of focus, growth and success in our teams. Team members who are unhappy are going to devote energy to dealing with their unhappiness. There is also the potential that, through gossip or drama, they will spread their unhappiness to other team members … creating an overall practice environment that is distracted at best and toxic at its worst.
If the source of a team member’s unhappiness is a legitimate practice concern, then it’s our responsibility as leaders to resolve the issue quickly and fairly. However, we can’t be responsible if team members are unhappy because they have unrealistic or misguided expectations. Similarly, if the source is outside the practice (a personal issue, for example), then you might have to compassionately ask the team member to check their issues at the door. If they can’t do that, then maybe they need to move on.
We need happy teams because the only way to grow is to get better at things you aren’t good at yet, and to be willing to try things you’ve never done before while you are learning. Growth requires curiosity, creativity, optimism, and perseverance. An unhappy team simply does not have the emotional bandwidth to fully engage in growth while maintaining an environment of superlative patient care and enjoyable teamwork.
As your team’s leader, you set the tone in your office every day. When you walk in smiling, practice happiness as a daily goal, and celebrate the process of striving to improve, then you empower your team. They will embrace the same values and make the effort to be the best they can be. Your goals will become their goals, and that’s the kind of happy engaged team that drives your success.