The impact of these scheduling challenges is twofold: it strains communication and exacerbates conflict. Without immediate and widespread visibility of these changes, team members are left in the dark, and families may experience disruptions in service. This lack of transparency can lead to frustration, miscommunication, and even conflict between staff, management, and clients.
Imagine a system where communication is seamless and visible to all relevant parties instantly. Such a system could dramatically reduce the time and effort involved in managing these last-minute changes. Moreover, empowering parents to cancel and rebook appointments directly, without needing to call the office, could further streamline the process. This approach not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a more collaborative and less stressful environment for both staff and families. It’s a step towards a more adaptive and responsive ABA service model, where the focus remains on providing quality care without the hindrance of logistical obstacles.
Setting Expectations Matters
In the opening slides, we played a little game to illustrate the importance of setting clear expectations. Just like in our “knock-knock” joke, if people are operating under different sets of rules, it can lead to confusion and failure. This underscores the significance of communicating expectations effectively.
Getting the schedule right from the outset is crucial in ABA therapy, where scheduling resembles assembling a complex puzzle. It’s not just about aligning operational pieces like matching times and optimizing the overall schedule for efficiency. There’s also a critical need to match each clinician’s unique skills and experience with the specific needs of each client. This added layer of complexity in scheduling cannot be overlooked, as placing a clinician with a client they’re not well-suited for can lead to ineffective therapy and potential burnout for the clinician. When stress and burnout are high, conflict can increase and your hard-built harmonious culture can decrease.
ABA Engine adeptly addresses this challenge. It’s designed to consider both the operational and relational aspects of scheduling. This means it not only ensures schedules are efficient and time slots are filled, but it also aligns staff expertise with client needs. By doing so, ABA Engine ensures that clients receive care from clinicians who have the right training and experience for their specific cases. This thoughtful approach to scheduling not only enhances the quality of care but also supports the well-being of the clinicians, preventing burnout by avoiding mismatches in clinician-client pairings. In essence, ABA Engine doesn’t just put the schedule together; it ensures each piece of the puzzle is perfectly placed for optimal outcomes.
Why Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills Are Vital
We then dived into the reasons why leaders at all levels of an organization, including ABA leaders, need to equip themselves with better communication and conflict management skills.
The Cost of Poor Management: In 2023, Gallup’s data revealed that poor management, including communication and conflict resolution skills, had significant consequences. It led to a loss of engagement, decreased productivity, increased mental health struggles, and loss of revenue for both organizations and the economy as a whole.
Engagement Matters: Gallup’s State of the Workplace Report estimated that employee low engagement costs the global economy a staggering 8.8 Trillion Dollars. Engagement has a major impact on employee stress levels, surpassing the influence of work location.
Understanding Employee Engagement
Gallup categorizes employees into three categories: engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. In the US and Canada, a concerning 69% of the workforce falls into the “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” categories, highlighting the need for improved communication and conflict resolution skills.
During the webinar, we outlined three key learning objectives:
We emphasized the importance of clarity in expectations and the benefits of regular check-ins and open forums for discussion. Proactive communication helps identify issues early and fosters a culture of accountability.
Feedback was highlighted as a tool for learning and behavior change, not just a means of communication. We discussed the power of asking questions, involving team members in problem-solving, and reframing feedback to promote engagement.
Navigating Difficult Conversations:
We emphasized that difficult conversations should not be viewed as win/lose scenarios. Instead, they are truth-seeking expeditions where curiosity and questions play a vital role. Techniques such as mirroring, labeling emotions, and mastering voice tone and cadence were introduced.
To dig into this further, here’s a great short video that highlights 2 ways to respond that aren’t helpful, how to keep yourself focused enough to listen to the other person, and then an example of what to say starting with the words “sounds like” or something similar and just like we discussed, if you can be even more specific and actually call out the emotion you hear behind the words being said, you can diffuse very tense situations. https://youtu.be/_Of_YO0-B4k?si=kF4TpGHTGCUM4f58
Global Perspectives on Feedback
Understanding cultural differences in feedback perception and delivery is crucial for leaders in diverse teams. We highlighted how feedback varies across cultures and emphasized the importance of establishing a clear feedback culture within your organization.
Feedback as Part of a Larger Skill Set
Feedback was presented as a tool for self-improvement and professional development, not just a managerial task. It should be seen in the larger context of communication and conflict management skill sets.
Call to Action: ABA Engine’s Role
ABA Engine plays a pivotal role in enhancing communication through its automated intake features.
Client Intake: ABA Engine streamlines the intake process, ensuring clear communication with clients and reducing administrative tasks for clinicians. We make it easy for companies to stand out from the competition as their families will have a clear map of what to expect and communicate each step of the way.
Employee Onboarding: The platform simplifies the onboarding of employees, making it easier to communicate expectations and roles within the organization.
Communication Platform: ABA Engine’s comprehensive communication platform connects administrators, parents, and clinical teams, enabling seamless and efficient communication across all levels.
ABA Engine masterfully streamlines ABA therapy scheduling by ensuring the right clinician-client matches. It goes beyond just filling time slots efficiently; it aligns clinician expertise with client needs, enhancing care quality and preventing staff burnout through thoughtful, strategic scheduling.
In conclusion, improving communication and conflict resolution skills is not just a necessity; it’s an investment in the success of your ABA organization. By utilizing ABA Engine’s automated intake features and communication platform, you can create an environment of clear expectations and purpose, ultimately driving engagement and success in your organization. So, let’s prioritize these skills and leverage the tools at our disposal to build better businesses in ABA.
Additional Resources Available
1:1 Consulting: Benefit from personalized consulting sessions where I assist business owners in various areas, including defining financial business models, crafting forward-looking projections, and identifying strategies to increase profitability without compromising clinical quality. Book time with Erica.
Soar – Private Business Owner’s Community: Join ‘Soar’, our exclusive community for ABA business owners. This platform fosters collaboration and sharing of best practices and experiences. Apply to be a part of this supportive network through this form: Join Soar Community.
ABA Engine Software: Discover the efficiencies of ABA Engine’s software, designed to streamline scheduling and operations in ABA settings. Schedule a demo to see how it can transform your business operations. Request a Demo.