Posts Tagged Bob Cooper


Ch-Ch-Ch Changes: Endings & New Beginnings by Consultant Bob Cooper

Managing Change by Bob Cooper

As we pass Labor Day I find myself thinking about the transition from summer to fall, even though the fall season doesn’t officially begin for a few more weeks. It seems as if the pace starts to pick up again. Vacations come to an end, students return to school, and business tends to accelerate.

Change is a constant. Why do some people embrace change and others struggle?

After all, we know that the seasons change, one ends and a new one begins. In business, projects come to an end, and new ones begin. Changes in expectations, new technologies, increased competition, reduced margins are just a few examples of the changes businesses face today.

As a leader, it is very important that you take a good look in the mirror and reflect on how you embrace change.  As a model for others, you set the tone for how your team will be able to demonstrate resilience when facing the business headwinds.

In order for you to assist others to move through the changing seasons, you need to understand what happens to others when facing change. Change is external to the individual. A new boss, revised policy, or a new role become understood once explained to staff.  However, individuals react to changes differently.  The reason for this is some team members psychologically struggle to come to terms with the change.  They find it difficult to make the internal transition.  In my experience, the number one reason for this is fear. Perhaps they are not confident in their ability to deliver on the change.  They may be hesitant to take a risk due to a fear of failure. They don’t feel as safe or secure.

Questions you should ask yourself during times of change.

What do my team members need to let go of?

What do they feel they are losing?

Transitions require endings. Great leaders understand that certain changes have a big impact on individuals. Some individual’s self-esteem is tied to the old process. They may have felt an enormous sense of pride in what they had accomplished.  Great leaders effectively assist others to work through these endings, and become comfortable with transition.

The following are a few suggestions to assist others through change and transition:

  1. Explain what is changing and why it is changing. Let others know what is not changing.
  2. Allow staff to express concern, and show empathy for anyone struggling to embrace the change. Be tolerant of mistakes. Mentor others to turn mistakes into opportunities for learning and growth.
  3. Maintain ongoing two-way communication throughout the change process.
  4. Engage others in making the change work.  Listen to staff ideas and incorporate suggestions that are beneficial for the business.
  5. Be positive and promote a feeling of optimism.

Great leaders assist team members to come to terms with their endings, and work hard to help others to find new beginnings. Things will not be the same, but as a leader you can help staff to develop the competence and confidence to move forward.

You will be able to assist most team members to move through the changing seasons and find comfort in new beginnings, if you move through the transition yourself.  If you are stuck in the summer, as we embark on the fall, how can you expect your team to turn the page?

Great leaders treat each and every team member as a unique individual who experiences change in their own way. Without judgment, great leaders meet staff wherever they need to be met.  Some staff become the champions of certain changes, and others need a lot more attention.

One of the most important lessons in leadership (and in life) is to treat every person you meet with total respect regardless of how they deal with the seasons of change. Not everyone can be the “A” student, but they all deserve to be in the classroom.  An individual may ultimately need to leave the room, but this should be handled with complete respect, understanding and compassion.

Bob Cooper: We are very pleased to announce that in collaboration with Consulting For A Cause, we will be providing another one day “Discovery Session” on Thursday, October 17 in Chappaqua, NY.  You will be provided with the opportunity to capture in your personal journal the following – how to turn talents into sustainable strengths, lead a life with purpose and passion, achieve quantum leaps in performance, brand yourself for future success, achieve a sense of work-life balance, and how to effectively execute your business strategies. Space is limited. To register, please go

For a complete listing of our services, including our books “Huddle Up”, “Leadership Tips to Enhance Staff Satisfaction and Retention”, and “Heart and Soul in the Boardroom” please visit us at or call (845) 639-1741.

Bowie Photo Credit: Tim Yates via Compfightcc

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Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Human Resources, Leadership

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Guest Author Bob Cooper “Balancing Two Sides of Work”

Balancing Two Sides of BusinessI would like you to think about a great boss or mentor you had sometime in your career. What made them great? When I ask this question to seminar participants or during an executive coaching session I get responses such as “Gives me excellent ongoing feedback”, “Has a vision and knows how to execute the strategy”, “Builds an excellent and supportive team”, “Took the time to teach me the business”, and “Is supportive, respectful and compassionate.”

As you look at the above responses, what comes to mind? In asking this question to hundreds of people in many settings it has led me to one conclusion – great leaders know how to drive business results, and inspire others to want to follow.

When teaching service excellence workshops I often discuss the two-sided service coin. One side represents the “technical” side of service, the other the “human” side. The technical side of service represents the day to day responsibilities of one’s job (e.g. assisting customers, completing reports, etc.). The human side involves building the relationship with all internal and external customers (e.g. acknowledging the customer, following-through on customer commitments, demonstrating kindness and respect, etc.)


Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Leadership

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Bob Cooper on Giving Thanks as a Manager

During the holiday season we are reminded to give thanks and extend our best wishes to family, friends, and colleagues.  It’s a time to step back and reflect upon the accomplishments achieved in collaboration with your team, and feel a sense of gratitude for what you have.

Do you take the time to acknowledge the contributions of others? Do you have a full appreciation for the importance of giving praise?

Thanksgiving Dinner


Many years ago I had an eye opening meeting with an engineering director named Pete.  The purpose of the meeting was to update Pete on the progress of my work with several members of his team.  I facilitated a process improvement initiative that ended up saving the company over one hundred thousand dollars. In spite of this outcome, the group had very low morale. One day I stopped one of our meetings and asked the team why they were so upset. They said “Pete doesn’t value us.” I asked “Why do you feel this way?” Their response was “He never shows appreciation for our work.”  I shared this story with Pete in an attempt to provide him with a valuable insight.  His response was “I don’t need to tell them how much I value them, they are engineers and should know how well they are doing.”  I said “Pete, everyone wants to be appreciated.  It’s not based on one’s position or degree. You need to express to your team how much you value them.”

To this day, I can still see Pete struggling to understand the importance of giving thanks.

The following are a few suggestions for leaders regarding expressing thanks:


Posted in: A Career in Practice Management, Amazing Customer Service, Day-to-Day Operations, Leadership, Quality

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Bob Cooper Asks: Did You Watch the Presidential Debates Looking for Authentic Communication?

Authentic CommunicationWe recently had the opportunity to observe three Presidential debates. Undecided voters watched the responses from both President Obama and Governor Romney to determine who they would like to vote for.  Some people were interested in learning more about each candidate’s policies on important issues. Others observed the poise shown when faced with the tough questions.  In the final analysis, most individuals want to vote for someone they believe in.I  In the final analysis, most individuals want to vote for someone they believe in. They want to develop a sense of trust. They want to believe.

In business, others will only “want” to follow if they believe that you truly have their best interests at heart.  They want to know that you are moving the organization in the right direction. They wish to have the opportunity to be part of the solution. It’s up to you to convince them that they should believe in the message, and most important – they must believe in you.

The following are a few suggestions to communicate with authenticity:


Posted in: A Career in Practice Management, Day-to-Day Operations, Leadership, Physician Relations

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Introducing Two New Products Now Available in Our Store: The Smart Manager’s Webcourse “Creating a Credit Card on File Program” and Bob Cooper’s “Heart and Soul in the Boardroom”!

We are very excited today to announce two new products available for purchase in the Manage My Practice store!

We have had a lot of requests for the recorded version of our Webcourse – Creating a Credit Card on File Program in Your Practice, and we are excited to say that it is now available! For $29.95 you will receive the 60 minute video recording of the course, as well as the course slide deck, and the action pack of handouts to get you started on the program including:

  1. Worksheet for Credit Card on File Program Return on Investment
  2. Staff Script & Role Playing Suggestions for Staff Training
  3. Sample Security Policy to Comply With PCI Guidelines
  4. Credit Card on File Program Timeline Worksheet
  5. Credit Card Program Comparison Worksheet
  6. Patient Handout #1: Information About Our Credit Card on File Program & Discontinuation of Statements
  7. Patient Handout #2: What is a Deductible and How Does It Affect Me?

Check out the Webcourse!

We are also very excited to be adding a second book to our store: Heart and Soul in the Boardroom by Bob Cooper. We have been thrilled to reprint some of Bob’s great posts about leadership, and are now honored to sell his book. Heart and Soul in the Boardroom is a book that champions honesty, authenticity, and a management style based on a real assessment of success – both in the workplace, and in the workplace’s relationship to your life.

Heart and Soul in the Boardroom by Robert L. Cooper

Get Bob’s Book for $14.50 plus 2.95 shipping and handling. And if you are buying for a group (or department, or your staff!) Bob will ship them free with the purchase of three or more!

Check out Bob Cooper’s Book!

Posted in: A Career in Practice Management, Collections, Billing & Coding, Day-to-Day Operations, Human Resources, Innovation, Leadership

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Guest Author and Consultant Bob Cooper: Respecting All Team Contributions

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 18:  A detail of a referee h...

The NCAA basketball final game is now set.  Kentucky and Kansas will meet on Monday evening to determine who will be the national champion.  What is so fascinating is to watch how different players contribute in key situations that make the difference in the ultimate outcome.


Posted in: Day-to-Day Operations, Human Resources, Leadership

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Guest Author Bob Cooper: Leading with Emotional Intelligence WILL Drive Bottom-Line Results

Rotten Pumpkins

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

In the book “Primal Leadership ”“ Realizing The Power Of Emotional Intelligence”, the authors Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee discuss the importance of both personal competence (how we manage ourselves), and social competence (how we manage relationships), relative to achieving long-term success. Personal competence involves both self-awareness and self-management. Social competence deals with social awareness and relationship management.

Many people reading this may be wondering how these concepts link to business success. What does this have to do with achieving a positive bottom-line? Aren’t these the “soft skills” that are nice to have, but not essential to build profitability?

I recognize that many people want good hard data to back up the idea that leading with emotional intelligence is critical to build and sustain a business. Rather than present you with productivity and turnover data, employee satisfaction statistics, etc. I ask that you reflect on the following questions and come up with your own conclusion:

1.    What happens when a leader yells and bangs the table when something goes wrong? What impact does this have on others? Who wants to do business with them?
2.    What happens when a top performer is taken for granted, and not sincerely acknowledged?
3.    What happens when a member of your team is going through a difficult personal situation and you don’t take the time to listen and show empathy?
4.    What happens when a leader says his/her employees are the most important asset, but rarely shows it?
5.    What happens when the boss asks a direct report to get him/her a cup of coffee and never reciprocates?
6.    What happens when a leader does not build team unity, but allows conflict amongst team members to grow?
7.    What happens when a leader fails to build the competence and confidence of team members?
8.    What happens when the leader is not aware of his/her strengths and limitations?
9.    What happens when the leader is not able to handle adversity and change?
10.    What happens when the leader is not transparent in communications, giving
others the feeling that the truth is being withheld?

The following are a few suggestions to enhance your emotional intelligence:

1.    Keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control.
2.    Show all employees that you value their contributions and respect them as individuals. Find ways to recognize and reward outstanding performance.
3.    Pay attention to other’s emotions, understand their perspective, and show an interest in helping them whenever possible.
4.    Recognize and meet other’s needs ”“ be willing to serve them.
5.    Model what it means to be a good team player.  Develop team standards and hold yourself and others accountable for “living” these behaviors.
6.    Know your strengths and limits, and surround yourself with individuals with complimentary strengths. Great leaders know they are only as good as the team they surround themselves with.
7.    Develop team members by giving honest and timely feedback, and offering guidance to help them to reach their full potential.
8.    Demonstrate the ability to be flexible in handling changing situations. Help others to work with you to overcome obstacles, and move in a new direction when necessary.
9.    Display transparency through communications and behaviors that demonstrate honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness.
10.    Be optimistic, and help others to see both organizational and individual potential.

These are just a few issues to reflect on. These are important to employees, especially top performers. When I am asked about what I believe to be an acceptable turnover rate I always answer, “It depends on who’s leaving, and why they are leaving.”

If you truly believe that employees make the difference, then you will want to make sure that all the above questions are addressed in a positive way.

The price an organization pays when it loses the heart and soul of its employees is beyond measure. Leaders who don’t take these questions seriously, and violate the underlying principles, will lose their followers.  Without followers, no real leadership exists.  Without followers, your business becomes a house of cards ”“ ready to crumble. It’s only a matter of time before you see an erosion of market share. If your competitors embrace these principles, and thus have loyal followers, they will deliver exceptional service, and develop more innovative products and services. I have witnessed CEOs and other executives removed because of a lack of emotional intelligence.

Creativity and innovation are unleashed by leaders who demonstrate high integrity, compassion, and show they truly care about their employees.

Leading with emotional intelligence makes good business sense. It is not a “soft skill” it’s the real truth.

Bob Cooper is the founder and president of RL Cooper Associates, an innovative healthcare organizational and management consulting firm. With over twenty-five years experience in people and organizational development, Mr. Cooper’s focus is placed on identifying strategies that maximize organizational effectiveness and fundamental transformation by enabling individuals and groups to reach their full potential.  In addition to “Heart and Soul in the Boardroom”, Mr. Cooper is the author of “Huddle Up ”“ Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Service Excellence”, and “Leadership Tips To Enhance Staff Satisfaction and Retention.” Mr. Cooper holds an MS in Human Resource Management and a BA in Economics. He is also a member of Strathmore’s Who’s Who.  Bob can be contacted at

Posted in: A Career in Practice Management, Human Resources, Leadership

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Interview With Bob Cooper: Bringing Heart and Soul into Healthcare Boardrooms

Bob Cooper and I connected on LinkedIn when he responded to a question in a way that I thought was quite different from all the other answers.  That inspired me to view his profile, see his book and contact him about answering some questions about his book for MMP readers.

1. How did you get started working in the healthcare field?

I was recruited by an executive search firm to work for an academic medical center in the fields of Human Resources and Organizational Development.

2. How much of your business is in the healthcare market?

Approximately 80% of my clients are in the healthcare field.

3. What are the types of issues you are called upon to help resolve for healthcare clients?

I am frequently called upon to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration on patient care units and other departments using my Organizational Huddle Process„¢, improve patient satisfaction, enhance staff satisfaction and retention, develop leadership competency, executive coaching, and strategic planning.

4. What is the most common issue you see healthcare entities struggling with?

The most common issue I see healthcare entities struggling with is maintaining effective staffing ratios in an environment of shrinking reimbursements.

5. If you use your crystal ball, what types of issues do you see healthcare entities facing with the full impact of healthcare reform hitting in 2014?

The greatest issue I see is how to effectively run the business during a time of great uncertainty. Healthcare leaders will need to be great change agents. They will need to engage staff at all levels to understand and embrace the changes as they evolve, and incorporate recommended strategies that will continue to grow the business. Healthcare organizations will need to stick with business strategies that are viable, and know when to get out of businesses that are not going to be profitable.

6. You say your new book “Heart and Soul in the Boardroom” helps leaders to inspire employees to new heights of engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.  We know that healthcare employees (providers, administration, nurses, clerical staff) are all struggling with burnout, change, and economic issues. Give us advice on leading employees in a very difficult time in healthcare,

My advice is to engage staff in running the business, show concern for their career aspirations and development, and work hard to serve their needs. It’s true that many people are working harder to just keep up with the pace of change. Our job as leaders is to show every member of our team how much we truly value them ”“ and really mean it!

7. What is the secret to managers taking care of themselves when they are responsible for keeping the business going, keeping the physicians happy, keeping the staff happy and keeping the patients happy?

Managers must seek to keep themselves happy. This means that they find joy and meaning in their work. Learn to appreciate every interaction with every internal and external customer. For example, find joy in looking at the smile on an employee’s face after you give a sincere compliment. Find happiness in everything you do, including drinking your favorite cup of coffee. Say good morning and thank you to all. Show concern for everyone you deal with. And perhaps the most important thing you could do is to learn to detach. This means that you give everything you have to achieve a positive outcome, but you also recognize that you do not “control” the outcome. Be grateful for what you have ”“ make a gratitude list every day.

8. You and I talked about living an authentic and integrated life.  What does that mean to you and how can managers achieve this?

An authentic and integrated life means that you live your values everyday, and at all times. You understand that who you are at work is no different from who you are outside of work. Your values should come from a place of service, always exhibiting behaviors that are kind and considerate to others. You “brand” yourself as someone who is consistent, reliable, and everyone knows what you stand for at all times. Others know that your intentions are pure and good.

9. When can we expect your next book and what will it be about?

Heart and Soul in the Boardroom is my third book, and I don’t know when I will write my next one. What I can say for sure is this ”“ the next book will be a result of my being inspired to be of service others.

Bob Cooper is the founder and president of RL Cooper Associates, an innovative healthcare organizational and management consulting firm. With over twenty-five years experience in people and organizational development, Mr. Cooper’s focus is placed on identifying strategies that maximize organizational effectiveness and fundamental transformation by enabling individuals and groups to reach their full potential.  In addition to “Heart and Soul in the Boardroom”, Mr. Cooper is the author of “Huddle Up ”“ Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Service Excellence”, and “Leadership Tips To Enhance Staff Satisfaction and Retention.” Mr. Cooper holds an MS in Human Resource Management and a BA in Economics. He is also a member of Strathmore’s Who’s Who.  Bob can be contacted at

Posted in: A Career in Practice Management, Human Resources, Leadership

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