12 Traits Medical Office Managers Must Have

Do you have what it takes to be a medical office manager? There are so many different qualities to be an excellent manager regardless of the profession. If you have experience in the medical office or are new to it, you may be manager material. 

There has been lots of research conducted to identify the traits and skill sets of highly effective leaders. While most researchers don't agree on all of these traits, when you look at the complete list of traits and skills there are a few that are universal. Here is my list of traits that indicate if you are manager material:



medical office manager

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You can communicate well with others. Being articulate is not just about having the ability to enunciate words or to pronounce words clearly. It also means that an individual is capable of expressing him or herself in a fluent and coherent manager. A great manager is one that can express him or herself to the medical office staff in a meaningful and appropriate manner.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

— John Welch



Medical Office Manager

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You are intuitive, insightful, and discerning.  A perceptive manager is able to understand or has a certain awareness of the medical office staff or events involving them. An individual who can perceive emotions from another person by using his or her senses can pick up on subtle attitudes and behaviors without being told. Sometimes the unspoken word is more powerful, and a perceptive manager may be able to resolve conflicts or other issues that arise.

"Heightened perception is the goal: becoming more aware of how you see, not just what you see."     

— Michael Kimmelman



medical office manager

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You are self-confident. A leader must believe in his or her own ability or judgment in order to lead others. Sometimes a manager must make a decision that he or she is not fully capable of making. He or she may not even know if the decision will result in a good or bad outcome. However, being confident in him/herself allows others to believe in his or her abilities and judgment.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

— Helen Keller



medical office manager

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You are persistent in your effort to accomplish your goals.  You've heard the saying that steady wins the race.  Steady, constant effort to accomplish something is the definition of diligence. Not only is diligence a great example for others to follow, but it also shows that you are just as dedicated to the goals as everyone else.

"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools."

— Confucius



Medical Office Manager

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You are consistent and reliable. Being dependable is probably high on the lists of traits that define a great manager. Everyone wants a manager that adheres to their principles and beliefs all the time, regardless of who they are dealing with. They don't show favoritism to certain individuals but treats everyone with the same respect and courtesy.

"Dependability is that quality of sureness which makes folks know that the task assigned will be accomplished, that the promise made will be kept, a golden quality–but to be effective it must be accompanied by at least a moderate amount of something to give and a pleasant manner of giving."

— Clarissa A. Beesley



medical office manager

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You are able to develop and implement a strategy. Strategic thinking means having the ability to problem-solve and make decisions. A strategic thinker is able to identify problems, analyze these problems, develop solutions, and implement them. However, these are not the only qualities of a strategic thinker. You must also be able to see the big picture in order to anticipate future developments and respond in a timely manner to generate change. 

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy, it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things” 

— Miyamoto Musashi



medical office manager

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You are friendly and outgoing. Not many people consider how much being approachable contributes to being a manager. Being an approachable manager leads to greater employee satisfaction. Having an open-door policy, listening to employees' thoughts and ideas, and showing kindness and authenticity are all attributes of a great manager.

"Nothing helps make a leader more approachable than admitting your struggles, screw-ups and behind-the-scenes thinking on hard calls. If the leader makes this a priority, the whole company will be more open and methodical learning from failure."

— Scott Weiss



Motivational woman in office

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You have a coach's spirit. A coach is someone that is a great listener, possesses empathy, and can inspire confidence and trust in others. The ability to communicate and motivate employees and provide constructive feedback leads to high-performance teams. A manager that has the qualities of a coach are highly effective at developing a positive workplace culture.

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

― Tom Landry



Office Manager

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You are able to demonstrate intelligence. Demonstrating intelligence is not just about showing how smart you are.  That would simply be demonstrating arrogance. Asking intelligent questions, respecting the intellect of others, and a commitment to continual learning are all ways that demonstrate intelligence. Intelligent managers also are excellent at helping their employees learn the information they need to accomplish their tasks.

"Intelligence does not mean infallibility, nor does it mean immobility. Intelligence means the ability to learn."

― Kelly Barnhill



Employee Evaluation

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You have a vision for the future. Being able to think and plan for the future is necessary for continued success.  In addition, you should be able to communicate this vision to your employees and gain their support to see it to fruition.  Everyone must be able to understand the vision and buy into it to contribute to the planning and development of the vision. 

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion."

― Jack Welch


Emotionally Intelligent

Doctor comforting male patient

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You have a high emotional intelligence. Individuals with a high emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) are emotionally competent. They understand and manage their own feelings and the feelings of others. They also know how to use this information to guide behavior. It means being able to say the right words depending on the situation. It means having empathy, self-awareness, self-control, and emotional stability.

"Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy." 

― Aristotle



Couple meeting with doctor

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You are trustworthy and honest.  Individuals that exhibit these traits are exhibiting integrity.  Integrity is an important trait of a leader because employees can trust that they will do what they say they will do.  Leaders with integrity take responsibility for their decisions and actions, acknowledge when they make mistakes, and stick to their principles. These qualities encourage their employees to do the same.  Their honesty and authenticity are respected, and they are viewed as highly ethical which makes them a great model for others.

"With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt."

― Zig Ziglar

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  • Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.