Unlocking Your Team’s Full Potential

So many women today juggle various roles in their lives. This is also the case in my life. My daughters know me as their mom, my patients trust me as their surgeon, and my husband sees me as his life partner.

Yet, as a woman with multiple roles to fulfill, I also strive to excel as a dedicated businesswoman. In 2006, I became a surgeon at San Francisco Plastic Surgery (SFPS), formerly known as Women’s Plastic Surgery. Since joining, I’ve witnessed firsthand the unwavering dedication, professionalism, and kindness of the staff, making working here feel much more than just a job.

In 2010, I bought the practice and was elated that the entire team decided to stay on board. Since then, we have established a thriving practice. Nonetheless, I recognize the need to consistently put effort into our business relationships, as they are akin to other relationships requiring ongoing maintenance to remain strong.

At the second annual SFPS team-building retreat in Healdsburg, we embraced the philosophy of continuous improvement. While we may be satisfied with our progress, we know there’s always room to improve. Throughout the retreat, we focused on building stronger communications, improving relationships, promoting diversity, increasing productivity, and cultivating a happier team. 

Dr. Karen Horton hosts her team during the annual team-building retreat in Healdsburg, Sonoma County.

Here’s a look at what we accomplished:  

While the weekend was an excellent opportunity to relax and have fun, it was also a time to boost critical team-building priorities:

  • Communication: Effective communication is vital to your success as a team. Even though office members might work in the same location, their unique roles may make it challenging to share information. For instance, our surgical and nonsurgical staff have less contact with each other than within their own teams. However, our recent retreat was successful in allowing everyone to share experiences and thoughts, creating a more transparent and fluid communication system that enhances our practice’s efficiency and harmony. 
  • Establish company culture: Staying focused and dedicated to your company’s mission while embracing opportunities to have fun is essential. Throughout our event, we engaged in discussions centered on maintaining the highest standards for patient care while still finding ways to enjoy our work and avoid burning out.
  • Continue to learn: Stay ahead in your ever-changing business landscape with one key strategy: learning. First, experience lasting success by staying abreast of industry trends and developments. Next, invest in your knowledge to propel your business to greater heights. Our eagerness to learn was a topic of discussion over the weekend, and I was keen on understanding what our team knew and what they wanted to learn more about. Our office provides ample opportunities for mentorship, cross-training, access to conferences, and continuing education units. Strengthening our knowledge and expertise keeps us engaged and leads to greater professional fulfillment.
  • Celebrate victories: Take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate with your staff. Our team came together that weekend to applaud our victories. We’ve achieved success, thanks to our supportive, intelligent, and unified team. Although we strive to improve continuously, it’s also essential to recognize our triumphs. We will continue to build upon our achievements with confidence and enthusiasm, since improvement is in our DNA.
Dr. Karen Horton and her team at San Francisco Plastic Surgery office.

The Payoffs

We spend so much time at work that it becomes critically important for people to bond with their professional families. Respecting each other’s perspectives and individual skill sets pays considerable dividends in how we interact with each other and our patients.

Not long ago, a patient told me she aspired to interact with her clients the way my team and I interacted with her. She truly appreciated that we got to know her in a relational manner and explored what was best for her, rather than simply trying to sell her services. In addition, she was impressed that we weren’t being entirely transactional.

Receiving this compliment is an accomplishment for us. While gathering patient medical histories is part of our job, we see it as having meaningful conversations with them. Our goal is to understand their stories. Achieving this level of care requires a united team effort, and I am fortunate to lead such a strong team of women.

Karen M. Horton, MD, FACS

Dr. Karen Horton is an internationally Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, a fitness enthusiast, proud mom to fraternal twin girls, and devoted wife of nearly 3 decades. A surgeon’s daughter, she is proud to have built a successful, women-focused boutique private practice in Pacific Heights. Featuring a brand new Quad A-certified, fully equipped operating room, Dr. Horton offers her patients the highest level of aesthetic care, both surgical and non-surgical, in a modern, bright and discrete setting. She considers it an honor and a privilege to care for her patients! To learn more about Dr. Horton, visit www.drkarenhorton.com and follow her on social at @drkarenhorton.