Have you ever had a staff member that didn't perform well, didn't get along with others, or just drove you crazy for any reason? Maybe you tried to reason with them, sent them for more training or tried to rationalize your feelings. Things still didn't get better, but you are frozen in indecision. Why would that happen? Are you ready for the answer? Fear. Plain and simple, you're afraid. What are you afraid of, you're the boss, the owner, the head honcho, aren't you? Well, there are a lot of things that enter into decisively disciplining or even finally terminating an employee. A big thing that prevents you from doing that is fear. For one, you may be afraid of the employee's reaction. They may cry, accuse you of being unfair or spend an inordinate amount of time telling you that you're wrong about them. You may be worried that they'll quit if you criticize them and then you'll have to start the search for a new staff member. You'll go through the whole interview process, spend all that time and money on a newspaper ad, and it's all a crapshoot in the end, anyway. The perfect candidate that you interviewed and hired shows up for work with facial piercings, tattoos and an attitude. Now you're worse off than before. Don't let your imagination run wild and freeze you into inaction. By the way, that example was a composite of three different staff members that didn't cut it with us. And yes, I hired each of them. Each was a valuable lesson for me. Each made me know what I didn't want and now I have a fantastic group. Face your fear and you may too. Maybe you're worried about what the patients will say..."So much turnover, what do you do to your staff, doctor?" Don't worry about that, only the gossipy troublemakers will say that, so you'll be making their day. Then again, maybe the disgruntled staff member will bad-mouth you in the community. What makes you so sure they're not already doing that? If they sense your displeasure, I bet they already are. I'm not suggesting that you go into your office with a fist full of pink slips. I am saying that if someone on your staff is causing the irritation and disintegration of your stomach lining, be not afraid. Sit them down and hold them accountable. Let them know that they must start doing as you ask or they will be asked to leave. That's fair. And there's nothing to be afraid of.