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Anything I Can Do, WE Can Do Better

September 11, 2018

If you have children or if you were a child, you have heard and probably used the phrase “I can do it myself!” As young children, we are taught to get things for ourselves and to do things for ourselves with the idea we will be responsible for ourselves someday. Then youth activities and youth groups begin, and we must learn to be part of a team. We must learn to work together and share responsibilities. By being a part of that team, we help others grow, learn, and maximize on individual talents to accomplish one main set of goals.

When we are young our keywords are I and me. Have you ever noticed how many times a day you say I? For the next few days, keep a tally on your words. What is your ratio of I to We? Now, make a concentrated effort to change your words, because once you join a team the I becomes We. The simplest change, the effect we are looking for, can come by using words based around Us. By taking the I out of your sentences, you start to take the I out of your mindset. This is where the magic begins to happen. Suddenly you are not thinking of you, you automatically start to consider yourself as the We. It starts as a conscientious decision to change, and before you know it, you have become a part of the We.

Let’s look at two powerful words, team and work. Individually these words have great definitions. One of Wikipedia’s descriptions for a team; “A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.” The dictionary defines work as “something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking.” Now put these two together. All coaches will have almost the same definition of teamwork. What is different is the vision for how the goal is reached and what success looks like. Everyone must work as an individual within the team, the common factor is the end game, and how We accomplish it. Who is your team and what is your end goal? Do you have a common goal, or are you more of an individual working within a team?

Every team has individual components; but the whole, the effect you can make happen, comes from the team effort, the We. We is such a nicer word. People feel better when you use we, they feel included and like they are a part of something, part of a team. And isn’t that what most of us want, to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves? Schedule a team meeting today and review your end goal, what you as a team consider a success. During your meeting, make sure you have the tools you need to compete and to succeed. And remember to watch your words.

Now, you are no longer the I taking on the world alone. You are a part of the We making true changes every day. It starts with one simple word, but you will soon discover, “Anything I can do, We can do better!”

Get Your Ears On

June 15, 2016


Get Your Ears On

Perhaps you have heard the expression that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen two times more than you talk. However, how many of us fall short of that 2:1 ratio? Sit back and watch different conversations around you and we bet you will find, each one of us falls short of that ratio. Why? It’s part of human nature to be a poor listener. Our brains can process information 3-5 times faster than we can speak. That gives us all sorts of extra time to think about other stuff while someone else is talking. Usually, we use the extra time to think about what we are going to say in response. How many times have you had your reply ready before the other person is finished with their sentence? Other times intrusive thoughts come in because we are rushed, worried about something, daydreaming, or simply not interested. In the dental office, problems might arise when you think that you’ve “heard it all before” so you cut off a patient or a coworker before they had a chance to finish their comments. A good trick to stay completely in the moment is to repeat back what the person is saying in your head. It’s a bit obnoxious at first, but it keeps you focused on the content and context of the message. Then, ask a follow-up question to check your understanding. Asking a question or two will show the speaker that you are interested in interpreting him or her accurately. Think of how many mistakes and misunderstandings could be avoided if people actively and completely listened to each other. The dental office would be much more efficient if we listened carefully the FIRST time, would you agree? In addition, listening has a positive, symbolic effect. When you FULLY listen to someone, you are saying, “I care about you.” So get your ears on, and give your patients and co-workers the gift of listening!



Revisiting Your Yearly Goals

June 3, 2016


Revisiting Your Yearly Goals

Now that we are midway through the year, how are your 2016 goals? Do you remember what they were? Are they written down somewhere and need to be revisited?

We have been trained from the time we were very young to plan out our goals by school year, fiscal year, sports season, New Year’s resolutions, and the list goes on. I am willing to bet each one of us has left a goal behind, simply because we could not see the end result. That is why it is sometimes easier to set smaller and shorter goals, to see a small success rather than wait for the large end result.
Dental offices are conditioned to check into our production goals daily, monthly, yet rarely look at the large picture. The end result. Most of us fall short on setting or bothering to calculate any other goals until the accountant asks for the numbers at the end of fiscal year.

Expecting the dollar amount you want at the end of the year is not going to magically happen just because you set a goal. You need to have tangible goals, a plan of execution, and persistence to connect to that dollar amount. Wanting more new patients, unless you are lucky, will not automatically happen until you strategically plan for them.

How about setting goals for less, not more?  Working fewer hours with more production, doing less treatment that you are not passionate about? All are within reach with specific goals set in place to attain the overall goal.

We are firm believers in SMART Goals. This involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time targeted goals.

S- Specific-target for improvement

M-Measurable-quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress

A-Assignable-who will do it

R-Realistic-what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources

T-Time- when the result(s) can be achieved

It can be overwhelming to look at 12 months of goals. Since you have 6 months left in 2016, we encourage you to take a look at your final goals and break them up into 12 weeks or less. Use the SMART acronym for setting your goals and keep a positive outlook and celebrate what you are achieving on a daily basis. We all have disappointments now and then so have a back up plan and be flexible with yourself.
I challenge you to challenge yourself and your team!

~Much Success!

Susan Ketterer

See Whole People

May 18, 2016

See Whole Peoplethank_you_800_clr_4252

I recently spoke with a dentist who had a “shared” business team member with another dentist in the practice. In other words, they split her compensation and work assignments 50-50. The team member had recently quit the practice, and did not exactly leave on good terms. There were several factors at play in her decision to leave, but the dentist I spoke to pondered what he could have done differently to make the situation better.  He had read my previous blog post, “Four Ways to Praise,” and wondered if he had under-expressed his appreciation of this team member’s work. He said, “She was a ‘half’ employee and I’m afraid I maybe treated her like one.” I appreciated his willingness to take a hard look in the mirror when many people refuse to do so! This situation, although unfortunate, serves as a good reminder that any team member is a whole person, no matter their contribution to your team. There may be a tendency to treat a person as their position, when in fact they bring their whole selves to the job: their personality, values, life experiences, talents, and so on. Remember in the movie The Sixth Sense, where the boy utters the famous line, “I see dead people”? Well, maybe it’s a good idea from time to time to mutter to yourself, “I see whole people”! Doing so will remind you to express gratitude, support, and genuine interest in the people who are investing their entire selves in your practice. Your team will likely show appreciation in return. The goal should always be to create a culture that is both productive and rewarding. I know all of us at Practice Dynamics whole-heartedly wish you continued success!


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