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The 4 C’s of Team Building~

September 26, 2018

Key tips to keeping a productive, engaged dental team

The difference between success and failure is an engaged team.

No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as a dental entrepreneur depends on your ability to build and inspire a team. A successful leader is one who can inspire his or her team to work better together toward a common vision and goals.

All dental practices face the time crunch and as the practice owner, main producer, and emotional leader the practice of team building can get left out of the equation.  Adding team building back into the equation can increase a practice’s productivity, uplift morale and ultimately lower stress.

Here are a few key areas to concentrate on to bring team building back into focus.

#1 Clear Expectations

Every team member needs to understand what their role is, where they are going and how they will get there.  Take the time to educate your team on your vision for the practice and where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and even 5 years from now.  Lay down the plan of how you envision the practice reaching those goals.  Define each individuals role in that plan and what is expected.  And finally clearly define how progress will be monitored and who will be accountable for each piece of the success plan.

#2 Communicate

Constant communication is key in any relationship and your dental team is no different.  Remain vigilant of your over vision and hold regular meetings to stay focused on your goals.  Don’t let time or the lack of getting in your way of regular meetings as a team.

Hold daily morning huddles with a focus on making sure the day stays as stress-free and productive as possible.   Once a month set aside a few hours to hold a team building meeting that lets the group participate and engage in both fun and productive session.  Adding activities to these meeting can help bring out new ideas, excitement and a renewed sense of community.  Don’t be afraid to have a little fun once in a while.

#3 Continued Educational Growth

Invest in training on an annual basis and give your team opportunities to learn and grow.  Solid systems and good technology tools to run those systems make for a productive stress-free day.  Look for learning opportunities in your dental community that meet the objectives of your vision for the practice.  Online learning can be an effective way to give the team the opportunity to learn a new skill or increase their software knowledge.

Good systems in a dental practice can predict a steady outcome but do the team members that execute those systems have a backup?  Are the systems documented in a clear format? Take opportunities at meetings to have team members teach each other so that each system has a solid backup in place.

#4 Consistent Leadership

Every team needs a good leader/coach.  You set the tone for the practice and it will your consistent message and actions that guide the team to success.  If you believe that team building is important to the success of your practice then your team will too.  Keep them engaged, keep them focused and keep excited to be a part of the practice’s success.

Practice Dynamics understands the essential role that teams play in the overall success of dental practices.  We have built our coaching around achieving balance driven success through systems, teams, and technology.  We encourage you to infuse new excitement into your practices through a solid focus on teams.

 

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” 

–Peter Drucker

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

art-of-listening

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!

Jayne

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