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Archive for month: September, 2017

What Are You Doing to WOW Your Staff Members?

What Are You Doing to WOW Your Staff Members?

It can be easy to take them for granted, especially if you’ve been working together for a while. But don’t make that mistake. Sure, there should be a comfort level, but you don’t want that to turn into complacency. Because if you as the practice owner are going through the motions, your team will likely do the same.

Staff members, no matter how long they’ve been with the practice, want to be inspired about what they do. Here are five ways to motivate your team and yourself

1. Be the Example

Your team is looking to you for cues on how to act while at work. If you talk badly about patients or display a negative attitude or regularly come in late, you’re telling your team by your actions they can do the same.

Being the example literally means being the example. Sit down and make a list of the five most important traits you would like to see in your team. Then display those traits every single day. Think of it as a self-improvement checklist. You may even want to rate yourself in each category at the end of the day. It’s a technique I’ve used to help myself improve in targeted areas.

2. Display a Positive Attitude at All Times

Admittedly, that’s not always easy. You could have a ton of stuff going on at home––a child having trouble at school, a parent in the hospital, marital issues, etc., but you’ve got to leave all that behind and put your best face forward.

Every morning find a way to get into a positive frame of mind––even if you have to fake it sometimes. A positive attitude is one of the most powerful ways to reach your own potential and motivate the people around you. People like consistent leaders and they love someone who displays positivity day in day out. They know they can count on it regardless of what’s happening in the rest of their lives.

3. Appreciate the Team for Doing Normal Things

In business and sports, people are often publicly rewarded for exceptional performance… the Most Valuable Player, Most Improved, Highest Scorer, etc.  In real life, leadership is about showing the team gratitude and appreciation for the things they routinely do every day. The more  recognition and compliments you give out, the more motivated people will be.

4. Demonstrate High Energy Every Day

Not everyone is a cheerleader or a rah-rah person. I’m not suggesting you should run around your practice like some over-caffeinated infomercial spokesperson, but I am suggesting that displaying energy is powerful. When you have high energy, it’s contagious. You can walk into most dental practices and feel the energy level––good or bad. People with high energy are more likable, more influential and more productive.

5. Have an Open Door Policy

Approachable leaders are powerful leaders. When team members feel they can talk to the doctor about anything, they are comfortable, looking to improve and often ask questions to enhance performance. When you are accessible to your team on a regular basis, they will appreciate it, admire you and want to perform better.

Conclusion

Even the best teams can underperform at times. Use these five techniques to keep your team focused and inspired!

 


Additional Resources

Read “3 Habits of Happy Dentists.

Check out Dr. Levin’s e-book “What Dentists Can Learn from Top CEOs.” Save 25% with code TOD25.

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Brand It: Don’t Be “Just Another” Practice

Brand It: Don’t Be “Just Another” Practice

Every dental practice is unique and should be able to identify a number of distinctive selling points. The following list can help you get started:

  • Doctor and Staff (schools attended, family, interests, charitable activities, etc.)
  • Location (easy to reach, free parking, near major shopping areas, etc.)
  • Environment (furnishings, refreshments, wi-fi, reading materials, etc.)
  • Technology/Services (the best, the latest, the fastest, etc.)
  • Financial (insurance accepted, financing options, free services)
  • Praise from other patients (testimonials)
  • Educational (home care instructions, advice on dental issues, etc.)
  • Scheduling (special hours, staying on schedule, etc.)

It makes sense to involve the whole team in identifying possible differentiators and then selecting those which are likely to be most appealing.

Getting the Word Out

Once your practice has determined what sets it apart from others, come up with a marketing plan that will effectively communicate your differentiators. The strategies you choose will depend, in part, on your differentiators. For example, to promote your practice’s engagement in the community, attend local health fairs and other events, submit dental health articles to local papers and websites, etc.

Many differentiators relate to customer service. Patients who experience them first-hand can then be encouraged to refer family members, friends, neighbors, fellow workers and others to your practice. This kind of word-of-mouth advertising could prove to be the most effective element in your marketing plan.

 


Additional Resources

Read “Turn Your Facebook Page into a New Patient Generator.

Learn more about Levin Group’s marketing consulting program.

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Dental Practice Myth #4: Excellent Care = Automatic Success

Dental Practice Myth #4: Excellent Care = Automatic Success

If that were only true, but sad to say, it’s not. From dental school onward, dentists are taught that providing excellent dentistry––which is our obligation––will automatically lead to practice success. While this appeared to be true for many years, because most practices were successful, it had little to do with the excellence of the dentistry and more with simple supply and demand. There were fewer dental practices back then, combined with more patients seeking care. Neither one is true any longer.

Today, practice success depends on the ability to compete effectively in a crowded market. You need to implement the best systems, promote your office continuously and effectively, provide incredible customer service, and find new ways to grow your practice.

Moreover, most patients have absolutely no idea about how to measure the quality of clinical care they’re receiving. In fact, patients are judging your practice more by the level of customer service they experience than the actual dental treatment. People will remember the smile and kind words they received from the front desk more so than your skills at filling a cavity.

Don’t get me wrong. Excellent clinical skills still matter greatly, but they also need to be supported by excellent business skills. You can be the top clinician in the world, but it won’t matter if your schedule is half-empty every day.

Solution: Get the business and leadership skills you need to become an excellent CEO for your practice. When you supplement your clinical knowledge with business savvy, it’s a powerful combination!


Additional Resources

For more myths, check out Dr. Levin’s book, 81 Obstacles to Practice Growth. Save 25% with code TOD25.

Learn more about Levin Group’s management consulting program.

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Old Systems & High Stress – A Deadly Combination

Old Systems & High Stress – A Deadly Combination

When I ask dentists why they and their team are feeling stress, they usually attribute it to patients or staff problems. While it’s true that losing a dental assistant, for example, can elevate stress temporarily, our research shows that long-term stress actually comes directly from system inefficiencies.

Systems that no longer work properly frustrate the team members who use them. They make even simple, routine tasks troublesome, forcing everyone in the office to grapple with bottlenecks every day. The most capable and dedicated staff members usually suffer the most because, no matter how hard they strive to excel, poor systems undermine their efforts. Doctors also feel more stress because the practice—their practice—is falling short of its business potential.

All systems, no matter how good they are, have an expiration date. Systems that once facilitated practice growth inevitably become obsolete. When they do, they stop helping and start hurting, pushing practices toward financial decline and leaving potential income on the table every day.

The Obvious Solution

The good news is that replacing inadequate systems can solve both stress and production problems. If you have older systems, the schedule is often the best place to start. It affects nearly every operation in the practice. When the schedule continually breaks down, patients get upset causing team members to get stressed. A new, high-performance schedule can often trigger a practice turnaround, especially if a commitment is made to replace other outdated systems.

In the new dental economy, the practices that thrive will be those that transform themselves into real-world businesses by upgrading their management systems. Conversely, dentists who continue doing “business as usual” will continue to experience lower production and higher stress.


Additional Resources

Download Dr. Levin’s free whitepaper “Increasing Production with the Right Systems.

Read “Top 4 Excuses for Holding onto Bad Systems.

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Advice for the Dentist – Avoid micro-managing.

Advice for the Dentist – Avoid micro-managing. Delegation is a much more efficient and satisfying way to manage. First, train team members to handle all non-clinical tasks. By doing so, you’ll strengthen their performance and commitment to the practice. In addition, delegation enables you to fit more dentistry into your daily schedule, thereby increasing your production potential.

Friday Freebie: Read “4 Leadership Lessons from Star Wars” by clicking here.

Advice for the Surgical Specialist – Avoid micro-managing.

Advice for the Surgical Specialist – Avoid micro-managing. Delegation is a much more efficient and satisfying way to manage. First, train team members to handle all non-clinical tasks. By doing so, you’ll strengthen their performance and commitment to the practice. In addition, delegation enables you to fit more treatment into your daily schedule, thereby increasing your production potential.

Friday Freebie: Read “4 Leadership Lessons from Star Wars” by clicking here.

Advice for the Endodontist – Avoid micro-managing.

Advice for the Endodontist – Avoid micro-managing. Delegation is a much more efficient and satisfying way to manage. First, train team members to handle all non-clinical tasks. By doing so, you’ll strengthen their performance and commitment to the practice. In addition, delegation enables you to fit more treatment into your daily schedule, thereby increasing your production potential.

Friday Freebie: Read “4 Leadership Lessons from Star Wars” by clicking here.

Advice for the Orthodontist – Avoid micro-managing.

Advice for the Orthodontist – Avoid micro-managing. Delegation is a much more efficient and satisfying way to manage. First, train team members to handle all non-clinical tasks. By doing so, you’ll strengthen their performance and commitment to the practice. In addition, delegation enables you to fit more treatment into your daily schedule, thereby increasing your production potential.

Friday Freebie: Read “4 Leadership Lessons from Star Wars” by clicking here.

Advice for the Pediatric Dentist – Avoid micro-managing.

Advice for the Pediatric Dentist – Avoid micro-managing. Delegation is a much more efficient and satisfying way to manage. First, train team members to handle all non-clinical tasks. By doing so, you’ll strengthen their performance and commitment to the practice. In addition, delegation enables you to fit more treatment into your daily schedule, thereby increasing your production potential.

Friday Freebie: Read “4 Leadership Lessons from Star Wars” by clicking here.

If you detect a mistake a fellow team member has made, talk to that person about it first.

If you detect a mistake a fellow team member has made, talk to that person about it first. We all make mistakes. If you spot one, go straight to the source. Often it can be corrected before any damage has been done. Just as important, you’ll be showing that person you’re interested in getting things right. You’ll be improving team performance and the spirit of cooperation… and encouraging similar treatment when you make a mistake.

Additional Resource: Watch Dr. Levin’s video “Working Without Drama” by clicking here.

Go and get grab your copy now!