Your Relationship To Practice

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I’d like to discuss your relationship with practice, and when I say that, I don’t mean your private practice. I mean practice. It’s not something most professionals really focus on, but I feel it’s incredibly important.

We spent the last few months teaching my daughter how to catch a baseball. She got her first ball glove – it’s an adorable, tiny thing. At first, she was trying to catch with two hands, and really struggling, but eventually she learned how it has to be done.

That’s what I’m talking about, the intentional practice of a process in order to develop skills and eventual mastery over it. It’s what you need to do in order to become a successful leader in your private practice, and in your personal life.

Anytime you’re trying to learn something, there’s a curve. There’s an intentional process about it. Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory states that you need to do something for 10,000 hours to become an expert. That’s roughly five years or so. It’s true, and you’ll see that if you look back at your first couple of days in your private practice. You also need to apply that to anything in your life that you’re struggling to master. It’s an invaluable concept to get your head around right now.

There are many things that we struggle with in our practice – getting results, ensuring accountability from team members, etc. Mastering anything takes intentional study and practice. So, if you’re struggling to achieve results, you need to practice, and that includes aspects of leadership like having awkward conversations with team members.

There are so many examples that I […]

September 22nd, 2017|

What Do You Bring Into Your Practice

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Today, I’d like to talk about what you, personally, bring to the office. What is it that you deliver every single day?

Try this exercise – ask your team to write down everything they thought about from the time they woke up until they got to the office. Have them write it all down in chronological order. How many do you predict will have thought about patient outcomes, or patient satisfaction or patients at all? Most won’t have.

You’ll see thoughts about how they’re running late, or how they burnt their toast. You might find that some people are fighting with their spouses. What you won’t find is any thought about serving patients.

Here’s the problem. No one is coming to the office with an attitude of serving others. Chances are good that you don’t either, but you should. In fact, that should be the thing that you deliver eve

There are several things you’ll need to master to do this. One of those is just being conscious of your energy levels. As they drop, you need to build them back up, because an attitude of service requires high energy levels and a positive outlook. You also need take stock of where you are at all times in terms of energy and what you’re showing on your face.

One thing that I’ve found that works well is this: Let’s say I’m about to step into an appointment, and I’m struggling with things that have gone on in the office today. Maybe someone called in sick, or perhaps we’re super busy and I’m behind. I’m tense and not particularly happy. I realize this is […]

September 15th, 2017|

The Myth Of Dental Practice Location

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Today, I want to talk about a myth that too many of us fall for. That is, the myth of dental practice location. You hear it all the time – we’re taught the same mantra as real estate professionals. “Location, location, location”. Let me tell you right now, before we go any further, that’s B.S.

It doesn’t matter where your office is located.

There’s this perception out there that your office needs to be located on a busy street corner in order for you to see success, but that’s not true. You might think you need to be right down town, or right in the heart of a major shopping area. Those are both lies.

Again, it doesn’t matter where your office is located. You can find success whether you’re located on the horror-movie-inspired 13th floor of a building, if your practice is in the middle of a nondescript office building, or if you’re in the middle of 20 other dentists. You can build success through marketing. It has nothing to do with location, whatsoever.

Ok, so why doesn’t location matter? Here’s the thing – your marketing message and materials will sway more people than your location ever will. You could be located in an ultra-modern office right in the middle of the most heavily trafficked shopping area in a 50-mile radius, but your marketing is still going to be a bigger draw for potential new patients.

Location’s great for some things, but it doesn’t apply in the dental industry. Who just happens to be walking by a building and thinks to themselves, “Oh, this is great! I think I’ll pop in and […]

September 8th, 2017|

Your Success Environment

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I’d like to discuss your success environment today – what that environment is, and why exactly it’s important. So, what is your success environment? It’s the place where you work for maximum productivity.

Think about your dental office. It’s designed and laid out for maximum efficiency and productivity, right? It’s set up so that you can work quickly, and provide necessary patient care in a logical, smooth, efficient manner. So, what about those days when you’re working on building a better business, rather than directly serving patient needs? What’s your success environment then?

To really dig into that, let’s discuss the importance of having a success environment. It insures and facilitates. Second, it eliminates distractions. Make sure your success environment doesn’t contain anything that would pull your attention away from what you’re doing. Schedule your time appropriately, put your laptop and wireless devices in airplane mode, and avoid the Internet completely, even just to check email. You also need to plan – schedule what you’re going to do that day the night before so that you can roll right into it without a lot of delay.

Know going into the day what you need to accomplish to make it feel successful. Set at least three goals that you need to meet. Plan those out ahead of time. What will it take to reach those goals? Know that going into the situation.

I struggle to stay focused sometimes. I’ve found that the right type of music helps a great deal. Another thing that helps me is an app called a presentation clock. You can download that for both iOS and Android, and it […]

September 1st, 2017|

Accountability and Leadership

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I get the same question from practice owners in many different countries. Everyone seems to wonder how you get your team to do what they’re supposed to do. How do you get them to do more? It really all comes down to leadership. If your practice is suffering from a lack of forward momentum, I believe it’s a leadership problem, not a people problem.

Leadership comes down to four key elements – clarity, having the right people in the right roles, realistic time frames, and emotion.

You first need a clear vision of where you want your practice to go. You can’t get your team moving in one direction if there’s no clarity. Where are they going? Without a vision, they don’t know, and chances are good that you don’t, either.

You need to make sure that you’ve filled all of the positions in your practice with the right people. This means more than just not hiring warm bodies. It means finding roles that fit the interests, talents and passions of your team members. Someone on your marketing team might actually be better with hygiene, and someone in hygiene might be better in accounting. Find the right fit for each team member and you’ll go farther, faster.

Realistic time frames are also important to master. Training takes time. Retraining also takes time. Know how long it will take to ensure that each person has a firm grasp of their responsibilities, and don’t push them to run at your own speed. You’re a high-performance person. You want everything done now, and don’t see why it can’t be. Not everyone is like that, so […]

August 25th, 2017|