Does this sound familiar?
Your 11:00 patient has arrived on time. Unfortunately, your 9:00 patient is still in the chair, you’re running behind and you still have two hygiene patients to check.
Everyone from the patient in the chair to the team to the patient in the reception area are impacted. Stressful, for sure. You vow to tease this apart at your next team meeting and figure out what went wrong. You run to the team lounge and make a note on the agenda list, What’s wrong with the schedule that we’re running behind – figure it out!
Two days later as the team gathers for the weekly one-hour team meeting, you pull the agenda list from the lounge. As the meeting begins, you ask, “What’s wrong with the schedule that we’re running behind?” Your question is met with the deafening sounds of silence. “Anyone have any ideas here? What do you think the problem is?” You realize you’re looking at the tops of everyone’s heads. They do not want to make eye contact and be put on the spot to weigh in and risk getting thrown under the bus. How can you create solutions when the team won’t weigh in and help you create solutions?
PIVOT Point: Strategy
My Dad always said, “If you don’t like the answers you’re getting, ask better questions.” Time to hit the reset button and change your strategy. I recommend two new strategies to create a breakthrough for you and your team. [Page 24 in PIVOT]
#1 Set your team up for success [The CAUSE strategy]
C Create an agenda that supports your team to grow beyond their circumstances
A Avoid the blame game. Search for innovative solutions rather than excuses
U Understand the real issue at hand. Are you dealing with facts or opinions?
S Set your team up for success by starting the meeting on a positive note with great energy
E Engage with your team to do the pre-work for the meeting so everyone comes to the meeting ready to contribute solutions. Have their backs.
#2 The FIRST 20% Solution
The most common approach to problem-solving is to focus on the result and work right there where the problem became apparent, the train derailed and the system failed. The trouble with that approach is that the problem actually occurred long before the train derailed. It’s in re-evaluating the actions in the first 20% of the process, before the train ever left the tracks, that you’ll find the opportunities for positive changes that will create a better result.
Funny coincidence, Bradley Cooper learns the value of the First 20% solution in the movie Burnt. I’d love to hear from you if you, too recognize the First 20% lesson in the movie. I’ll leave you with this, “The difference between school and life: School teaches you lessons and then gives you a test. Life gives you a test and you learn the lessons.”
ADA Newsletter Hegarty Fall 2014
“We make money the old fashioned way… we earn it!” Oscar Winner, John Houseman’s bounding voice created this memorable catchphrase for an EF Hutton Investment Firm commercial over 30 years ago.The message struck a chord then… and still does. While we can absolutely shorten the learning curve to success, there are no shortcuts to the basic principles of success…not even in the digital world we now live in.
A study of the online reviews of multiple dental practices in a major metropolitan area revealed that for all the changes we’ve seen in how a business presents itself to the world, the bottom line of what makes a lasting positive impression remains the same. Read the full text of my article Score a Great Online Review and Earn Patient Loyalty (more…)
Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur was talking long & reflectively about young quarterbacks & learning curves… Not their learning curves… His. “your quarterback needs to know that you believe in him. That no matter what is happening out there, you’re going to Help Make It Right.”
Your team is counting on you to believe in them. In my experience most dental team members will live up to your expectations. While most doctors would prefer to focus on patient care and avoid the team drama, you’ll find that you & your team will be happier and more effective if you take the lead. Instead of blaming, judging, or resigning yourself to the status quo… start helping. Don’t think you have the time? You’re already spending time putting out fires that never should have gotten started. This approach will actually save you time as well as stomach lining. It’s easier than you think: How to Manage People Well Without Becoming A Therapist
The team is counting on your leadership. Here’s to a new season full of hope for you & your team. #flyeaglesfly
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140908_Foles__play_of_the_day__Not_folding.html#l2yPfmlm5dMzZg12.99
“Do you take my insurance?” To provide the best service to your patients, your team must understand that this is NOT a Yes or No question.
Our patients, neighbors and business associates deserve an understanding of health care from the health care providers’ perspective to balance out the message they may be hearing from their insurance providers so they can truly make informed decisions. Freedom of choice is a time-honored value in this country and remains a viable choice in spite of reports to the contrary.”
Click to read my full article in the Summer Edition of the American Dental Association newsletter, Dental Practice Success http://bit.ly/HegartyADASummer2014DPS
Is Fee-For-Service Dentistry Becoming Extinct?
Depends… I think it needs to be a personal and conscious decision for every practice owner.
There are some folks who are doing their Chicken Little best to convince everyone that the sky is falling, however, I believe there will always be multiple business models that can and will support successful practice. Not all patients have the same needs, wants and values toward dentistry. Multiple practice models can and should exist to best serve all patients.
Continue reading for my full post as I join fellow Academy of Dental Management Consultants’ thought-leaders in sharing my opinion on page 4 in the link below http://bit.ly/1ARe14q of this post from PracticeManagement.DentalProductsReport.com/
The keys to success are clarity and focus: identify your chosen model, make certain that your team understands your philosophy and your passion and has the communication skills to create and sustain success in your chosen model of practice.
Private, fee-for-service dentistry requires a relentless dedication to delivering a superior experience for your patients and your team. Those who maintain a business as usual approach to fee-for-service dentistry will find themselves competing with corporate and PPO practices, and struggling. Private, Fee-for-service practices can’t compete on price. It’s that simple.
You can’t be everyone’s dentist. It’s your call. Differentiate, Communicate and Thrive.
Ethical Sales and Communication with our patients is one of the core values of the best dental practices I work with. Clear communication remains the most challenge aspect of both personal and business relationship growth. Dental Practice Report published our article The Importance of Creating and Building Relationships with the Dental Patient. Dr. Erin Elliott and I discuss the relationship rules that apply to our personal and professional communication:
- People choose other people they like and trust
- The best way to know what someone wants is to ask
- Don’t make assumptions or you may believe them to be true
- If you don’t like the answers you’re getting, ask better questions
- There’s never a second chance to make a great first impression
- If someone does not weigh in on a decision, they cannot truly buy into it
Here’s the link: Read my full article on the importance of creating & building a relationship with the dental patient published on Dental Products Report