• Laura Johnston

The 6 Critical Practices for Leading Your Dental Team

For as long as I can remember, I have been a lover of all things Franklin Covey. From the first time I picked up The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I have been a disciple of Dr. Covey's teachings and trying to ingrain in my mindset, his principles. Today, I bring you a recent article from the Franklin Covey solutions. I wanted to share it with you and how it can make a difference in your dental practice.

First-level leaders make a significant impact on every metric in your business: employee productivity and engagement, customer satisfaction and loyalty, innovation, and financial performance. Your first-level leaders are the “Difference-Makers” in your business.

Even in small dental practices, it is essential to encourage leadership and understand how professional development in your team members impacts your bottom line in every aspect of your practice. Investing in your best drives a committed culture and is an important step in creating a happy dental team!

The role of the first-level leader has always been tough and today’s realities make the role even tougher. People skills typically account for 80 percent of success in this role. Yet many people are promoted because of their technical capabilities.

Frances Hesselbein said "In the end it is the quality and character, a leader's understanding of how to be, not how to do, that determines the performance, the results. As you promote your people from within for being superstars with their technical capabilities, guide them to important components of being a true leader.

01 DEVELOP A LEADER’S MINDSET Explore the critical mindset shifts that will maximize your success as a leader of others.

Building Champions stated "Few words have more varied definitions than “leadership,” and when you add the term “mindset” to the equation, you create something many people vaguely understand and agree in theory is important but would struggle to articulate or make happen.

Psychology Today describes mindset as “the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations you hold that act as the foundation of who you are, how you lead, and the ways in which you interact with your team.”

Mindset is so critical because it drives every opinion you have, every decision you make, and every action you take. It influences the culture around you and sets the tone for your team. It determines whether you first seek to understand or rush to judgment. It shapes your decisions around how you focus your organization’s efforts on creating, marketing, and delivering your products and services, as well as the expectations you create for your team.

02 HOLD REGULAR 1-ON-1s Increase engagement of team members by conducting regular 1-on-1s, deepen your understanding of team member issues, and help them solve problems for themselves.

Having a morning huddle and staff meetings is great. Especially if you are consistent and productive with that time. Nothing compares to regular 1-on-1s to get to a deeper level of trust and commitment from your team and the results are a positive impact on everyone.

03 SET UP YOUR TEAM TO GET RESULTS Create clarity about team goals and results; delegate responsibility to team members while providing the right level of support.

Accountability is not a dirty word. If you have trusting and committed team, they welcome the accountability because they are looking forward to the results that come from the team collaboration and accolades. Get clear on what metrics you are measuring so you can be clear when you reach your goals. Never forget to celebrate the good stuff!

04 Create a Culture of Feedback Give feedback to develop team member confidence and competence; improve your own performance by seeking feedback from others.

I cannot speak to this enough. Vulnerable leadership allows for feedback in both directions. Be clear that feedback is aimed at improving performance, reinforcing good behavior and improving employees' morale and dedication to doing their jobs. This must be done in a trusted environment where team members feel safe to speak up and safe to receive it knowing that it comes from a thoughtful and purposeful place.

05 LEAD YOUR TEAM THROUGH CHANGE Identify specific actions to help team members navigate and accelerate through change and achieve better performance.

What does that mean in your dental practice? Change is all about adapting whether it is welcomed change or unplanned. 2020 made it clear how dramatic unplanned change can be, however your leadership and the positive energy you bring to your organization are the key to successful growth, innovation & change. Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change.

06 MANAGE YOUR TIME AND ENERGY Use weekly planning to focus on the most important priorities, and strengthen your ability to be an effective leader by applying the 5 Energy Drivers. What are the 5 Energy Drivers? Coincidentally there are 5 drivers to generating energy: moving, eating, sleeping, relaxing and connecting. When you make regular investments into those 5 drivers, you create a pattern of life that fuels your fire and keeps you from burning out.

Today’s exhausting, high-pressure work environment burns people out at an alarming rate. Consistently renew your sources of energy so that you can accomplish and enjoy the great things in your life.

Leadership is like beauty: it's hard to define, but you know it when you see it.” -Warren Bennis ·

To develop as a leader or to develop the emerging leaders in your practice, contact to be a part of our community and including coaching and courses

(adapted from the FranklinCovey article The 6 Critical Practices for Leading Team)


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