4.23.10 Issue #424 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Dr. Nancy Haller
Dentist Coach
McKenzie Management
coach@ mckenziemgmt.com
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Peak Performance Coaching

While curious, dentists for the most part are skeptical of working with a coach. For many, coaching means there is “something wrong.” With this misunderstanding about coaching, it’s natural that dentists are reluctant to engage a coach. Some equate coaching with psychological counseling. Rightly so, they don’t want someone probing into their childhood issues, resurrecting painful emotions about the past, and diagnosing what’s wrong with them. 

In contrast, working with a coach in the corporate world means you’re “high potential.” Pending opportunities for promotion are on the horizon. Companies invest significant dollars to develop their employees. Why? The ultimate goal of coaching is to improve business results. Whether it is increasing customer loyalty, retaining valuable employees, or managing the change that is inherent in business today, coaching enables leaders to impact bottom-line benefits - growth in revenues and profits. So too in the dental world. Running a practice is complex. Increasing competition, diverse employees, and demanding patient populations require an extensive skill set if you are going to succeed.

Coaching is really about doing things more effectively, about honing your abilities to the utmost. Take into account that mastering the art of leadership requires learning to do what may not come naturally to you. Additionally the strengths that helped you to be successful can become weaknesses through over-use and over-reliance.

If you grew up playing sports, you had a coach. He or she was there with the team. That person didn’t play in the game but helped you and your teammates improve the way you played. The coach challenged you to do things differently, to be better.

Consider a professional sports team. Perhaps football. Large sums of money are spent recruiting the best players. These athletes are put through technical training. They learn the plays and strategies to win. Now imagine that they play the entire season without a practice session or a coach. No team owner would ever expose his/her investment in that kind of risk. However, it happens all the time in the dental industry. 

The first 100 years of the field of psychology has been focused on anxiety, illness and pathology. However, over the past decade, psychology has shifted. Now there is compelling experimental evidence showing that a simple adjustment in your daily life can increase your quality of living. Coaching is about making those little adjustments to bring out the best in you.

  • Is there a gap between where you are now and where you want to be?
  • Would you like to grow your practice and yourself to the next level?
  • Could you benefit from having a coach to help you with: time management, employee problems, strategic thinking and planning?

McKenzie Management’s Dentist Coaching Program is tailored to those who have an understanding of their strengths and obstacles. Delivered by telephone, the program is purchased in four, one-hour blocks of time. Generally the Doctor and I talk once per month. At the end of each conversation, we establish goals and action steps to be accomplished before the next coaching session. The structure of the session is focused on outcome. This process is more successful when we identify specific commitments and time lines. Everything we discuss is completely confidential. That is the only way coaching works.

The coaching model I use is called “Assessment-Challenge-Support.”
That is…

  • Assessment: What is your challenge? What strengths will assist you, and what areas will you need to develop?  
  • Challenge: What new skills are important to learn to meet this challenge?
  • Support: In what ways can I be helpful as you strive to ‘stretch’ and grow?

While it's certainly true that you don't have to have a coach, consider for a moment what you might do if you did have a coach.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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