11.1.13 Issue #608 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter
 


Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Take Your Team to the World Series
By Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

The two best teams in baseball are in the World Series – the Boston Red Sox of the American League and the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League. They shared the best record in the regular season - 97 wins and 65 losses – to get to the Fall Classic. Here are some lessons that you can take from these winning teams to hit a home run in your practice.

Know Your Purpose
The Red Sox and the Cardinals have a mission - to win baseball games. What’s your mission? You might dismiss this question, believing it to be trite. Or you may think that it’s a colossal waste of time and energy to go beyond, “I’m a dentist”. Nothing is farther from the truth. Your mission statement is the heart of your business planning because it articulates your purpose.

By defining the core elements of your practice in words, you align your staff. Employees gain clarity. This enables them to make accurate decisions because actions can be compared against the mission statement to assure they are furthering practice interests, or hindering them. Do employees know the purpose of your practice? Ask each one individually. If you have communicated your vision clearly, their answers should be very consistent. If not, schedule time for your team to write a mission statement collectively.

Pick the Best People
Sizable sums of time and money are spent assessing professional baseball players. Many teams use psychologists and personality testing to make the most informed decisions. McKenzie’s Employee Assessment Test enables you to identify peak performers so you can hire wisely. Our test is the only one that has been specifically normed for the dental industry.

Be an Effective Communicator
Effective communication is essential for winning performance. This starts before game day. Coaches formulate plays for different scenarios. They also meet with players frequently for alignment with those plans. Then they give feedback so players can make adjustments. Being an effective communicator requires good listening and observing skills. The information you gather from listening and observing helps you to understand your employees and what they need from you to execute well. Morning ‘huddles’ are important and so are monthly staff meetings. It is also wise to hold individual performance reviews with each team member. These should happen quarterly, or more often if employees are learning new ‘plays’.

Clarify Job Responsibilities
Being in the World Series is the goal of every baseball team. It doesn’t happen by accident. It requires teamwork, every player doing his job with precision, craftsmanship and attention to detail. If your staff is performing well, follow-up with feedback. Let them know they are ‘on track’. Be sure to illuminate what’s working…the good ‘plays’. Show each team member the value of their contributions to practice successes.

Just like a winning coach, let your employees know when they miss a ‘play’. Fairly and respectfully, identify the gaps between expected and actual performance. Involve them in finding solutions. Establish clear behavioral standards, goals and objectives. Help them to improve in areas that need attention. By teaching and training your employees, you enable them to align with your expectations. When each person understands and executes his/her role, it leads to a winning team.

Develop Team Synergy
Synergy is a phenomenon that occurs when a group achieves greater results together than they could accomplish individually. Team chemistry also comes from consistent training and time spent together. It doesn’t mean that everyone is each other’s best friend. But competition between team members is healthy, not destructive. The competition pushes each to do better.

In addition to staff meetings, schedule time for your team to be together outside the office. Conduct a team retreat that encompasses training with fun activities that unify employees. It will keep your team fresh and motivated to perform.

Be Determined and Tough-Minded
Mental toughness is a prerequisite to World Series success. Intercept doom-and-gloom thinking when you’ve had a hard day. Challenge negative beliefs and pessimistic forecasting. To build a winning team you need to be resilient and inspire your employees, even in times of chaos and uncertainty. Help them stay focused on the right things to get their work done effectively.

The Red Sox and Cardinals have always based their success on teamwork and chemistry, on a ‘whole-bigger-than-the-sum-of-the-parts’ principle. Both teams are constructed as teams should be - from complementary parts that together outperform. Even more striking (pun intended) is that they're not just playing for the money or the glory. They're playing for each other, for their fans and for their cities. What would you do to have a team like that? 

Dr. Nancy Haller is available to coach you and your staff to higher levels of performance. She can be reached at nhaller@mckenziemgmt.com.

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

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

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