1.1.10 Issue #408 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Top 10 for 2010
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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The best thing about January is that with it comes the beginning of a whole New Year, which offers a host of new opportunities. It presents the chance to create a new mindset, and the occasion to renew your commitment to making the most of your career, your relationships, your strengths, your team, and your practice. There is no better time to ask yourself, what are you going to do to make 2010 a perfect 10? I have a few suggestions in this Top 10 countdown to making this your most successful year in dentistry yet.

#10 - If You Can See It, You Can Create It
It’s called creating your vision and goals. In terms of the growth and success of your practice, as well as your own professional satisfaction, where do you want to be one year from now? Share this with your entire staff and involve them directly in spelling out the plan to ensure that everyone is aiming for the same target, namely total practice success. Over the coming weeks and months, you and your team work through various aspects, including:

  • Improving communication skills and establishing dialogue
  • Providing a non-threatening forum for the team to evaluate strengths and weaknesses
  • Clearly defining jobs and responsibilities of the members
  • Assessing individual roles in the group and understanding how each contributes to the overall practice objectives
  • Developing specific team processes such as decision-making and conflict management
  • Improving problem-solving strategies
  • Creating a culture of accountability

Schedule a two-hour team meeting for January and every month thereafter to identify the vision, the goals, and the strategy for advancing practice success in the coming year. 

#9 - Set Priorities
 Take the broad goals and objectives and translate them into specific priorities that are individualized for each person. For example, define the priorities of the business team. Spell out how each person’s responsibilities and objectives help to achieve those priorities and how they fit into the larger practice goals.

#8 - Open The Lines Of Communication Wide
Feedback, celebrating progress, group problem solving and troubleshooting all involve ongoing constructive communication. But it is more than keeping everyone informed. A culture of accountability is built on a culture of open communication in which the cornerstone is a culture of respect and trust. Encourage staff to offer ongoing constructive suggestions, input, and insights aimed at moving the practice forward.

# 7 - Set The Example For Your Team
Pay close attention to your own actions, behaviors, and decisions daily to ensure they are consistent with practice values and priority. Do not expect your team to follow you if you are not willing to live by the same principles and uphold the same standards that you require of others.

#6 - Cut The Deadwood And Enjoy Smooth Sailing
Deal with the problem performers on your team. These are the people that you and your star performers have been carrying for far too long and at far too great an expense. There are few things more demoralizing to top-flight employees than a boss who looks the other way when one or more members of the team consistently disregard office policies, bring poor attitudes to work, generate conflict, make excuse after excuse for why they were late, why they were sick, why they simply cannot get their jobs done. Yet the deadwood workers that everyone is stepping over and forced to just “deal with” get the same pay raises, same vacation time, and the same perks as top performers on your team.

Understandably, your capable staff will only tolerate this for so long. As Vince Lombardi once said, "There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals."  You want a team of people eager to help you and your practice reach the pinnacle this year, not derail your efforts.

Next week, the top five goals for 2010 by the numbers.

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com. Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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