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11.25.05 Issue #194  
A Retreat - Not to Run Away, but to Regroup, Reorganize, Reflect, and Relax

Belle M. DuCharme
RDA, CDPMA. Director
The Center for
Dental Career Development

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2005 is coming to an end and where did the time go?  In the busy world of the dental practice, it is defined as time spent serving the needs of our patients.  As a New Year rapidly approaches the time worn “New Year Resolutions” becomes part of daily vernacular.  If you have ever considered an annual retreat for your staff, now is the time to plan one.  It is the opportunity to update your goals for the next year, reflect on the positives for the past year and analyze the negatives to prevent recurrence. 

A successful RETREAT takes planning.  The site of the retreat should be secluded enough for privacy with little distraction yet close enough to conveniences and resources.  A meeting room with a large circular shaped or long square table to allow team members to face each other.  Have a written agenda prepared ahead of time that spells out break times, meal times and personal times.  The Retreat agenda will also list the day’s activities and time allowed to accomplish each activity keeping in mind to cover the entire agenda by the end of the RETREAT.   Prior to leaving for the Retreat post an ideas for discussion at annual retreat form in the team lounge area so that team members will have an opportunity to address individual ideas when given their allotted time to speak.  By posting their intended discussion issue they will commit to being prepared to speak positively and have a goal in mind as to how to achieve the success of the issue.

I was speaking to a colleague recently who said to me, “Belle, the team retreat was the best idea I have had this year.  We came away understanding each other’s roles in the practice and how our personalities affect practice success. We have a new energy that I can’t define.  I think the RETREAT put us all on the same page.  We put our heads together and came up with new systems to manage emergency patients, which typically just ruined our day.  Complaining had become the rule of our day, but working with a team coach resolved many of our frustrations.”

To help you focus and accomplish your RETREAT goals, prepare and bring the following items:

  • Office Policy Manual
  • Job Descriptions
  • Areas of Accountability for each Job Description
  • Clinical Procedure Manual
  • Business Procedure Manual
  • Master Planning Calendar for new year-to schedule off vacations, CE days etc
  • Copy of Mission Statement and Team Philosophy for update
  • Ideas for Discussion Sheet
  • Meeting Rules
  • Office Financial Statement
  • Production/Collection Goals
  • Hygiene Department Goals
  • Fees
  • Office Budget
  • Information on new products and or services that may enhance practice
  • Information on new marketing or advertising strategies
  • Stop watch or Timer
  • Laptop with overhead projector-if presenting any Visuals or
  • Flipcharts and markers
  • Calculators
  • Pens and Paper for each Team Member
  • Positive Attitudes

The Team Retreat ultimately provides you and your team the “how to’s” of developing your practice vision and a plan to make it happen.  The retreat should strengthen the teamwork of the practice and shift the atmosphere to a more productive environment providing benefits such as, improved morale, greater efficiency, less miscommunication, less duplication of tasks and reduction in employee turnover.

Okay, you are saying, I would love to do this but I don’t have the time to put all of this together and I don’t have the confidence or the leadership skills to pull it off successfully.  That’s where McKenzie Management and The Center For Dental Career Development come in.  We can make all of the plans for your Retreat here in beautiful La Jolla, California and provide the best meeting room and adjoining facilities to ensure the success of your meeting. Our professional team has many years experience with team motivation and team communication to create the synergism to take your practice to a new level of success.

It’s a New Year coming and a time for renewal.  Let us help you get there.

For more information email

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Jan. 26-28 Dallas, TX Dallas County Dental Society* 877-777-6151 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Feb. 9-10 Santa Barbara, CA The Art of Endodontics 800-528-1590 Max. Prod. Sally McKenzie
Mar. 9 Vancouver, BC Pacific Dental Conference 604-736-3781 Overhead Sally McKenzie
* The McKenzie Company will be exhibiting at this location

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La Jolla, CA 92037

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