09.01.06 - Issue # 234 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

“You’re Not the Boss of Me”
The Challenges of Staff Management

Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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In my last article I touched on the challenges of gaining respect from your fellow team members if you have been given the title of “Office Manager” or “Business Manager.” While in “the learning curve” of trying to establish yourself as a manager you are put in a vulnerable position unless you are fully supported by the CEO Dentist.  Many Dentists hire someone that they feel will “take charge” where they have failed.  Embracing the position is difficult without the skills and knowledge to see it through.

If the team is established, there may be office politics in place that are unknown to you.  In McKenzie’s Advanced Business Training course, we work on mastering information and training that insures that you are skilled in areas necessary for the success of a great manager.  When encountering a problem with a team member that is under your supervision there are guidelines to consider especially if you are new to the practice. 

Describe the problem.

What is the situation or behavior that is bothering you?  At this moment in time, it is your problem to solve. Is it that the assistant is talking to another co-worker, or is it that the patient was on time and now has to wait?    By removing the emotional charge from the issue you can look at it simply and design a solution.  As a Business Manager, you are in charge of accountability for all systems that run the dental practice.  Problem solving skills can be developed when one has a clear understanding of the operating systems of a dental practice.

After describing the problem, the patient is not being seated on time, vocalize how if affects you and others in the practice.  Remind the assistant that patients are told to be on time. When they are left in the reception room too long, they begin to doubt the importance of customer service and they complain about the wait.

Be specific with a solution.

State clearly what you would like to see happen, firmly and concisely.  For instance, tell the assistant, “please seat the patient as soon as you see the light (or other type of signal).  If you cannot seat the patient, please tell me when you will be ready so that I can explain to the patient about the wait or so I can get someone else to seat the patient.”

Studies show that most patients are willing to wait up to ten minutes without saying anything but at fifteen minutes begin to become agitated and may ask about the wait.  It is far better to anticipate this behavior and acknowledge the patients’ concerns.

Describe the consequences.

Articulate the positive consequences that come with fulfilling your request.  The patient will be happy and probably refer friends and relatives to the practice.  The practice will stay on time and everyone will get to lunch on time.

In delivering any request it is important to be pleasant and to say thank-you.  Staying composed and calm under pressure is mandatory for management of other people.  This behavior instills confidence in other people and teaches the team members that you can “handle” any situation.

As the Business Manager, it will be your responsibility to create office policies if they do not exist or to change policies that don’t work or are outdated.  Knowing what to change and234 when to change is important to the success of any business.  Understanding the numbers and systems that run a dental practice is the core of The Advanced Business Course.  There is an old saying that “Knowledge is Power”. I have many testimonials from my students about the confidence and power they feel after completing the Advanced Business Training course.  One of my recent students went back to her office after attending the course and created job descriptions and set up training sessions on the computer software for her dental team. “I want everyone crossed trained correctly so that there is consistency in how we answer the phone, make appointments and collect fees.  Before attending the course, I did not know where to start to get everyone going in the same direction.  By making a written system for all to follow we now have understanding instead of chaos.”

Does your Business Manager need to be empowered to make the changes necessary to take your practice to a higher level of success?  I challenge you to make a difference and join us for The Advanced Business Management course.  Call today for more information and let’s get started.

For more information on McKenzie's Advanced Training for Front Office, Office Managers or Dentists email training@mckenziemgmt.com, call `-877-777-6151 or visit our web-site at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com/.

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