1.05.06 - Issue # 252 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Front Office Administrators or Dental Business

I make it my business to read as much as I can about business and marketing trends that are standardizing the dental business environment.  There are many excellent clinicians and consultants teaching and writing in this arena.  The right or wrong ways of doing dental business are not written in stone and as long as the results are positive for the practice and are legally and ethically strong, this can be subjective.

Recently, I read an article published in a recognizable dental publication written by a respected clinician/consultant.  The expert addressed a “new” leadership paradigm for dentistry. I am not sure how “new” he intends his information to be.  After reading his article I was validated in my own teachings and that of McKenzie Management.  His “new leadership paradigm” has been the thrust of the Advanced Business Training of McKenzie Management for many years.  We have been promoting and seeing the positive results of this type of leadership in the practices that we have helped over the many years we have been in business.  In summary, we promote:

  • Establishing a practice vision and philosophy
  • Defining the performance you expect for yourself as CEO and the people who will be on your dental team
  • Creating job descriptions devoid of ambiguity, which state the responsibilities to the team, and hiring the people who can deliver
  • Creating positions that have definitive and measurable areas of accountability for each team member
  • Rewards based upon performance of job and contributions of ideas to improve the practice
  • Creating an environment of “ownership” for team members
  • Create a system of training and support for team members fully valued by the dentist CEO

The goal here is to inspire leadership and ownership in our dental teams.

 In his article, Dr. Goodright (not his real name) likens the old style of dental management to a “herd of buffalo”, where the office is at a standstill until the dentist CEO shows up and tells everyone what to do.  Leadership was not promoted but was killed in favor of “micro-management” by the dentist or whoever was “in charge” to see that everyone was controlled into submission.  As stated in his article, the dentists who have followed this type of management are tired of “always having to keep everything together” and may be waning instead of being at their peak of production, profitability, and pleasure.  Dr. Goodright’s article encourages dentists to break out of the buffalo herd and create instead, a “flock of geese”. The metaphorical flock of geese fly in a “V” formation and each member of the flock takes turns being the leader.  This type of management fosters leadership because each member gets to be a leader. The micro-manager needs to transition out of controlling every aspect of the practice in order for this type of leadership to flourish.  This can be very difficult for some. Hiring correctly, training and establishing job descriptions with definitive areas of accountability creates the environment to develop leaders instead of passive employees who are micro-managed into doubting every move they make.

I followed the plight of a Dental Office Administrator who worked for a micro-manager dentist for about a year.  She kept calling me for encouragement to stay on the job.  “He questions everything I do and nothing I do seems to be right.  I am feeling worthless and afraid to make a decision.”    She left dentistry for another profession. 

Employee turnover is infamous in dentistry, and is not getting any better with more and more people leaving dentistry for good.  The process of hiring and training people is time consuming and costs hundreds to sometimes thousands of dollars.  Every industry must do this to ensure the success of their business because you are only as good as the people who represent you.

It’s the dentist’s choice to hire a dental office administrator or to do the job him or herself.  In either event, advanced training is in order for the team member, the dentist, or both.  Micro-management is born out of fear, distrust and lack of knowledge.  The Advanced Business Training for Dentists and Dental Administrators is the answer.  I would not call myself a buffalo or a goose but a “wise owl” because I have the knowledge of what it takes to make a practice successful.  My goal is to improve the success story of every dentist and dental office administrator who takes the Advanced Business Course.

For more information on McKenzie's Advanced Training for Front Office and Office Managers, email training@mckenziemgmt.com, call `1-877-777-6151 or visit our web-site at http://www.mckenziemgmt.com/

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