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08.19.05 Issue #180
Getting Things Done…in a Positive Way

Dr. Nancy Haller
Executive Coach
McKenzie Management

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Once upon a time the Wind and the Sun had a conversation.

The Wind challenged the Sun to a competition. The bet was made, each believing he could succeed in getting behavioral change from the man on the street.

The Wind said, “I can easily blow away the coat from the man below.”

So the Wind blew up a storm. But the stronger the Wind, the more the man clutched his coat, holding it tight around him.

Then it was the Sun's turn. With a smile the Sun beamed its warming rays down until the man took off his coat voluntarily.

We can all learn an important lesson from this little story. Using good human relations solves many problems, at work and at home. It's no secret that people need to feel in control and secure to be most productive. Unfortunately in our frantic pace to get things done, we're often too busy ‘telling' instead of ‘selling'.

Dental leaders who succeed know how to motivate their employees. They focus on the bottom line AND on employee morale. Morale and productivity are related. Morale is a tangible factor that affects and contributes to quality work and efficiency. Whatever motivates you may not motivate someone else. If you expect others to be like you, you'll be trapped into disapproving of them and being angry that they aren't doing what you want them to do. Resentment builds, creating tension and conflict.

The key to increased productivity and personal satisfaction lies in discovering what motivates the individuals in your office . Many dentists think that bonuses or salary increases are the key. Not true. The use of money to motivate people misses the point. Motivation is not really something one person can give to another. Motivation has to come from within the individual.

Remember, you can only guess what motivates your employees, your employees know . If you get into the habit of asking your staff what they want, the climate of the office will improve. Even better, productivity will be on the rise.

Here are five ways to raise motivation and contribute to enthusiastic faces on Monday mornings, not just on Friday afternoons.

  1. Be courageous. If you want to know the state of morale in your office and how to motivate your staff, the best way to achieve those goals is to ask them. You can do this informally in staff meetings. However, if you want candid, truthful feedback, consider the use of an anonymous or confidential process. There also are published questionnaires available.
  2. Clarity of direction is essential. The more people know what actions will result from their efforts, the more they will be energized. One of the most important responsibilities of being a leader is to be aware of what everybody is working on, and communicate how each individual's contribution relates to the whole.
  3. Build trust with your staff by allowing them to express feelings openly. Provide appropriate feedback by reinforcing positive performance. Establish a climate of respect by listening attentively, making eye contact and demonstrating sincere concern.
  4. Commit to a mission or vision statement. A winning world-class soccer or professional baseball team possesses morale. Everyone knows his goal, role, and the rewards. And each person strives to attain the mission. For morale to be high and for your practice to function at optimal levels that same commitment to a vision must be in place.
  5. Lead by example. You teach your staff not by what you say but by what you do. Be enthusiastic and serve as a role model.

Andrew Carnegie once said, ‘You cannot push someone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb”. But you CAN motivate anybody if you appeal to their interests and what's important to them . This requires listening, observing, and asking questions. Then set your actions from their point of view.

Team retreats are an excellent way to build morale AND revenue in your practice. Contact Dr. Haller at to learn how to personalize our team programs to your office.

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
Sept. 9-11 San Francisco, CA California Dental Association 916-443-0505 Successes Sally McKenzie
Sept. 22 El Paso, TX El Paso Dental Society 877-777-6151 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Oct. 14 Riverside, CA Riverside Implant Study Group 951-279-7847 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Nov. 18-19 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie

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