4.22.16 Issue #737 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Stop Making Excuses and Grow Your Practice
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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There’s no doubt you’re a talented, hardworking dentist. You love what you do and most days you couldn’t imagine doing anything else. You’ve also surrounded yourself with a solid team, though there are times when you wish they were a little stronger. OK, a lot stronger. Especially when chaos takes over your practice – a scenario that happens more often than you care to admit.

While it’s easy to blame your team when things go wrong, the truth is, you’re likely the one causing the problem. It’s human nature to blame others when challenges keep us from meeting our goals, and dentists are no exception. That’s why many dentists reach a point in their careers when they decide accepting frustration is easier than changing their behaviors or improving their systems. They start telling themselves their employees just don’t care anymore and this is just the way things are. They make excuses rather than focus on how to make the necessary improvements.

As you can probably tell, this isn’t a recipe for success. Dentists with this attitude continue to do things the way they’ve always done them, never moving their practice forward. I’m here to help you break out of that rut. It’s time to stop complaining about your team and start focusing on yourself and where you can improve.

Remember, you are the CEO of your practice and your team members look to you for guidance. You set the standard, and it’s up to you to create a productive environment and encourage teamwork. If you’re always negative or not willing to make positive changes, it will only bring your team members down. They’ll be afraid to come to you with problems, which could lead to destructive staff conflict or result in them looking for a new job. It’s important to encourage communication in your practice and let team members know you value both their contributions and their opinions.

In the coming weeks, I challenge you to pay close attention to your behaviors and the kind of environment they foster. If you find yourself engaging in the two counter-productive behaviors listed below, I suggest you take responsibility for them and commit to change.

1. You Micromanage Your Team Members
As the CEO of your practice, you likely have strong feelings about how things should be done. That’s fine, but you need to let team members know your expectations through detailed job descriptions and performance reviews. Leaving notes around the office to tell them they’re doing something wrong isn’t effective, and it’s also demoralizing. Instead, make sure they have the professional training and tools they need to succeed.
Providing team members with proper training will help ensure they not only meet your expectations, but they have the confidence needed to excel in their roles. Your practice will become much more efficient and productive. You’ll no longer feel the need to micromanage, leaving you more time to do what matters most: focus on providing patients with the best care possible.

2. You’re Secretive
You want your team members to trust you, but that certainly isn’t going to happen if you’re not honest and upfront with them. Remember, you’re the leader of a small team of people. Everyone has to communicate and trust each other, or the team will start to fall apart.

Let me give you an example. Team members know when the practice isn’t doing as well as it should be. If you repeatedly confirm their fears yet don’t give them the specifics or try to improve the situation, you’re doing nothing but creating an atmosphere of anxiety and trepidation. Team members are left with no idea how bad the situation is or exactly what’s keeping the practice from meeting financial goals, meaning they can’t do their part to help get things back on track. As you might imagine this is pretty frustrating, and might even lead some team members to start looking for a new job.

Keeping important information from your team will do nothing but hurt your practice, making the problem worse. If you want a successful, profitable practice, you have to communicate with your team. That’s the only way they can help your practice meet its full potential.

When problems arise, it’s much easier to blame everyone else and make excuses for your behavior. But sometimes you have to look in the mirror and see where you can make improvements. Acknowledging you’re part of the problem is a huge step, and will help you make the changes needed to start moving your practice forward. 

Next week: 6 ways you might be hurting your practice.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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