DENTAL LEADERSHIP: TEAM
“If we don’t know where we are going, any road will get us there and we won’t know when we’ve arrived or not”
The dentist leader challenge encompass many demands and they must wear many different “hats:” The Owner, the Team Leader, operational director, technical service provider and the key revenue generator. How can it all be balanced out so the burden of the practice doesn’t fall on just one person? The answer is simple; build a team of leaders who share the vision and work harmoniously together clear on their contribution to the goals and results. This leadership quest requires self-reflection, energy, time and communication and the open acceptance that leadership style directly impacts the culture, climate , patient relationships and inevitably the financial results.
Webster defines a “team” in the following manner: “A group of people working or playing together, as one side in a contest.” As a verb, Webster defines “team” in this way: “To join in a co-operative activity. The act, art, or business of constructing, erecting, or establishing.” Synonyms for the word “team” are “group, clique, assembly, association, collection, crew, organization, and unit.”
In order to create, develop, nurture, and maintain a solid team, the dental staff MUST realize and accept the individual differences between and among the various team members. Knowing what each person hopes to accomplish personally and professionally in their dental career will encourage each other to maximize individual potentials. As encouraged, motivated, “self-actualized” individuals, then pool your resources, talents, and energies. The pooling of these resources then allows the individuals to give a part of themselves to the team. As the team grows and develops, the individual team members become even more confident. When a person is encouraged to accept challenge and is then trusted with the responsibility to carry out.
Often a misdirected or underperforming team is not certain exactly what it is one is trying to accomplish, let alone how to do it, which causes stress, poor morale, ineffective communication and, often, unnecessary drama, which impacts all facets of business, patient service, and turnover.
What action can be taken? The first step is for the leader to meet the obligation of knowing, with clarity, their own personal vision for the practice. Ask yourself what you want to DO? Who you want to BE? What you want to HAVE?
Then taken the time to articulate this to the group as the foundation of the team and practice SHARED vision. The more involved team members are the greater the buy-in to access their strengths and gifts they can contribute to the journey and success.
Ask their opinion about where this practice will be in the next 3-5 years in relation to the health of the business metrics, team and patient philosophy. Have them identify their top three strengths and contributions to their role and how that fits into the vision.
Team participation will enhance cooperation from the group to plan, track and implement change while meeting the needs of their own motivators. All people are motivated in some way shape or form depending on their gender, generation, behavioral style and self-esteem by Achievement, Recognition, Work itself, Responsibility, Advancement, and Growth.