It almost seems counter intuitive that you could be experiencing growth in your dental practice and having your best year ever.
Considering the numerous demands being placed on dental practices through governmental mandates, lock downs, new Covid safety protocols, inflation, etc., one would naturally assume that having a successful year and seeing growth in your dental practice would be difficult if not impossible.
Yet, many of our clients are experiencing their most productive year ever. We have observed this phenomenon and have identified several key factors leading to their success.
A current industry wide challenge for clinical healthcare practices is staffing. Acquiring and maintaining quality staff has become an arduous task for most doctors. Consequently, we are having to do more with less staff and being shorthanded can have a profound effect on our current staff as they are having to work harder to maintain productivity.
As a result, many of us share a very real concern that our current staff may ultimately burnout and seek employment elsewhere. It is our belief that the longer the staffing shortage issue continues, the more likely this concern will become reality.
Doctors are now having to ask more of their teams. Tapping into a team’s discretionary energy and receiving 110% effort from them requires exceptional leadership skill. Those leaders that know how to access this vital source of energy and scale their team’s capabilities and capacity to handle an increased workload are finding success despite these current difficulties.
Developing our practice’s human capital by creating peak performing teams is an absolute imperative for growth of your dental practice in today’s challenging environment.
Understanding how to develop peak performers will simplify and expedite the process. The following suggestions will prove helpful in achieving this goal.
1. BECOME A PEOPLE DEVELOPER
This concept is not new. Many leadership opinion leaders believe that developing an organization’s human capital is a leader’s primary responsibility. However, developing people goes beyond just developing technical skills. Of equal importance is the development of their mental capabilities and capacity to handle increased workloads.
We are currently working with our clients to help them acquire basic coaching skills so they can develop their team’s capabilities much more rapidly and predictably. Coaching as a leadership style is becoming the gold standard for team development and is currently being utilized by many fortune 500 companies.
Many of us unknowingly serve as a barrier to team development by requiring all decisions to pass through us. Granting teams a degree of autonomy and the the authority to make decisions within predetermined boundaries is important, and allowing this to occur within a psychology safe environment is essential. Our staff, just like us, are human and they will make mistakes even while having the best intentions.
With the right attitude and coaching skills doctors can turn mistakes into valuable teachable moments for our teams, and in doing so we will see our teams develop into peak performers at an accelerated pace. Furthermore, we will begin to see greater levels of commitment to our cause and begin tapping into our team’s discretionary energy.
2. BECOME EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT
It matters not how we see ourselves as leaders, rather, what matters most is how those we lead view us. Authority can be a double-edged sword. We can use authority to gain compliance from our team, but authority by itself will never create the necessary commitment that allows us to receive our team’s discretionary energy.
Those of us that are emotionally intelligent understand the importance of how we show up for our team. Emotionally intelligent leaders are powerful influencers. Through their words and deeds they create strong practice cultures that are conducive to peak performance.
3. BECOME A COLLABORATOR
Steven Covey once stated that “We believe we see the world as it is, when in fact we see the world as we are”. Each of us has a lens, created by past experiences, through which we see the world. Too often we mistakenly believe that our world view is the most accurate and our decisions the most correct.
Jennifer Garvey Berger in her book, Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps, states the following: “When leaders believe they are right in a complex world, they become dangerous, because they ignore data that would show them they are wrong.”
This powerful statement holds true for many of us in the healthcare profession. We are accustomed to making unilateral decisions daily regarding our patients care. Unfortunately, this same mindset does not serve us well as leaders. By collaborating with our teams and advisors we are inviting a diversity of opinions and experiences that will prove valuable in making the best possible decisions.
Furthermore, by including our team in the decision-making process they will feel empowered and appreciated for their contribution and will feel less inhibited when offering valuable unfiltered feedback in the future.
4. BE TRUSTWORTHY
Trust is foundational to everything we have mentioned. Without trust, peak performance will be unreachable. Trust develops over time, and requires and adherence to commonly shared values and our consistency between words and deeds.
If you have not already noticed, this entire process is all about us, the leaders. Taking a team to peak performance will happen if we allow it and make it happen. Our teams will never exceed our ability to lead them. We must define what peak performance looks like for our team and coach them toward reaching this worthy goal.
At Line of Sight Coaching, we have created a quick ten-question self-assessment Leadership Quiz. Take this opportunity to gauge your leadership effectiveness and get an answer to the question… “Have you ever wondered about your ability to lead?” Take our Free Leadership Quiz.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.