Courageous Care driven Conversations

Sept. 1, 2008
"I want you to know ...I will...take care...of YOU!"

by Rhonda Mullins

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: courageious, care driven, conversations, connumicate, benefits, communications.

"I want you to know ... I will … take care ... of YOU!" Say it slow, allow others to process the magnitude of the words, let it sink in, and let them soak it up! These words are significant to a listener's ear. Hearing those words motivates others to embrace what you are about to recommend and present to them, as a B E N E F I T! That's why people say "yes" to something they hear about or want; they envision the benefits. It's a lasting impression. Rethink how you communicate as a team and then to patients to get significant results each day. When the driving force to be successful in serving others is care drivenSM, the rewards are limitless each time and especially when you say, "I want you to know I will take care of you!"

Whether you are dropping your child off at school, receiving news of a terminal disease, or presenting a large investment figure to a patient for optimum health, the message must speak B E N E F I T S to the person receiving the news. Trust and confidence in your words will link your connectivity to their needs, and they will believe that you (and your team) are going to take care of them B E Y O N D the degree of expectation and B E Y O N D what they have experienced before in a health-care environment! Then they are apt to say "yes" in an instant. They must feel, see, and experience benefits coming their way. Your competency, courage, and communications are vital elements to hear, "Yes, I want that."

A person loves to hear, "I will take care of you!" What better words to establish a transformational trust level with your team and your patients, but more importantly for the doctor who must wear the four hats of dentistry (manager, leader, clinician, and entrepreneur, sometimes at the same time throughout the day) to hear each morning upon arrival at work from a self-led team, and to be assured their experience echoes loudly, "We are driven to care for you and for ourselves in order to demonstrate care to others."

Competency, courage, communication, and care go hand in hand. These four elements are the base of our coaching platform, C4 Yourself® Leadership. It compels everyone to reach, rev up, and rethink their approach and contribution to the culture of their office and their team's purpose. It affects everyone and every environment in ways that change individuals and intentionality. Change is embraced, not resisted.

For example, if you hear one of the statements or conversations in the paragraph below in your environment, you might need to get a handle on the "competency" factor before you can create a care momentum in your practice. You can't move up or out of your present circumstances in business or life unless you are exceptional at something. Identify it and don't forget it. You will need it for recall to lead effectively (not recall for hygiene!).

f you forget it, you'll get derailed and lose your sustainability to lead in your practice. Your team won't know what to come to you for because you will have lost your sustainability to persevere through the maze of leadership challenges in dentistry.

Do you ever hear these conversations?

  1. I can't stand the drama in this office every day; I just want to come in and do my job."
  2. I feel like my contributions are hardly recognized or valued."
  3. I am tired of walking on eggshells just because of one person and their issues."
  4. "I do not feel I can share my thoughts or concerns with anyone, so I just keep my mouth shut and leave when 5 p.m. comes."
  5. "I am tired of being micromanaged to the point of exhaustion. No one trusts anyone here."

      If this is part of the culture in your practice, assess what or who might need a "competency factor" assessment to change the results of your care and leadership levels to better serve each other and your patients. It might mean you must ask certain people to remove themselves or dismiss them to allow others to develop into self-led professionals.

      Then regroup the team, and focus on developing the care levels in your practice departmentally for greater effectiveness overall. Remember, patient care is a 360-degree experience, not a 90- or 180-degree experience. Everyone in the environment of your practice is part of the "care driven" perception.

      Doing it in the right way has to be critically important to the doctor and the entire team — no slacker, no story, no second-rate delivery. Be a major factor in your own health habits and influence the health habits of others!

      Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, said, "Care more than others think wise!" From his perspective, the benefits have been limitless. Demonstrating care costs nothing; it's an investment that may show a return faster than any one marketing campaign. That's what everyone wants to hear, but more importantly they want to FEEL it throughout their experience in any health-care environment, but significantly more in the culture of their chosen doctor's office.

      Here are two significant statements that converge to become a dynamic component for successful Courageous Care DrivenSM Conversations.

      • Courage is the willingness to possess purpose (why you exist) and heart in the presence of fear.
      • Care DrivenSM is a driving force within us to be unleashed, demonstrated by an individual who desires to serve and care for others in a compelling manner that goes beyond what some may think wise, necessary, or profitable.

      Courageous Care DrivenSM Conversations are between people who desire to persevere, to be compelled, purposeful, and have heart when fear attempts to stop them from demonstrating care to others because of what or how the motive may be perceived from others involved in the experience.

      We need to feel "love" to feel "cared for" in every element of our lives as human beings — emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. Do you feel the love? We need to be "courageous" to set extraordinary goals that we may or may not achieve, courageous to face conversations with optimism, courageous to probe for accuracy rather than just jump to easy conclusions. Do you feel courageous?

      One may never be able to measure the return. In fact, if one person is willing, it can create a momentum within the culture of your practice to make it an exceptional standard, beyond the anticipation or expectation of anyone who enters your doorways. How do you begin? Don't do things the way things have always been done; change your approach today! Preparation leads to motivation, which leads to participation at an entirely new and different level within the culture of your practice. Why? Participation with purpose. Prepare you and your self-led team members to increase your capacity to demonstrate "care" to each other for a momentum that affects the culture of your practice and your patient care level.

      Preparation for Courageous Care DrivenSM Conversations with your self-led team:

      1. Anticipating the other person's need to hear these words at a greater level than ever before.
      2. Capturing a "serve others" attitude vs. a "self serve" attitude daily.
      3. Making a declaration to each other: "Delivering shareholder value is paramount" (each of you are shareholders in the practice).
      4. "Courageously" demonstrating distinction, resisting fear, and be compelled to provide care with an excellent attitude. Albert Einstein said, "Excellence is a habit." Whether it's bread and butter, specialty, or high-end restorative dentistry, care is a priceless habit!
      5. Adopting a zero tolerance for less than the care you desire for yourself!

          Quick start — verbal change action @ a.m. meeting
          • Statement action: Each person expresses to another, one at a time, the statement "I want you to know I will take care of you today."

          Quick end — verbal change action @ end of the day
          • Demonstration experienced: Each person expresses to another, one at a time, what he or she did and felt another person demonstrated that superseded expectations that day and shouted, "They took care of me, and that allowed me to take care of ______________."

          People really don't choose practices because of logos, locations, or office décor. They choose their care providers because of how the team and the doctor made them feel throughout the entire experience. Give your patients transformational moments (benefits felt and valued, asking and experiencing direct, purposeful "eureka moments") — not transactional moments (mechanical responses, checklist, routine answers, task-focused minor sensitivity, telling without listening first) — of continuous care!

          Change is something nobody wants to do, everyone needs to do, and anyone can do! Courageous Care DrivenSM Conversations are opportunities for connectivity of care and success. W. Clement Stone, author of "The Success System That Never Fails," said, "Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying." Keep trying, keep changing, keep on being courageous on the forefront of each conversation you have the privilege of participating in, and love loud with no expectations. Wake up tomorrow to a new drive within you. Restore the passion of providing dental health to your patients by establishing the first "Courageous Care DrivenSM Conversations" between you and your team!

          Editor's Note: View a video of Rhonda Mullins speaking at a recent meeting on the video link of

          Rhonda Mullins is a national speaker/consultant and CEO of VISTA PRO CONSULTING INC., an Atlanta-based firm. She is a born participator, impacting bottom lines with frontline leadership and practice development. As a member of the National Speakers Association, Speaking Consulting Network, and American Academy of Dental Practice Administrators, she has contributed as a guest speaker at numerous national industry events. Contact her at [email protected].

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