Bill Blatchford, DDS
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If you allow it, busy lives coupled with unsettled economic times can shift your mind to negative thoughts. And before you know it, you vocalize those thoughts into negative speech. In changing times, we look for positive signs or something we can cling to. But if you view your poor performing 401(k) report right before you come to work, you may take your frustrations out on your team and patients. Do you find yourself doing that?
In most communities, more than 90% of people are still employed. Keep in mind, a 5% unemployment rate is desirable for a healthy economy. Yet, we allow the media and talk radio to put us in a negative frame of mind. I have allowed myself to be one of their advocates from time to time. I realize a successful business leader can have opinions, but he or she must not become caught in the negative vortex of sharing those opinions with team, clients, or business buddies.
Negative trash talk can kill a business. Your team and your patients look to you for confidence instead of someone to share negativity. Build something new and positive. Be different!
A majority of our doctors continue to have successful months. They must resist the temptation to become part of the negative whirlwind of pessimism. They demonstrate confidence. How do you build confidence and become a force for change, rather than being at the mercy of those winds of change?
Confidence is one of the fundamental pieces of life. We gravitate to others who are confident. One of my business mentors calls confidence the electricity of life, referring to the idea that we all have information and skills but until we put power or electricity into those ideas and take action, there is no motion.
Right now, the Consumer Confidence Index is at an all-time low. How does this affect your daily transactions? You must build your own confidence. Your team looks to you for their job security, and patients draw clues from you as to how to proceed with dental treatment. Self-confidence inspires confidence in others. The good thing is, confidence can be learned and built upon. It is the single most important ingredient to distinguish yourself from others.
Confidence is the ability to transform fear into action. There is fear in the marketplace and in the all-pervasive media. We need to focus on the future with confidence. What would you like to be doing in 10 years for your family, your practice, and yourself? The future focus makes the troubles of today disappear, and tomorrow has a brighter glow because we have alleviated the big fears of today.
Confidence-building takes a system. In a personal assessment, write down what makes you feel confident. Identify actions and behaviors that give you confidence. Name 10 things and prioritize them. Everyone's list will be different.
Here is an example:
- Be healthy by exercising for one hour four times a week
- Have $10,000 in a savings account
- Be active in church by serving on committees
- Have a family dinner four nights a week
What interferes with your list of 10 things that create confidence for you? We all have reasons, or we have results. The solution to why we don't do the things that bring confidence to our lives is STOP IT! It really is that simple. Just STOP IT. Stop doing the things that keep you from doing what you know you should do to build confidence, especially now.
We need to show confidence to others about our future. Your patients and your team really don't care to hear that your $1 million home has devalued. If you are not trying to sell your home, what difference does it make?
The response that you and your team have when someone asks, “What do you think …“ should be scripted and learned. It needs to be something like, “I really don't know, but I have great confidence in the American system that the right solution will show. Now, how is your college son?“
Develop a “pay it forward“ activity in your practice, because confidence is catching. Because confidence is the ability to transform fear into action, we need to show our team and our patients a brighter future. Negative trash talk has no place in your office or in your thoughts. Just STOP the actions and thoughts that are keeping you on a plateau.
Move forward and build your own confidence. It is catching!
Dr. Blatchford's book, “Blatchford BLUEPRINTS — the Art of Creating Practice Success,“ is available at www.blatchford.com for $39. Profits go to the Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation. Dr. Blatchford is speaking at the AAID convention in New Orleans Nov. 11-14. CareCredit has produced a complimentary CD called “Business Principles in Any Economy.“