Leadership begins with you

Aug. 1, 2006
Our definition of a great dental team is “a group of leaders working cohesively toward a common set of goals.

Our definition of a great dental team is “a group of leaders working cohesively toward a common set of goals.” Every team member should be a leader - of him/herself, of other team members, and of patients.

An outstanding leader has numerous qualities:
A clear sense of purpose and an orientation toward goal accomplishment.
A commitment to the service of others.
Excellent communication skills.
An awareness of others’ goals (team members’ and patients’) and a commitment to help them reach their goals.
Knowledge of what needs to be done and a desire to work diligently to get those things done.
A sense of “ownership.”

Leader of self

As a leader of yourself, it is up to you to maximize your talent and be an asset to your organization. A healthy environment that focuses on development is conducive to growth, but ultimately, the choice of how well you perform and how much you contribute is up to you.

Ask yourself the following questions on your path to becoming a better leader:

Am I clear about my personal and professional goals and am I working toward those goals on a daily basis?
Do I face challenges “head-on” and strive to resolve those challenges?
Do I know how to prioritize my time and activity so that I can make a difference?
Can others count on me?
Do I sincerely care about the organization, my teammates, and our patients?
Do I go above and beyond to make sure our practice is on a path of growth and development?

Leader of teammates

In a healthy, thriving organization, purpose and vision are evident. A part of that purpose is a mutual respect for one another and a heartfelt interest in helping others to be successful.

Ask yourself these questions in relationship to your interaction with your teammates:

Can my teammates count on me to support them?
Am I willing to help a teammate when he or she is overwhelmed or simply needs a helping hand?
Do I step out of my role and comfort zone to help someone in a different area when needed?
Am I interested in supporting my teammates in their personal goal accomplishments?
Do I communicate openly with team members or do I keep things to myself, hoping that challenges will solve themselves?
Do I go the extra mile or do I do as little as possible?
Am I proud of our practice and my contribution to it?

Leader of patients

No matter what your role in the practice, you have a responsibility to lead your patients to make decisions that are good for them. Business tells us that each of us has a “moment of truth.” In that moment, each team member has a chance to make or break the relationship with a patient and to make the difference as to whether or not the patient proceeds with treatment.

After the doctor has made a precise recommendation regarding necessary or desired care, patients often ask questions. In that moment, the patient may make a decision to proceed with treatment - or not. It is during these leadership opportunities that a practice can thrive.

Ask yourself these questions:
Do I accept my responsibility to help patients make a decision to proceed with treatment?
Can my doctor and teammates count on me to communicate with each patient regarding the value of recommended care?
How do I feel when a patient walks out the door without accepting the care the doctor recommends?
Am I a good listener and do I take the time to hear patients express their concerns or desires?
Do I know how to use appropriate educational equipment and material to enhance a patient’s under-standing of the benefit of dental health?
Do I proactively introduce new opportunities to patients even if it takes extra time and effort?

You become ultimately productive when you commit yourself to the most important responsibility - the responsibility to lead.

Jameson Management Inc. is an international lecture and consulting firm providing instruction and coaching in four vital areas of practice development: communication, business, hygiene and clinical efficiency, and technology. For further information on how to take your practice to the next level, contact JMI at (877) 369-5558 or visit the Web site at www.jamesonmanagement.com.

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