Harness the power of coaching

April 1, 2011
Michael Jordan is widely recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time. He had a coach, Phil Jackson, who regularly advised Michael on how to improve his skills.

Nate Booth, DDS

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: the power of coaching, comprehensive case acceptance, improvement, Dr. Nate Booth.

Michael Jordan is widely recognized as the greatest basketball player of all time. He had a coach, Phil Jackson, who regularly advised Michael on how to improve his skills. Fortune 500 CEOs use coaches to sharpen their business and leadership skills. They do this because when you are playing the game, it's hard to see it all … whether the game is sports, business, or dentistry.

I have been coaching dental teams for 12 years on how to improve their comprehensive case acceptance systems. The results are almost always impressive and sometimes spectacular. Sometimes the practices are struggling, but often the most striking improvements occur in practices that are already doing extremely well.

Here are the six steps I recommend to harness the power of coaching in your office:

1. Identify pain and pleasure areas. What problems in your practice keep you up at night, and where are you fine yet know you can do better? Choose one area at a time in which to be coached.

2. Create a list of reasons why you want to improve in an area. Make the list as complete as possible and include others in the process. I worked closely with Tony Robbins for 10 years. One of his favorite sayings was, "If you have enough reasons why you want to accomplish something, you will figure out how to do it." Some reasons why you may want to improve your case acceptance system could be: a) To provide a higher quality of care for patients so they can lead better lives, or b) To increase revenue per hour so we can slow the pace of our practice. Then I can pay my team better, increase my income, and provide a better standard of living for my family.

3. Get the team on board early. It's very difficult to force coaching on people. They have to want coaching before they will accept coaching. Talk to them early and often about the value of coaching.

4. Select the best coach for your situation. A great coach is someone who tells you what you need to hear and shows you what you need to see so you can create the practice you know is possible. You can select a professional coach or choose a colleague who isn't afraid to tell it like it is.

Select a coach who:

• Has personally implemented the information he or she teaches.

• Has top-notch coaching skills. Have you ever received software coaching from experts who cannot effectively communicate their ideas? I'm sure you will agree it's a painful experience.

• Discovers the strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness of your office before the coaching begins.

• Comes to your office and observes you with real patients.

• Has a comprehensive follow-up system that enhances your chances of success.

5. Implement what you have learned. The world rewards action, not knowledge. In addition, remember that people will respect what you inspect. So do regular inspections to ensure your improvements are sticking.

6. Reward your team's successes. When someone achieves success, be sure the entire team knows about it and reward the person with a heartfelt thank you. Give the team an appropriate reward when a group goal is achieved.

We have all experienced the right coach at the right time, someone who improved our performance and allowed us to enjoyably jump from a small fish bowl to a larger one. Repeat the legendary leap soon by using a coach to take your practice to a higher level.

To receive information on Dr. Booth's in-office, comprehensive case acceptance coaching program or free case acceptance webinar, contact him at (702) 444-1362 or [email protected].

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The "Yes" System. For more information, go to www.theyessystem.com, or call (702) 444-1362.

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