Rock your role as an office manager

Congratulations! You have what could be one of the most important—and sometimes stressful—jobs in dentistry. And you probably love it, because you know you can make a difference in a patient’s life.

Laura Hatch, MS, FAADOM

Congratulations! You have what could be one of the most important—and sometimes stressful—jobs in dentistry. And you probably love it, because you know you can make a difference in a patient’s life. In the middle of a busy day, I encourage you to take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back and keep moving forward because you are a rock star office manager. I’d like to share four things that can help you keep rockin’ each and every day.

Remember your why

Remember your first day at the dental office? I bet you were so excited about your new job or position. You walked in the practice with pep in your step. Your vision was simple: to be the best office manager possible and change the world, one patient at a time. To achieve this vision and sustain your enthusiasm each and every day, you have to remember your why. It is the purpose behind everything that you do—to help patients enjoy a healthier life through optimal dental care. As we get busy, our why becomes more task-oriented. It becomes more about collections, overhead, and production. But you and I both know that none of those are your true why; they are merely line items on your to-do list.

Choose to be optimistic and get connected

Choosing optimism makes your day better and is highly contagious. The reality is that things will never go exactly as planned. And when they don’t, you can choose how you react. If you decide to take a “challenge” (not a “problem”) and put a positive spin on it, it gives you a better outlook to try to solve the challenge. It also helps the team want to follow you to find that solution. Remember: people like to follow positive people.

Another way to be optimistic and positive is to get connected to others who inspire you, face the same challenges, and look for the same opportunities. First, build and foster a connection between you and your doctor. You are on the journey together and share the same goals, objectives, and patient care philosophy. Second, get connected with other office managers via social media groups, online platforms like AADOM, and Front Office Rocks. Technology gives you so many ways to get connected with others who do what you do and can support you.

Live and learn

Continually invest in you by getting the insights and skills you need to grow personally and professionally. You did not have the opportunity to graduate from Office Manager University (or any other imaginary institution). Your role has great responsibility and comes with little formal training. Again, technology can get you connected to resources that can help you do more and stress less. Take time to find what training is available online. Learn how to leverage all the features of your practice management software. Listen to peers. Listen to experts. Then, implement the ideas that will rock your world, your team, your patients, and your practice. Be the rock star you were always meant to be.

Laura Hatch, MS, FAADOM, has committed years of study to learn how to manage and empower team members. She partnered with her husband to build and manage two fee-for-service dental practices. Hatch is the founder of Front Office Rocks, which offers web-based, on-demand front office training for dental practices. She also helps dental professionals through online video courses, live seminars, and coaching.

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