DR. ACE GOERIG
OWNER & CO-FOUNDER
Do any of these situations (or similar ones) apply to you?
- A doctor overhears a team member conversation with a patient in the practice (or with a referring practice on the phone) and thinks, “That is not the way I would handle that conversation.”
- There are tasks in the office or during a patient appointment that the doctor persists on doing, even though those tasks could and should be done by an administrator or dental assistant.
- The doctor repeats all the basic triage assessment questions with the patient, as well as pre- and post-treatment instructions, even though the dental assistant has already done so.
Situations like these are examples of where a trust gap exists. The doctor isn’t confident that a team member will handle a situation the right way. This often results in the team being under-utilized and less empowered to achieve the practice’s goals. The little things can add up until the doctor has a generalized feeling that their team isn’t at the right level. That’s frustrating for both the doctor (who wants a more effective team) and team members (who feel the doctor is holding back).
Developing confidence in your team to rise to the challenge and execute their tasks to a high standard is vital for practice growth and success. In a successful practice, the doctor’s job is to provide patient care. They shouldn’t be floating around the hallways doing other things that don’t require an endodontic specialty diploma.
That’s why I always say that 90% of practice growth is driven by the team. The doctor’s responsibilities, as a practice leader, is to set and communicate the vision to the team, be clear about the standards and goals to be achieved, empower the team with what they need to execute well, establish accountability and team self-leadership, and then step out of the way. That means giving the team more responsibility and trusting that the team will deliver.
It is a progression of steps to get to that point. Training is vital, from big picture clarity down to the smallest details like the phrasing and language to use when talking to a patient, or with a referrer, in various situations. Or the various factors that need to be considered in symptom assessments, so the doctor can enter the treatment room fully informed without duplicating effort.
The challenge that many doctors have is pulling it all together, especially when team members can be at different levels, or appear to have different aptitudes for higher expectations. Sometimes the biggest challenge is just having enough time. These are situations when coaching is an ideal choice that provides professional support for the team to learn and grow.
The remarkable thing is that when the trust gap is closed and doctors finally feel great confidence in their teams, practices light up with new energy. Growth happens organically and quickly, and the doctor starts having the most productive and enjoyable days that they’ve ever had in their career!
A PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION
Legacy Life Consulting is my favorite personal development company and I refer many of my clients to them for both personal growth and leadership development coaching. They have lots of happy clients, including me. They’ve just released their new website for 2023, with great personal and executive coaching options. It’s a great way to center and strengthen your life and your family.
Check out their website and give them a call.