Warren Buffett famously said, “It's good to learn from your mistakes. It's better to learn from other people's mistakes.” If you are a current or future practice leader, learning from other people's experiences is the best way to lead well. Learning from other people's mistakes helps you make fewer mistakes yourself. That can help you work your way to practice leadership easier and faster.
To help current and future practice leaders learn from each other's experiences and mistakes, Anissa Holmes asked practice leaders to share their top dental business tips in the Delivering WOW Facebook community. Here are nine tips dental leaders shared.
Hire great team members and train them well.
Your team can make or break you. Team members represent the doctor and practice before the patient even has a chance to meet the doctor. They make the practice's first impression. A talented, upbeat, and motivated team will build patient trust long before the doctor has a chance to even say hello.
Build a great team, take good care of them, and train them well. Invest in their continued personal and professional growth.
Think long-term by making patient service a top priority.
As simple as it sounds, one of the best ways to make a practice run smoother is to focus on serving patients well. By doing so, you will increase patient loyalty and identify improvements patients will appreciate. You will also identify things you can cut that do not increase patient loyalty and enjoyment.
In the long-term, this will create a better work environment for the doctors and team members. It will create a practice with fewer patient complaints and a more enjoyable work experience for everyone in the practice.
Develop systems and process for everything you can.
Performing tasks consistently well is critical if you want to lead a practice that serves patients well, attracts top team members, and has low turnover.
Having systems and processes in place for everything you can will help ensure tasks are performed consistently well no matter who is performing them.
Put systems and processes in place for everything you can, especially mission-critical work.
Provide clear direction to team members. Do not assume they can read your mind. Having systems and processes in place will help with this. It will also help you hold people accountable for performing tasks well.
Be willing to incentivize performance for key initiatives, too. While many leaders assume paying team members is enough, incentivizing team members allows people to share in the upside for the practice. It reinforces a team culture and motivates people to perform. Incentives work well for achieving referral goals, product sales goals, or procedure volume goals. It doesn’t have to be a monetary incentive; even a free lunch or an early release.
Be willing to make mistakes.
Mistakes are inevitable if you are trying something new. As much as we want to learn from other people's mistakes, we will not be mistake free. Stop trying to be perfect before you launch an initiative. Be willing to make mistakes. Then learn from those mistakes, make adjustments, and keep going.
Pursue clear goals.
Getting crystal clear about your goals helps you reverse engineer how to achieve them. For example, if you want to build a cosmetic practice, you will know what CEs to take, how to train your staff, and what equipment to buy. You can also look at other practices and see where they are marketing or how they attract new patients. You can also find consultants with the right focus and experience.
Invest in leadership training.
Clinical training is very important for keeping up with the best and latest dental practices. But it is equally important for every leader to invest in personal growth as well. Always invest in leadership training and personal growth. Becoming a more fulfilled and effective leader will help you build a much better team and run a much better practice.
Focus on consistently improving communication.
Miscommunication is one of the biggest causes of patient, team member, and leader conflict. The clearer we can communicate, the better we will be at limiting conflict.
Have a good way for everyone to discuss issues that arise in a solution-focused setting. Have meetings, morning huddles, chat apps, or whatever works in your practice. Offer training or group study on effective and solution-focused communication.
Measure what matters.
You can't improve what you do not measure. Set key performance indicators, or KPIs, for everything that matters—both tasks and results. For example, if you want to place more dental implants, you could measure implant placements, revenue, and profits. But you can also measure dental implant marketing campaigns and calls made to implant patient leads to make sure your staff is doing the right tasks to lead to the best results.
What are your top dental business tips?
What are the best dental business tips you would give to a current or future practice leader? Tell us in the comments or join the discussion started by Anissa in the Delivering WOW Facebook community.