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career corner depalma part 2

Feb. 20, 2012
Career Corner: Ann-Marie DePalma discusses role of entire team during coaching

By Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH

I thank you for the kind notes, calls, and emails following my last posting in the Feb. 10 issue of RDH eVillage — a quick review of my journey with Jameson. It sounds like many of you are in the midst of thriving in practices and positions you love, and others of you are looking for a place you love as much as I love being a Jameson advisor. I’ll be offering future posts on how to find the position that’s right for you and then excel there. Meanwhile, here are more reflections about life as a dental practice management and clinical advisor.

When a doctor decides to work with a coach or an advisor, the team sometimes feels distressed. The Jameson advising process is team-oriented and all have input into the discussions. That was one of the things that drew me to the company. Yes, dentistry is a bottom-line business, but it is not the only thing.

Relationships and relationship-building matters greatly. Communication within the team and beyond, along with strong leadership skills of all members of the team, is important in achieving the desired goals and results. All team members are required to attend all sessions of advising; the hygiene team needs to understand the business aspects of the practice, and the business team needs to understand the hygiene and clinical practice protocols.

Achieving the practice's goals isn’t about one person or one department. In order to move the practice forward, the entire team must understand and appreciate each other’s roles. Cross-training when appropriate is also important. As Cathy Jameson states, “You’re either going up, or you’re going down. A team that is stagnant is going down. There’s no such thing as status quo.” Teams constantly need to be assessing and re-assessing goals and achievements.

Just as when one starts exercising or going on a diet, results are not instantaneous. Positive changes are measured in small increments and accomplished goals. So, too, are the results in the practice. Each team member plays a vital and important role in the enhancement of the practice and all need to be “on-board” with the systems.

Jameson clients in 2011 achieved great results as teams worked together toward a common set of goals. On average, they received a 35% increase in production, a 31% increase in collections and a 64% increase in hygiene, all while working an average of two days less!

Are you ready to take that challenge in 2012? With determination and honesty, work with your team to improve the 25-plus systems in your practice.

Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FADIA, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, as well as a continuous member of ADHA. Ann-Marie is currently a business/clinical advisor for Jameson Management, Inc., a comprehensive coaching firm, and also presents continuing education programs for dental team members on a variety of topics. She is collaborating with several authors on various books for dental hygiene and can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].