Improve your leadership skills in 5 easy steps

Nov. 18, 2010
Leading in tough economic times and keeping up morale of both staff and patients can be one of the biggest challenges dentists face. Dr. Roger Levin shares five tips that can lead to greater success.

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

As the practice leader, you have to create the type of pleasant and confident environment that can lead to greater success. Leading in tough economic times and keeping up morale of both staff and patients can be one of the biggest challenges dentists face these days. These five tips can help you lead your team and get the most of your practice.

1. Delegate and empower the team. Dentists tend to hang onto tasks that they really shouldn’t be doing. They often think this saves the practice money. As an old saying goes, “Don’t step over the dollars to pick up the pennies.” The truth is that doing everything yourself compromises your ability to be chairside. It is not unusual to identify up to eight hours of production time per week that can be added to the practice on the part of the doctor by effectively delegating tasks.

2. Identify training opportunities. There are always areas where training will enhance a team’s abilities. However, training isn’t something that can take place between appointments. Staff members want to know that you value them and that you are willing to invest in their training in a meaningful manner. This will require time, preparation, and an environment conducive to learning.

3. Leave personal problems at home. Patients should never be able to tell that your day didn’t start off so well because you got caught in traffic. Nothing in your behavior should suggest that you are anxiously awaiting a phone call or e-mail. Patients should only see caring, upbeat professionalism from you. Deal with personal issues outside of the office.

4. Set the example of always being on time, prepared, and informed. Nothing can undermine your authority in the office faster than not setting a good example. You expect team members to know what’s going on chairside. When you walk into the room, you had better be prepared as well. If patients and staff have to wait while you look over the patient’s file for the first time, no one will be impressed.

5. Be decisive; do not let indecision disempower you. Leadership is about making decisions — and sticking with them. Be prepared for the fact that your decisions won’t necessarily be popular with team members at all times. However, they have to be made!

Reprinted with permission from Levin Group.

Author bio
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is chairman and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973-0000, or