Train for skill

May 21, 2010

By Dr. Nate Booth

In a past Tips & Tricks, I discussed why you should hire for attitude. In this exciting episode, you will learn the second piece of the puzzle — how to train for skill.

Any skill is much easier to learn if you have natural talent in that area. Here’s a study reinforcing this: More than 1,000 college students were evaluated and placed into one of two groups — slow readers and fast readers. Both groups then took the same speed-reading course. The slow readers went from 90 words per minute before the course, to 150 words per minute after the course — a 76% increase. To the amazement of the researchers, the fast readers went from 350 words per minute to 2,900 words per minute — a 728% increase! The moral is: identify people who are naturally talented and develop their skills.

You can identify natural talents by answering these two questions:
1. At what is a person good?
2. What do they enjoy doing?

You can develop talents and increase skills with the DRC approach:
Demonstrate the skill — people need to see what excellent performance looks like.
Role-play the skill — people need to practice in private before they perform in public.
Coach the skill — people need to be told what they’re doing well or how they can improve.

You need people on your team who have business skills, leadership skills, management skills, clinical skills, and people skills. It’s rare that one person has all these skills so build a team composed of people who collectively have the needed skills.

Learn more about how to identify and develop natural talents in Dr. Booth’s book, “Tiger Traits: 9 Success Secrets You Can Discover from Tiger Woods to Be a Business Champion.”

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. Dr. Booth teaches at the South Beach Dental Institute and is a practice management advisor for ChaseHealthAdvance. Dr. Booth is the creator of the in-office, DVD-based program, The "Yes" System: How to Make It Easy for People to Accept Comprehensive Dentistry. For more information, go to, or call (800) 917-0008.