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Positive Attitude

Does your dental team have the right energy?

Oct. 2, 2019
The energy and attitudes that your team members project is important to the success of the practice. Positive energy goes over much better with patients.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

The energy someone gives off, whether good or bad, can be infectious. Of course, you want your dental team members to have energy that will help contribute to the overall success of the practice. But peoples’ energies are different. Which of the following energies are you looking for in your team members?

High energy, high positive attitude. These people come to work every day with excellent energy, they’re highly motivated to do a great job, and they interact well with team members and patients. They are frequently cheerleaders for the practice and everyone who interacts with them often leaves with more energy than they started with.

 High energy, medium negative attitude. While these people have a lot of energy, it is often focused on negativity and complaining. They have the potential to be motivated in the right circumstances. Despite their negativity they often become long-term staff members because they recognize that they won’t necessarily be any happier anywhere else.

Medium energy, medium attitude. These team members are often the worker bees. They come to work to do a job, be part of a team, and are easily inspired to treat patients extremely well. They often enjoy the other team members and patients and derive satisfaction from their work. They are not your cheerleaders and they never will be. But they are not negative either.

Low energy, low attitude. Low energy people typically have low attitudes. These individuals debilitate the entire team, come across poorly to patients, view any attempt to motivate them as annoying interference, and generally don’t like their jobs or their lives. Unfortunately, they simply cannot be rehabilitated.

 Most dentists want a team full of high energy, high attitude people. While this may seem ideal, having too many strong-willed individuals can lead to drama and conflict. Conversely, a practice with a low energy, low attitude team is equally or even more out of balance.

 My recommendation is to initially have a mixture of personality types to create a balanced environment. Notice that I used the word initially. One of the components of leadership is to identify people who have a moderate energy, moderate attitude, and to guide them to become high energy, high attitude people. While it’s very difficult to move low energy, low attitude people to a higher category, it’s very possible to move people with moderate energy and attitudes up to a higher level. The best performing offices typically have several team members who are high energy, high attitude, and the rest are usually moderate energy, moderate attitude team members who are coachable.

 By building a team in this manner, you will create balance. It is up to dentists and office managers as leaders to coach, guide, and train team members to a higher level. Too many practices ignore providing this leadership because doctors are busy with daily clinical dentistry and office managers often have not received leadership training. But when the dentist and office manager ignore team development, the team will fail to grow.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, Dr. Levin has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].