There’s endless information and discussion about leadership in business and in academia. But despite all of the advice, tips, and recommendations, the simple truth is that leadership is about motivation—motivating people toward a specific goal or objective. If you look throughout history to leaders ranging from Alexander the Great to Winston Churchill, they all had the ability to rally people behind them toward a common goal.
So how do you motivate your team? Here are three easy ways:
1. Find out what motivates them—Are they seeking money, competition, or status? Or, maybe they’re driven by family and work-life balance. Whatever motivates them, you must find out what it is and make it important to you as well. We have one client who said that for one of his dental assistants, family is the number one motivating factor. With this in mind the client set up a bonus plan strictly for the assistant to contribute a little bit of money every quarter toward college for her children. The dental assistant was ecstatic.
2. Explain what you want them to do—Don’t tell them that you’re trying to motivate them. Tell them what you want them to do. The reality is that many people don’t understand their jobs or the results that are expected of them. Many people focus on their duties and not the final objective.
3. Show your appreciation for a job well done—When someone is motivated to do something, they usually want to be recognized for their efforts. Just watch how professional coaches treat their players after they’ve done something spectacular. They hug them, they high five, and their players appreciate it. These are the most elite athletes in the world and yet they still get excited about great recognition from their coaches. If elite athletes respond this way, so will your team.
Dentists don’t have to spend years studying leadership. And they don’t have to turn being a leader into a miserable and complex process that they’ll never be able to implement or follow. They can make it easy. They can simply motivate people to do their jobs and do them well.
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, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].