Persuade Dentist Boss

Thursday Troubleshooter: Team feels left out! How to get dentist to share important info?

Jan. 8, 2015
This dental team just had their best month ever, but they got no feedback or motivation from the doctor. What can they do to change that?

QUESTION: In the last dental practice where I worked, the team members were let in on "what's happening now" in the practice. The doctor shared the health of the practice’s statistical data (number of new patients, emergencies, production, collections, write-offs, overhead percentages and how they compared to our goals, and the norms in each category). We also had daily huddles to strategize for the day and stay in check on goals.

In the practice I’m in now, the doctor does not share any of that information with the team. We recently completed our best month ever, and I excitedly asked the doctor to share it with the team and he said no, and that they don't even care about practice statistics. We have no goals whatsoever in this practice. How can I let the doctor know that we will never have a big success if we don't celebrate our small successes together as a team?

ANSWER FROM LINDA MILES,Founder of Speaking Consulting Network:
I’m amazed at the number of dentists who don’t share the statistical data regarding the practice's health. How can the team work toward a better month if they don't know a good one from a bad one? You need to have a conversation with your doctor and try to convince him that this is a significant part of practice growth and success. Good luck!

First of all, I’m sure it’s difficult for you to come from a practice that is goal driven with a doctor who communicates openly with the team to a practice this is quite the opposite. One thing we know for sure – an empowered team has tremendous motivation to contribute to the success of the practice. By not establishing goals with the team or sharing the practice's statistics, the doctor is limiting the practice’s growth.

I would suggest you meet with your doctor and share how you and your previous team were motivated because you were involved in establishing and monitoring goals, and how this can impact his practice. Ask him to meet with you and the team and establish goals for 2015. (What better time than the first of the year?) Ask him to give these new goals at least three months to see what the power of the team can do for the success of the practice. I’m sure he’ll be amazed!

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