Tuesday Tip: Two keys to make positive acknowledgements count for your dental team

Proper acknowledgement, not false praise, will motivate the dental staff When we conduct confidential surveys and ask team members how they truly feel about the leadership, culture, systems, and outcomes of their practice, there are certain questions that seem to get a universal response! Almost all dental team members say they feel under-acknowledged by their leader(s). When we ask the dentist/leaders the question, “Are you acknowledging and appreciating your team?” the answer is almost always “yes.” How can this be? Where’s the breakdown? The biggest motivation problem we see in dental practices across America is – doing things right (or almost right) is expected and very rarely noticed, let alone commented on and appreciated. However, when things are done wrong (or not completely right), they’re usually immediately noticed and jumped upon. The bottom line is, “What gets acknowledged gets repeated.” So if you as the leader notice only negatives, your team will be under-acknowledged for what they do right, so you’d better be prepared to deal with a lot more wrongness! Key #1: A simple thank you or good job is not acknowledgement; it is praise. When you generally praise a team member, you’re losing an opportunity to focus on the specific behavior or outcome that deserves to be positively reinforced. Try this – “I saw what you did (in specifics), here’s how it ties to our vision and goals, here’s how it makes me feel, THANK YOU!” Key #2: Never, ever use your judgment (good or bad) in feedback. When you tell someone, “You’re the best assistant ever,” that and 25 cents will get you nowhere. Ask yourself, what behavior, skill, ability, or result did you see that led you to conclude someone is the best assistant ever? Acknowledge the behavior, not the person, and they will feel more appreciated and motivated to do it again. Your team can create miracles for you, your patients, and your practice. They deserve to be appreciated and have a leader who knows how to inspire. Why should you do it? Because this “motivational stuff,” when it’s sincere and not manipulative, works. So please, for Pride’s sake, acknowledge your team the right way, the kind that sticks and inspires! Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook.

Thumbs Up

When we conduct confidential surveys and ask team members how they truly feel about the leadership, culture, systems, and outcomes of their practice, there are certain questions that seem to get a universal response! Almost all dental team members say they feel under-acknowledged by their leader(s). When we ask the dentist/leaders the question, “Are you acknowledging and appreciating your team?” the answer is almost always “yes.” How can this be? Where’s the breakdown?

Thumbs UpThe biggest motivation problem we see in dental practices across America is – doing things right (or almost right) is expected and very rarely noticed, let alone commented on and appreciated. However, when things are done wrong (or not completely right), they’re usually immediately noticed and jumped upon. The bottom line is, “What gets acknowledged gets repeated.” So if you as the leader notice only negatives, your team will be under-acknowledged for what they do right, so you’d better be prepared to deal with a lot more wrongness!

Key #1:A simple thank you or good job is not acknowledgement; it is praise.
When you generally praise a team member, you’re losing an opportunity to focus on the specific behavior or outcome that deserves to be positively reinforced. Try this – “I saw what you did (in specifics), here’s how it ties to our vision and goals, here’s how it makes me feel, THANK YOU!”

Key #2:Never, ever use your judgment (good or bad) in feedback. When you tell someone, “You’re the best assistant ever,” that and 25 cents will get you nowhere.
Ask yourself, what behavior, skill, ability, or result did you see that led you to conclude someone is the best assistant ever? Acknowledge the behavior, not the person, and they will feel more appreciated and motivated to do it again.

Your team can create miracles for you, your patients, and your practice. They deserve to be appreciated and have a leader who knows how to inspire. Why should you do it? Because this “motivational stuff,” when it’s sincere and not manipulative, works.

So please, for Pride’s sake, acknowledge your team the right way, the kind that sticks and inspires!

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook.

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