Praise Dental Team

Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: Why do some dental teams gel and others do not?

July 29, 2014
Dental team members' attitude, praise from the leader, and a positive outlook will keep teams happy, and that happiness will carry over to great patients care.

Have you ever wondered why some office teams seem to gel and fly through their workday, while others misinterpret each other and struggle to get through the day-to-day stuff that keeps an office going? Several practices have recently asked me about this, each in their own way, and when a theme emerged before me, I became curious. After exploring the interactions of some teams, I revisited some key research about relationships.

Here are six key things to remember for both business owners and team members:

1) You get more of what you focus on, so find something good and focus on that.

2) Smile more. It doesn’t matter how much you’re smiling now, practice smiling 10% more. Focus on that and watch how the world responds.

3) You need to appreciate and acknowledge. Team members and team leaders who acknowledge and show appreciation for other team members generate the positive atmosphere that many only wish for.
If you stood in front of a fireplace and yelled, “Give me warmth and then I’ll give you wood,” you’d be left in the cold. Try giving praise and acknowledgement first, and then see what you can build from there.

4) Use a 5-to-1 ratio of praise to feedback. For every piece of not-so-great feedback you offer, make sure that you give praise in a 5-to-1 ratio. Can’t find five nice things to say? That’s either your problem to work on, or the person you can’t say five nice things about may not belong on the team. Either way, you’ll need to focus.

5) Do what I did when I had 120 staff members – take six pennies at the start of each day. Put them in your right pocket. Every time you give praise to someone, move a penny from your right pocket to your left pocket. Six compliments do not seem like a lot to give in an eight-hour period. I found myself surprised and disappointed when I ended the day with a couple of pennies left in my right pocket. This exercise gives you a way to put metrics to the praise you should offer during the day.

Building relationships carries over from your team to great patient care. Give your patients a reason to keep coming back to you, and make one of those reasons that they can “feel” the great sense of camaraderie in the team.

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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, and like them on Facebook.