Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: How much praise do you provide your dental team?

Praise goes a long way in maintaining a positive attitude of your team

Penny Dental Incentive

By Wayne D. Pernell, PhD of Pride Institute

Have you ever wondered why some work teams seem to gel and fly through their workday, while others struggle, misinterpret each other, and have trouble getting through the day-to-day stuff?

Several practices recently asked me about this, each in their own way, and when a theme emerges before me, I become curious. After exploring the interactions of some of the teams, I reviewed some key research on relationships.

Penny Dental Incentive

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

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

2) Smile more. It doesn’t matter how much you’re smiling now; try smiling 10% more. Focus on THAT and watch how the world responds!

3) Appreciate and acknowledge. Team members (including team leaders) who acknowledge and show appreciation for other team members end up generating the positive atmosphere that so 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. So what about giving praise and acknowledgement first, then see what you can build on 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’re giving praise in a 5-to-1 ratio. Can’t find five nice things to say? That’s either a problem of yours, or that other person doesn’t 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, take a penny out of the right pocket and transfer it to your left pocket. Six compliments don’t seem like a lot to give in an eight-hour period, but I found myself surprised and disappointed when I ended the day with a couple of pennies in my right pocket. This exercise gives you a way to measure the praise you offer each day.Building relationships carries over from your team to great patient care. Give your patients a reason to keep coming back to you, and one of those reasons should be 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 prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook.

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