Have you ever noticed when you attend your team meetings, you tend to sit in the exact same place, with the same agenda, and you discuss the same topics, in the same order every time?
No wonder dental teams lose their excitement for team meetings. The best meetings are energizing. They provide a forum for support and learning, and they provoke creative ideas that help transform the office into a model practice. As dental assistants, we tend to underestimate our value to the entire team. Since we play an essential role in the daily operations of the practice, why should it be any different when it comes to team meetings?
Break the mold! It’s time to have a team meeting that promotes team building, learning, and enhancing your practice, but with a twist to jump-start the creative juices of them team. You will find that when the team is excited about the meetings, that excitement will spark healthy discussions and lead to great things happening in the practice!
Ask to change the location of team meeting, when possible. If your meeting is normally held in the conference room, think of another place that would still allow you to accomplish the necessary activities. It could be a private room at a café, in a park, or even in the boardroom of a nearby bank. Realistically, it may not always be practical to change the location. When that’s the case, it’s perfectly acceptable to change the atmosphere. Bring a lamp from home and create a different mood with lighting. Combine that with candles, music, and an ocean fragrance, and you’ll find that the team will be eager to meet.
You can create the theme. Try these ideas for a change of pace — a Hawaiian, Mexican fiesta, or Italian theme. The possibilities are endless. Throw a tablecloth on the hardwood table, and notice the softness it brings into the room. Have snacks, paper plates, and music that match the theme to create a new atmosphere. You’ll notice after the first or second team meeting that your coworkers will be eager to see what’s coming down the pike for the next one.
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When you’re preparing for the meeting, write everyone’s names on cards and place them around the table in a different order than where they normally sit. As humans, we tend to form habits, but breaking the habit can turn into something delightful. If you normally pass out an agenda, find a way to switch up the style. You can change the format and layout of the agenda, leave it out completely, or create a dazzling PowerPoint presentation.
Remember, it’s all about creating an atmosphere of fun. There are a million team-building games on the Internet, all waiting and calling your name. Do your research and find one that fits your style, and interject it at the team meeting to usher in a new vibe.
Assistants are often the “technology-gurus” in the office, the ones everyone calls when their computer goes crazy. They can use this to their advantage during a team meeting. There are plenty of things that can be done with computers, YouTube, PowerPoint, and more to make team meetings really stand out. Take your abilities and brainstorm. Integrate those techie-tricks.
Dental assistants are huge assets to the team. They play a valuable role not only in the clinical area when seeing patients, but also for energizing team meetings.
Transforming your team meeting is such a great way to inspire your team, and also impress your doctor. The fact is, the doctors are watching us, and they notice when we go above and beyond. When it comes time for raises, who do you think is going to be first in line? You, because you went the extra mile. Transform those team meetings, and go from bland to grand!
Brianna Richardson is a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). She is the Executive Assistant at The Tanya Brown Group, and founded DentalAssistantSTUDY.com for Dental Assistants and Aspiring Dental Assistants who are preparing for Dental Assisting Exams. She can be reached at [email protected].
Dr. Tanya Brown founded and actively practices at The Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry in Chesapeake, VA. She works with dentists and dental teams who “Connect the Dots” to be more productive and have more fun. Contact Dr. Brown for a complimentary copy of the New Patient Call Form at [email protected], 757-819-7000, or 855-700-TEAM (8326).