By Roger P. Levin, DDS
Whether they express it or not, your ortho team members look to you for guidance and inspiration. After all, you are the CEO of the practice. Below are three steps you can take in the next month to motivate the people who work for you:
1. Create a Practice Vision.
Have you written a description of where you want the practice to be in 3–5 years? If not, take the next week to think about what you want your business to accomplish. Perhaps you have a growth percentage in mind, or you want to be known as the most technologically-advanced ortho practice in the region. Whatever your vision is, document it and share it with your team. Read it at meetings and post it in the break room so that everyone has a common focus guiding their efforts.
2. Refocus on Beautiful Smiles.
In the everyday hustle and bustle of running an ortho practice, it’s easy to lose touch with the reasons you became an orthodontist (or treatment coordinator or other team member). The next time you meet with your staff, ask each person to state why he or she joined the practice―but first, answer the question yourself. Most ortho team members love helping patients achieve the smiles they desire. Getting reconnected to that passion can really make a difference in people’s attitudes, especially on the stressful days.
3. Model the Behavior You Expect from Your Staff.
The people you hired look to you for direction. When you come into the office with a positive attitude, a smile, and a cheerful, “Good morning,” it demonstrates that you are energized and ready for the day. Speak to patients and parents the way you want your team to speak to them. When something goes wrong, approach it from a problem-solving perspective. Respond calmly rather than emotionally. This kind of outlook is contagious and will help keep everyone upbeat. Just because you’re the practice leader doesn’t mean that you can’t ask your team members for their input, too. You can provide a vision, reconnect them to the purpose of orthodontics and demonstrate the kind of professional demeanor you expect―and you can empower your team by giving them problems to solve and letting them know that you believe in their abilities.
Attend Dr. Levin’s ortho seminar, Set Your Ortho Practice on Fire, October 8–9, 2015, in Towson, MD, tuition-free. Ask your Ortho2 Systems Consultant how to receive an Educational Grant.