A dental practice, like any business, is always in motion. And regardless of how well you plan your day there will be surprises and frustrations. This is the normal course of business, especially when dealing with numerous patients and complex dental care. How you start your day can be a key asset in helping you work through all the schedules, activities and inevitable challenges that take place. Have you ever heard the expression “How you start is how you’ll finish?” Well, it’s true. Everything is easier when the day starts properly with a sense of organization and communication.
Always start off on the right foot
Following these six recommendations will revolutionize your effectiveness, productivity and satisfaction every day. There will still be scheduling issues, complex treatments that don’t go as planned, surprises and emergencies, but all of this will be easier to manage when you start the day off right.
Arrive at the office on time. Doctors and office managers are leaders and when they arrive late they send a clear message to everyone else that being late is OK. When you consistently arrive on time you send a message that you are organized, committed and ready to go — and the team should be as well.
Compliment or recognize team members as you prepare for the day. Complimenting someone on a job well done, mentioning your excitement over having achieved all of the day’s goals and letting people know you appreciate them goes a long way toward creating the behaviors that you want to see in your team. People love to know that they are appreciated. It raises motivation, self-esteem and a desire to do an excellent job.
Bring your A-game. Your A-game represents bringing your best self to work every day whether you feel like it or not. Just imagine a sports coach showing up to a critical game and revealing that he had a bad night and doesn’t really want to be there. How would that go? Find a way to tap into your A-game with energy and enthusiasm every day.
Be prepared. Go over the checklist that you use each day before seeing patients. What was left over from yesterday? What’s on the checklist that hasn’t been done? What are the standard operating procedures that take place every morning that allow you to be ready for the day? When you are highly prepared and organized, it sets the tone for the way the entire office operates. It also prevents you from worrying about what was done, playing catch-up or making mistakes.
Have an effective daily business meeting. Set an agenda for all of the important items of the day including the schedule, new patients, referrals, outstanding payments, emergencies and any other concerns from the team. The daily business meeting is one of the most powerful activities you can do to help reduce frustration and enhance communication throughout the day.
Expect to have fun. In the science of positive psychology, founded by Dr. Martin Seligman, simply telling yourself that “this will be fun” often changes your entire mindset instantly from something that may have been routine or bad to something that’s fun. It’s an amazing psychological tool that works for most people, showing them that if they expect to have fun they probably will.
Nothing is as important as how you start your day. These six recommendations can help revolutionize any office. You’ll notice a change in attitude and behavior for the better almost instantly.
Dr. Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the founder and CEO of Levin Group, a dental management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 dental practices since 1985. He has written 65 books and over 4,000 articles on practice management and marketing. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Time magazine and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day which has over 30,000 subscribers. Learn more at www.levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.