There is no ‘I’ in Team

There is no ‘I’ in Team

Humans are universally created and introduced into the planetary ecology with one common characteristic, unconditional love. We then spend the remainder of time in pursuit of dismantling and rebuilding the scaffolding when therein lies a far simpler answer: STOP TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED AND START SHARING THE LOVE.

It should come as no surprise there is an overwhelm within the dental profession over recruiting and retaining qualified talent. Far too many contributors have migrated away from the industry in search of greater opportunities with no shortage of data to showcase the deficit. Yet, it remains largely doctrine that the dental team is by far the top client of any practice. And, it must be treated as such despite the natural tendency toward a patient-first mindset. However, stepping back for a minute to pour over the patient experience will shed light on how leveraging a committed and magnanimous team will naturally translate into the delivery of exquisite, enthusiastic, and empathetic “love” to the patient.

If burnout has hit you, the practitioner, owner, or jack-of-all-trades, then it has most certainly doused the team. A lot has been made over tactical solutions for managing burnout, and it is critical to take an inventory of your personal situation. One underpinning force is by far the relationship between the practice and 3rd party payment systems or aka: dental insurance programs. Naturally remodeled into a coupon book and/or tepid financial assistance platform, there is no doubt the deflationary forces have delivered a healthy uppercut to the chins of most modern-day clinicians. The equilibrium point has since passed and rendered the bifurcated dental economy of today. Consumers will ultimately drive the bus as they pay for what they want ahead of need. Buying cycles, economies of scale, the elasticity of price/supply/demand, and a host of other financial factors meld to enforce a real interesting horizon when a defined plan does not exist. Couple it with the ongoing inflationary forces upon the input side and one most likely will need to pivot. However, prior to any unforced errors of emotional overload taking center stage, pause. Take a hard look at why dentistry. What specifically empowered you to take the leap?

Irrespective of consolidation FOMO or pure angst over cut-rate reimbursement, there exists an overriding love of the profession. An intrinsic drive toward excellence. People are attracted to the profession for largely similar reasons. Including your team. The people we empower to help us serve our communities are invaluable to the process and must not be taken for granted. Perhaps we have been less than stellar in the previous chapters of practice management? The live and learn mantra is not short on experience. The humility to seek forgiveness and the willingness to level up to a better and brighter version attracts new tranches of universal fuel. Perfection is, at best, a form of procrastination while forgiveness is, by nature, a thing of the past should we fail to recognize its beauty.

There is no more profound way to reinvent greatness than a team training day. The time almost evaporates within the allotted hours despite the quantity and quality of content provided. Making this a priority within the operational schedule is a crux move. Backfilling around training days with deliberate growth sessions laser-focused upon essential elements of clinical and/or managerial systems will ultimately translate into more efficient and profitable operations. Start small and build with intention and conviction. Embracing a can-do attitude within the culture pays enormous dividends. Your team and your patients will be eternally grateful.

Humans are unconditionally their most vocal self-critic, and too often we cast this patterned quilt upon the support crew we seemingly take for granted. Smothering what we truly are in support of growth and ascension. Literally carving out time away from actual clinical operation to train, retrain, retool, reboot, rework, etc. is paramount. This recharge will refill the tank with that high-octane spirit the engine so desperately yearns for. It may appear counterintuitive and/or counterproductive, but it is of preeminent status for a thriving dental practice.