I would make suggestions to my team, but then I would get frustrated when they took them as exactly that…suggestions.
Make sure your team knows the difference between what are suggestions, and what is required.
For example – If I make the suggestion to my kids, “Hey guys it would be nice if you cleaned your room up before bed”, guess how many times it actually happens in a 10 day period? Not many!
Now if I make a simple change to “Hey guys, dad wants your room to be cleaned up every night before bed” the number of times it happens increases significantly. (Well, at least in my example there is an increase! A guy has to dream, right?)
I noticed this same phenomenon happens with my team at the office.
Many years ago I began to make sure I was crystal clear on what is required in my office. I don’t do it as a jerk, lording over them with my demands. I do it in a polite diplomatic way which is firm but kind.
Believe it or not my team actually likes it.
Here are just a few examples:
I used to suggest that my hygienists present fluoride to patients. They took at it face value. Sometimes they did it, and sometimes they didn’t. No sweat, right? I thought about it, and wondered what the deal was. The ‘deal’ was me! My expectations weren’t clear!
Now I tell them we present fluoride to every hygiene patient. It takes the guesswork out of the equation for them. They just know it is what we do now.
Results: When I first had that simple conversation with my hygienists our fluoride sales went up 28%!!
Funny story (at least to me): I was reading a thread on a well-known dental website covering this subject. A dentist commented that they couldn’t do adult fluoride because their hygienists didn’t believe in it. First, if that was ever the case with me, I wouldn’t admit it; And second….are you kidding me? It is your practice! You call the shots.
Now don’t be a jerk about it, but you make the decisions for your office. If you ask your hygienists to present fluoride to all your patients and they say they won’t…you say good-bye. (Unless they are willing to take on the practice bills, your school debt payments, and all the other bills and responsibilities you carry on a daily basis)!
Rant is over.
Here is 1 more example:
Asking for reviews and referrals:
I used to suggest that my team ask for reviews and referrals. Just as with the fluoride, sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t.
Then just as I did with the fluoride, I sat my hygienists down, explained the important role reviews and referrals play in the success of our practice, and that I expect them to ask patients for a referral and a review. Then I went through with them exactly how we ask for these. You have to be intentional in your leadership!
Results: We now have the most 5-Star Google Reviews of any dental practice in our metro area, and we get a ton of referred patients.
I could go over many more examples…buuuut you get the point!
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