Is Experience Really the Best Source of Knowledge?

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You may have heard the saying that experience is the best source of knowledge.  However, I don’t think that is 100% correct.  I think experience with reflection is actually the best source of knowledge. 

 

If we don't take the time to reflect WHY something went well or didn’t go well in our offices, we’ll miss out on much of the learning experience.

Here are 2 examples:

1. We all have good days and bad days at the office.  Some days we’re the dog, and some days we’re the hydrant, right?  When you get to the end of the days where you feel like you just got the snot kicked out of you, stop for a second.   

Look at your schedule, and analyze to see if you can tell what went wrong. Where did things fall apart?Was it a scheduling issue, certain procedures back to back, or maybe you failed to engage the way you should and your production was in the toilet.
 
Do the same thing with the good days…stop and look back and see if you can tell why you have the feeling that you just crushed it that day.
 
If you do this consistently you will start to see a pattern, and you can start making tweaks to your day so that the good start to far outweigh the bad.No this doesn’t happen overnight, but if you start NOW, I promise you that your future self will thank you.
 
I started doing this many years ago, and although I still have bad days and I still learn from them, they have consistently gotten fewer and farther between.
 

2. The next place I really like to stop and reflect is right after meeting a new patient or hygiene exams.  This has had a HUGE impact on my practice.  

 
I would bet that the majority of you when you meet a new patient and don’t really ‘click’ with them, or you could tell they just weren’t buying whatever it was you were selling, you either just move on without thinking about it, or perhaps just chalk it up to the patient’s own personal issues?

I don’t know about you, but I have never gotten to the point where I can afford to have the mindset of, "well, they just weren’t a good fit for my office".  Do you think that is what the most successful docs do?  Heck no!  If I don’t ‘click’ or I fail to make a connection with my patient it’s a ME issue, not a them issue. 
 
It takes a lot of work and expense to get patients in the door.  I want to be at the top of my game so that once they're in, they're in for life!

So what do you do?  
 
Take a minute and replay the interaction in your mind.  What could YOU have done differently?  What could you have said or what questions could you have asked to get that patient on your side?  Were you rushed?  Did you fail to notice the clues they were giving?  Did you come across as arrogant? 

Same thing when you have a good interaction.  Why did it go so well?  What was your demeanor?  What questions did you ask to build a connection?  Did you make a funny comment that loosened the patient up?

I will often ask my hygienist if I need to.  No, I don’t usually have a lot of extra time for this, but this is where the battle is won and lost, so I make time! 

“Hey Amanda... that patient we just had, I could tell I really failed to make a good connection, why do you think that is?”  - I know it may seem lame, but I will seriously ask that exact question or something to that effect. 

As you reflect and learn from these interactions, the pieces of the puzzle really begin to take shape, and you start to see the odds shift in your favor as you are consistent with them. 

I don’t just want you kicking butt and taking names tomorrow, or next week, I want your foundation to be extremely solid, so that with each passing month you are consistently improving and making progress to create a practice and life you’ve always wanted. 
 
Having a Lifestyle Practice is a marathon, not a sprint!   We build a foundation to get to the top, and then those foundational systems are what will keep us there!

Increase your intentionality, and you will increase your rewards!!  
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