Practice coach Dr. Joel Small notes that beside dentistry, a clinician must also learn to be a “people developer.” This concept is based around the time-tested proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” So that dentists can do what we do best, dentistry, we must teach our staff members that they have valuable input into the business side of the practice. We must first believe that our staff is able to solve problems on their own without coming to us for every little issue. Believing that something can be done will eventually become an expectation that it will be done, and expectations have been shown to be powerful self-fulfilling prophesies.
Here’s how to empower your team to positive decision making!
It is important at this juncture to be clear regarding decisions that you feel require your input. Surprisingly, as the people development process progresses, you will find that your input is required less and less. Fundamental to the people development process is a willingness by the leader to encourage input, acknowledge it when received, and affirm its value. People developers will tell you that they have grown to rely on their staff’s problem-solving capabilities. I can tell you that I have personally observed very positive changes in practices that have developed a people-development mentality.
Check out Dr. Small’s Small Talk column in Endodontic Practice US and our other practice development and management articles in all of our MedMark Media publications!