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OSHA Guidance on Preparing_Workplaces for COVID_19
In many lectures, I’ve advised dentists on the power of having a community Facebook group. Once you become an established thought leader, it becomes easier to connect with the wonderful people in your community.
Building a successful group however, can be a very time consuming task. During this time however, many are glued to social media and looking for a positive way to connect with others. By starting and growing a group with the potential downtime you have currently, you can grow your influence and in turn grow your business once we return to work.
Start by choosing a name. I chose Bloomingdale Support Group (Don’t worry you can change this later). From there, add your local connections to become members. If you’re looking for a way to keep your team busy during time off, they can be given a daily goal for adding members to the group as one of their daily metrics (more in daily metrics in a future blog).
Once you’ve built the group, post at least 3 times per day and try to vary your content. Share one uplifting or positive message. Post something to make others laugh. Ask a question to generate interaction. Group provide greater organic (non paid) exposure than business pages. You’ll find over time, as your group members begin to know you, that they’ll eventually want to choose you for their oral health care.
This strategy is both beneficial to your community today (during these hard times) and in the future, when it’s time to bounce back.
Learn how I manage my Facebook group by joining here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DentalMarketingWithGrace/
Even though I consider myself an optimist, this situation has proven to challenge even those with extreme mental fortitude. I’m sure you’ve also experienced moments of deep concern for our country and the world, and our physical and financial health now and in the future.
60% of my daily responsibilities typically include facilitating strategy sessions with dentists. During these sessions we evaluate the current health of the business, as well as what can be done to meet and exceed business goals. It’s always my mission to only give the advice that is in the best interest of the person I’m talking with to the best of my ability.
This situation is no different. I hope you find the following strategies helpful. I hope they help you to stay positive and focused on your business comeback plan during this difficult time.
Do you work hard to avoid having difficult conversations with your employees? Do you do everything in your power to keep the peace, just accepting some poor behaviors rather than start a confrontation?
Whatever reason you choose to avoid these conversations, you shouldn’t allow the inability to confront the things that truly matter to the success of your business hold you back.
For many of us, it’s not the fear of confrontation that’s holding us back. Rather, we are fearful of disrespecting someone who we’ve come to depend on or even like as a person. In essence, we fear that any confrontation will result in the loss of a relationship.
Before we become comfortable with these kinds of conversations, it can seem like a big deal to confront someone about their behavior. However, once we do, we realize that these conversations aren’t about an argument or a “fight”. They’re a way to clarify expectations and check-in with your team. In many ways, confrontation allows you to ask your team questions that help them grow as both employees and people.
Let’s say you have an employee who’s become unreliable. Once a week for a month they have an excuse or reason for not coming in or showing up late. You see the pattern and you feel like you can’t rely on them. Not only are they letting you down, but they’re letting the entire team down too.
A lot of people shy away from that direct line of communication and instead bring up their issues in an indirect way.
Here’s what that Indirect Communication may look like:
“I’m glad you’re feeling better and I’m happy that you’re back. We definitely need you here.”
Did you get your point across? Does your employee understand that their attendance matters and that you need them to make a change? Not at all.
Conversely, here’s what Direct Communication/Confrontation may look like:
“I’m really glad that you’re feeling better. We definitely need you around here. What can we do to make sure you arrive on time every day?”
What have you changed? You’ve asked your employee to consider what their actions have cost the team and the business. You’ve also given them an opportunity to consider how they could improve without being accusatory or judgemental yourself.
Now, when asked this question, people can react in a few different ways. One of which will be that an employee seeks to avoid the confrontation. Yes, your employees dislike confrontation as much as you do and they may try to sidestep you. An example would be:
“Oh absolutely. I love this place. I can’t believe how that thing happened, and then how that happened, and everything that happened was all so far outside of my control, but I can tell you right now – it won’t happen again.”
While it may seem like the issue has been resolved, it really hasn’t been. The problem is that the employee isn’t taking any responsibility.
Maybe one of the four times they’ve made an excuse, it was a completely unavoidable set of circumstances. Those other three times? Not so much. If that person wants to be a part of your team, they’re going to have to start taking responsibility. How can you help that happen? Ask the right questions.
“How can you be better prepared for that situation so that it won’t interfere with your ability to make it to work?”
If the person cares about you and their job, they may become quiet and introspective for a moment, truly considering how they could have done things differently. They’ll come back with something to truly better themselves.
If they are just trying to take advantage, that employee will come back with some sort of inflamed comment:
“Well, there was no way that I could have prevented any of this!”
Either way, you’ll know where you stand with your employees and whether or not they’re going to be a part of your long term team.
As a dentist, you may feel that this isn’t something you need to deal with. You went to school to be a dentist and you’re very good at it. However, it’s still important to master the leadership of your team. Get comfortable with confrontation. It’s a part of your business and it’s nothing more than a discussion and dealing with a situation.
The more comfortable you get, the more you’ll be able to use it to your business’s advantage. Master it, and see the results impact every aspect of your life.
If you’re looking for help when it comes to your team communication or your leadership skills, you can contact me today at email@example.com. Let me know what issues you’re facing and I’ll do my best to give you advice that helps you find solutions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Who are you serving? As dentists, it’s likely that you’re helping change people’s lives for the better with great oral health every day. You’re important, and so is the work you do. Get up and do it as best you can.
Break it Down
How do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time. When facing an overwhelming workload, focus on what you can accomplish in the next hour, the next day, and the next week. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for the next project.
The Un-Comfort Zone
By trying new things or new roles, you’re more likely to keep your brain entertained, alert, and ready to tackle your day.
When we refuse to listen to feedback or constructive criticism, we’re refusing to grow. Know that you’re great at what you do, but consider how you could be even better.
Positivity is Everything
Your attitude is everything. Whether you’re leading, or a member of the team, you and your energy impact the work of everyone around you. Stay positive, be grateful, and remember to reward yourself and your team for a job well done.
Contact our office for more information.
I have a friend who’s been thinking, and dreaming, and planning on launching her own business for years. Unfortunately, she hasn’t done much “doing”. She’s the kind of person who has no lack of experience or knowledge, and she’s been growing and learning in her chosen industry for years. She has had all the tools she’s needed to be successful for a very long time. So what’s been holding her back?
Recently, she made the first real steps to get her business off the ground and I couldn’t be more proud. I asked her why she thought it had taken so long for her to finally get started and she gave me the response that I was expecting, but still didn’t understand.
“I can’t believe I haven’t done it sooner. I think I was just too afraid to get started.”
It’s not only in business that this fear rears its ugly head. What about when you want to start dedicating yourself to the gym, or when you want to finally read that book you’ve been putting off? What things have been nagging at you, begging for you to accomplish them before the end of your life? What’s been holding you back from doing so? Fear of failure? What is that?
Maybe your original plan doesn’t pan out exactly how you thought it would. Is that failure? No.
Maybe you didn’t reach the specific goal you had set for yourself. Is that failure? No.
These imagined failures are arbitrary and created solely by you- don’t allow them to prevent you from moving forward when achieving your goals becomes challenging.
When I first started my business, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would have labeled me a “failure”. In my first year, I produced less than $13,000 before expenses. In 2009 (the year I first started Identity), the median household income in the United States was nearly $60,000. Ouch. Could I have thrown in the towel right then and there, living the rest of my life as a failure? Absolutely. Perhaps other people even would have.
Instead, I chose to look at each of those 13,000 dollars and feel pride for what I had accomplished. I understood that it meant I had made a real step towards my goal of owning a successful business. Not only had I made money for myself, but I had truly helped a few clients grow their own businesses along the way.
From that experience, I learned something critical to my success. When you learn to appreciate your journey towards success, you eliminate the possibility of failure. By focusing on what’s going right, you prevent the worry over things that have gone wrong to slow you down. Very few people are successful overnight, or in this case over a year. But that willingness to appreciate the journey, to love every step you take, including the highs and the lows, means that you’ll be incapable of allowing the fear of failure to hold you back. In fact, failure won’t even be an option as long as you’re alive.
This isn’t to stay that you should always stick with your original goals in the hope that someday they’ll pan out. Rather, continually learn from the successes and mistakes you make and apply that knowledge to the adaptation of your goals. Eventually, you will find success.
As someone who’s been where you are, and who continues to love being on her journey towards success, allow me to offer one more piece of advice. If you’re sitting in place at work, or in your life, fearing that things may not turn out exactly the way you want them too, know that it’s better to go and make an effort than to stay stuck in a place you’ll regret when you go on to the next life.
If you’re in need of a little extra guidance or a push, I’m always here for you. Schedule a call today at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.
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Today I’d like to share a story that happened to a doctor I’ve known for a very long time and who I have a great deal of respect for.
Having been in practice for many years, this doctor was in the process of training an associate to take over the practice after their eventual retirement. The two had formed a strong connection and all seemed to be well for a long time. What my friend didn’t know was that their associate was secretly opening up their own practice down the street, catering to the same market, the same patients, and even bringing some team members with them. The rest of the team knew about the betrayal and even supported the other doctor by liking posts on Facebook and other seemingly minor actions.
Upon hearing this story, I simply couldn’t believe that it was true. The fact that someone could be that blatantly unethical was astonishing to me.
I know that some of you will shout from the rooftops, “That’s why we have non-compete contracts”, but shouldn’t we live in a world where people want to do the right thing, not because they have a contract telling them they have to, but simply because it’s right?
As I continued to think about this story, I realized that at its core, it is a situation that all of us will face at some point in our careers. As a business starts to gain traction, and everything seems to be going amazing, you’re going to face decisions that will determine who you are.
In those moments, you’re going to have to choose between making more money or doing the right thing.
Let’s say you consider making a recommendation to a patient who really doesn’t need the treatment, but you want to hit your numbers.
What do you think you’d do?
Let’s say your team has botched a service, resulting in more costly visits for the patient that should have been unnecessary.
Do you own up to the mistake?
Sometimes doing the right thing in situations such as these will cost you money. Sometimes it will cost you time. However, if instead, you choose to make money the deciding factor, the cost will be much more significant in my opinion.
That cost is going to be your ability to look yourself in the mirror at the end of your life and be happy with the person you’ve become. Choosing the money over what’s right once or twice, may not cost you your soul. You may even think you’ve “gotten away with it”. But gradually, the little decisions will pile up.
So, every time you face that decision – make a good choice. Not “good” in the sense that you think it’s best for your business, but “good” in the sense that it’s best for your soul. Surround yourself with people that have a high sense of integrity and know that when you do reflect back on the life you’ve lived, you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished and how you did so.
Ethicality has a pivotal role in my own business and life. If you want to talk about the choices you’re facing in your business, and whether or not they are the right ones, reach out. I may not be able to solve the problems you face, but I’ll offer guidance and support to help you conquer them.
Schedule a call at https://identitydental.com/cmps/.
Whether you’re running a single dental office or the entirety of a global enterprise like Amazon, there’s a focus on how we can improve and grow our businesses. This is one of the best parts about owning a company and I would never suggest you do otherwise. At my speaking events, in my business, and even in conversations with friends, I talk openly about the importance of embracing the need to improve. Considering how we can be better is a great way to induce change and create a stronger business.
However, the “too-much-of-a-good-thing” rule applies here. When we focus solely on “fixing” our business, there is no time left for celebrating our wins.
It can be challenging to focus on the good when you’re overwhelmed by your business, worried about your patients or your schedule. But taking the time to stop and celebrate is critical.
When your team only hears from you when things are stressful or wrong, they never see the other side. Ignoring the wins can be not only demoralizing for your team, but can also sabotage your long term success. If you’re not consistently celebrating the good, you may be creating an atmosphere that people neither want to work for or with.
Today, make the conscious effort to celebrate a win. Ask yourself, “what is worth celebrating in my business and how are we going to do so?”
With this knowledge, I challenge you to celebrate at least one win in your practice today. Think about what your team has been doing well and celebrate. For this first time, the how and the why aren’t nearly as important as simply making the effort. See how your team reacts and let us know if it helps create a happier and more productive work atmosphere.
In the meantime, if you want to more useful business management tips, or want to get started on a marketing plan for your practice, schedule a complimentary marketing planning session with me for no charge, at https://identitydental.com/cmps.
No one is born being a fantastic business leader. You either enjoy it and do your best to learn more, or you don’t. Despite this fact, I often hear dentists claim that they are “bad at business” when the reality is they are only holding themselves back.
So, what’s holding you back from finding success? What’s stopping you from not only reaching that $1 million mark, but surging past it on your way to greater things? In all the time I’ve spent in the dental community I’ve noticed a commonality between those who realize their potential for growth and those who do not.
The doctors that do the best and continue to grow past the one million dollar mark are the ones that are willing to take risks.
Different Kinds of Risk
When I talk to those who are hesitant to take risks on anything, I tell them that there is an
inherent risk in every aspect of life, whether they realize it or not.
There’s risk in hiring and there’s risk in firing. Investing in your marketing, your advisors, or a dental CPA are all risks too. Even becoming a dentist was a risk.
While those financial risks are a major factor, there’s also the risk that comes with being known. Many don’t want to market their business and grow because they don’t want to be exposed to a larger world. They don’t want to risk that someone might not like them. To that, I say – are you really going to let the rest of the world determine your success?
What if You’re Happy With Where You’re At?
When I talk to a doctor or another practice leader for the first time there is always a great deal of pride surrounding the fact that they’ve only grown their business by word of mouth. While I can appreciate the sentiment, to me it’s an indicator that they just haven’t yet figured out how to leverage marketing effectively. It also shows that they may not be willing to take the necessary risks to grow beyond their natural growth rate.
This is not to say that leading a successful dental practice is as easy as saying yes to risk. In fact, I truly believe that dentistry is one of the hardest industries to build success in. Not only are you trying to grow a business, but you are responsible for leading your teams and treating patients. You truly are the “Chief Everything Officer”.
You’ve worked hard to build the success you have, and putting that success on the line is not an easy task. However, if you find yourself constantly avoiding risk in the interest of saving your practice ask yourself this:
What is all that saving costing you?
If, after reading this blog, you think it’s time to take a risk and do something different, you can schedule a call with me. Not only will we discuss a marketing plan that will get you started in growing past that one million dollar mark, but we’ll talk about you and your business as a whole.
Work with Identity Dental Marketing, and see what’s on the other side of your risk aversion.