Management isn’t easy; least of all dental practice management. When you’re hunched over a patient, it’s difficult to know how patients in other areas of the practice are being treated by, say, the hygienist, the administration team or how they’re being handed off from one person to another.
Most managers believe that telling people what you want and how duties are to be performed, should be enough. Well, the reality is that most of the time it isn’t. I’ll use the example of a practice I am currently working with to illustrate my point, We spoke about the handoff of the patient to the front by the hygienists or dental assistants. Apparently everybody understood that they should have a three-way discussion with the person at the front desk and the patient and explain exactly what treatment was performed today, what appointment/s need to be scheduled next and gracefully exit with a warm farewell and ‘I’ll see you next time’ to the patient.
Several weeks later I happened to be observing the flow of these handoffs and I was very let down that nobody was implementing these suggestions. And then I realized that two things were missing: clarity and consistency. ‘Telling’ them once just doesn’t make the grade. You’ve got to show them and let them practice and then watch while they are able to successfully duplicate the process. This takes the degree of clarity to a much higher level.
The next key is to consistently observe to make sure the desired standard is being met and implemented every single time. And, of course, praise for incremental improvement.
This focus on clarity and consistency will set you apart not only as a manager but also as a leader.
To your Success!!