Free Newsletter Call Email

June 1, 2020

The Human Side of Dentistry

I am blessed to have the privilege of working in the dental industry since the early 1980’s!  Working in the dental industry for many can become just a job!  We must never, even for a moment, disregard that we are human beings caring for the health of other human beings.  It is not just about fixing teeth.  There are humans attached to those teeth!  It is important that we focus on the human side of dentistry and become advocates for our patients’ health.

I would love to see every medical and dental team instilled with an advocate mindset.  However, many of us have experienced a caregiver objectifying a patient by treating them like an object than a human being.  For example, they make decisions for the patient instead of educating and asking questions to understand what matters to them.  They have conversations about them in front of them and act as if they aren’t present.

I had a not so human experience during a recent visit to a radiology department.  It started out great with the x-ray techs introducing themselves as they ushered me into the room and explaining the process.  However, all manners and niceties stopped when the doctor who was going to be taking the x-rays entered the room.  He did not slow down enough to take a moment to introduce himself or ask me if I had any questions before he started.  He proceeded to rapid fire commands at me and then walked out of the room without further discussion.  There was no compassion or connection.  I felt objectified.  As if I were just a task that he was in a hurry to complete.  I understand that this may be a daily routine for him, but it was not for me.

It is vital that we remember when we are caring for our dental patients that they are more than just a task to complete to get on to the next one so we can finish our day.  We are dealing with their health.  What may be routine for us may seem scary or concerning to them.  It is essential that we recognize the human side of what we do.  It is our responsibility to take time to develop meaningful relationships with our patients, which allow will allow us to provide better and more comprehensive care.  When we do this, we become an advocate for our patients’ dental health.

Here are five essentials to help you become your patients’ advocate.

 

  1. Be happy to serve. Do you seem happy to the people you serve, both team and patients?  Think about it for a moment.  Would your patients and team describe you as happy?  Do you greet others warmly with a smile?  Are you happy to come to work and grateful for what you get to do?  Do you focus on the positive and celebrate daily?

 

  1. Get to know the human attached to the teeth. Ask questions to get to know more about what’s important to your patient.  What has been their past experience?  What are their goals and desires for their dental health?  What are their concerns about treatment and what matters to them?

 

  1. Educate your patient by having a conversation not giving a presentation. That means asking and answering questions as you go along to avoid assumptions.  Stop the data dumping and present information in bite size pieces.  Avoid industry slang and communicate on their level.  Verify time, sequence, cost and compliance (what they need to do to support).

 

  1. Focus on the WIIFTP (What’s in it for the patient). Show up 100% by being present in the moment.  Always contemplate what would make your patient feel more welcome, more comfortable in the moment and help build a stronger relationship?  Keep your patients in the loop by informing them what you are doing and why.  It’s what we say or don’t say that creates the patient’s perception.  We lose value when we don’t let our patients know what we are doing.  If we don’t say it to the patient it doesn’t exist.  For example, when you do an oral cancer exam explain to your patient what you are doing and the reasons why.  Even for those patients you have seen for many years.  Inform them every time.  The why must always be a value statement highlighting the benefit for the patient not the practice or the team.

 

  1. Address complications as soon as possible. Come from a real place of care, concern and curiosity versus judgment and criticism.  Always consider what it might feel like if it happened to you.  How would you treat them if they were a family member?  Let me clarify, a family member you like!  LOL!  Start out by asking, “How may I help you?”  Then be present, listen and hear what they are saying.  Share with them how you can help them by saying, “I can help you and this is how.”

When we focus on being advocates for our patients, we will develop more meaningful relationships that will enable us to provide better and more comprehensive care to our patients.  A win for the patient, practice and team!

May 1, 2020

Communication to Stay Safe & Sane

Whew!  What a year 2020 has been so far!  I don’t know about you, but I feel like the rug was pulled out from under my feet.  All my hard work and carefully laid plans disintegrated when the Covid-19 storm hit.  My emotions were like a roller coaster ride ranging from anger and frustration to fear, confusion and sadness.  That’s just to name a few.   Normally I maintain a very positive equilibrium and I was definitely off kilter.  I knew I had to get a handle on the negative emotions to get back on track.  Otherwise, the negative would crowd out my optimistic outlook.

After some reflection, I realized I needed to search out the positive in the current situation; and let go of the negative that I could not control.  I focused on the positive upside of more “time.  I now had time to:

  • Spend with my husband and dog
  • Call and zoom with family and friends
  • Social distance with neighbors
  • Complete projects around the house including organizing and cleaning
  • Work in my yard
  • Take more walks
  • Work out more
  • create newsletters, articles, webinars and presentations
  • Volunteer complimentary help to my clients

I stopped focusing on the downside and things I couldn’t control such as:

  • Uncertain future
  • Loss business and income
  • Limited interaction with others
  • Restricted travel

I am sure I am not the only person struggling with trying to stay positive.  There will be a wide range of emotions when we go back to work.  The wheels are going to fall off if we pretend nothing happened and we just bury ourselves working to catch up.  It will be critical to schedule time to communicate daily as a team.  This includes the doctor(s).  A huddle, first thing in the morning creates the perfect opportunity to check in with each other.

Have the entire team share their emotions.  How are they feeling in the moment and why?  Do they have feelings of fear, anger, judgment, sadness or hurt feelings etc.?   What does the team need from each other to feel safe and work together better?  What can they do to help each other more?  It is important for the team to be sensitive to each other’s needs.  We tend to think others have the same feelings and needs.  Avoid judging and criticizing if someone is more emotional and needs more reassurance to feel safe and comfortable.  There is not a right or wrong way to feel.  Feelings are feelings!

Trying to stuff our emotions and pretend we are all okay will lead to meltdowns.  If we don’t discuss our emotions, we will eventually burst, and everything will come spewing out.  When we reach that level, we are often no longer coming from a place of care or concern, but instead a place of anger.  When we act out in judgment, criticism, anger or negativity we can expect a like response.  This is what I refer to as an emotional reaction cycle.

We can avoid emotional reactions by taking time to start our day with a team huddle.  Initially we may need to extend our normal huddle time to accommodate discussing our teams needs and emotions in addition to our patients.

Be mindful of tone and body language when asking questions.  The questions I suggest are:

  • How are you feeling about being here today?
  • Tell me why you feel this way?
  • What leads you to believe…?
  • Tell me more about…?
  • Help me understand why…?

These questions work great at home as well.

Do a recap of the prior day to discuss and fine tune systems and processes.  This will help build clarity and confidence among the team.  What worked and what didn’t?  Define action steps to overcome obstacles.  Avoid the blame game.  We are all in this together and the more we help each other the better off we will all be.  Practice verbal skills, role playing and the physical walk through to be proficient when interacting with patients.  This will help the team feel confident which will ensure the patients feel confident and safe under their care.

Together we will rise up!

February 3, 2020

Love Your Heart to Health!

February is Heart Month!  Most of us focus on the love part.  I am going to switch it up and focus on the health part.  It is the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you can take to be healthy.  The perfect time to love your heart to health!

This has become extremely important to me as my husband Steve had several heart attacks in November.  We felt blind sighted. He eats healthy and works out most days.  Steve feels and looks healthy and goes to the doctor annually for checkups.  We were hiking daily in the hills of Sausalito two months prior to his heart attacks.  He felt great.  Everything seemed to be good.  We were utterly shocked when we found out that what we thought was indigestion was really a heart attack.

We feel very blessed that he survived.  The surgeons performed an Angioplasty resulting in placing two stents and opening other areas.  They refer to the 90% blockage Steve had as the Widow Maker.

We are so appreciative that several of my clients and colleagues suggested we read “Beat the Heart Attack Gene by Bradley Bale, MN and Amy Doneen, ARNP, https://beattheheartattackgene.com/. Reading the book has created a much better understanding of heart disease.  I followed up with reading “Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!”. which supports the same information. The standard of care is geared to treat end stage disease.  Who wants to wait until end stage? Instead, “Beat the Heart Attack Gene” focuses on prevention and what causes heart disease.

A quick checklist to see if it is time for you to request more thorough tests.

  • Waist measures 35 or more for women and 40 or more for men. (no this does not mean your belt size.)  Use a flexible (sewing) tape measure to measure.
  • High blood pressure – 130/85 or higher
  • Low HDL – less than 50mg for women and less than 40 mg for men
  • High Triglycerides – greater than 150
  • Fasting blood sugar greater than 99

If you have 3 or more of these symptoms don’t delay schedule an appointment today!  It likes 3 strikes in baseball…you are out!

 

The following tests are highly recommended by Amy Doneen and Dr Bale if you strike out.

  • A Cholesterol Test. A high LDL has been the focus on cholesterol as standard of care.  The more important cholesterol number is your total cholesterol and HDL ratio (TC/HDL ratio).  Divide total cholesterol by HDL.  Based on studies they consider a TC/HDL ratio of 3.5 a desirable target and number below 3 to be optimal.
  • An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) to monitor how your body responds to sugar after fasting.
  • A Carotid IMT test to check plaque levels in arteries.
  • A blood test for Lipoprotein A
  • A Coronary calcium scan
  • A Genetic makeup test to test for the heart attack gene 9P21

Doctors will be able to take a more preventive approach once they know the results of these tests.  The treatment will no longer be based on the average person but instead customized to your specific health needs.

Love you heart to health!

January 1, 2020

New Year! New Attitude! New Life!

I love January and the start of a fresh new year!  A year of positive possibilities and opportunities!  You might want to check your attitude if you aren’t happy with your current status.  Your lifestyle reflects your attitude.  What is your attitude about life?  Do you just get up, go to work, come home and go to bed?  Or are you looking for something more out of life?  Change your attitude change your life!  Just as you can’t plant squash and expect to harvest carrots, you can’t have a negative attitude and expect a positive outcome.

One of the best ways to change your lifestyle is to change your attitude in how you start your day. How do you think and feel when you first wake up in the morning?  Your thoughts set the tone for the day.  If your first thoughts in the morning are: “Oh, I’m so tired. It’s too early to get up.  My eyes won’t even open.  I’ll just hit snooze and lay here . . . just fifteen minutes . . . just fifteen more minutes,” you’re off to a slow… negative start.

Instead, change your story.  When the alarm goes off immediately jump out of bed.  Tell yourself and anyone listening, I am going to make it an awesome day.  I am ready for whatever comes my way today.  Your brain believes what it hears.  Look for things to celebrate in the moment.  Focus on what is good or positive.

It’s time to step across the threshold into your office.  Be mindful of your attitude as you enter.  Stop at the door and give yourself a pep talk if necessary.  Whatever attitude you bring to work affects the culture and the entire team.  Smile and warmly greet your coworkers.   These are the people who have your back!  Treat them with kindness and respect.  Just because you can get by with unfiltered behavior doesn’t mean it’s okay.  The better you treat others the better you will feel!

Happily, help others throughout the day.  It doesn’t matter how well you do your job if you don’t support your team when needed.  Everyone loses if a patient leaves the practice because of a bad experience.   It’s not for us judge whether a coworker is worthy of receiving our assistance.  For example, being unwilling to help because we think the other person doesn’t work as hard or as fast as we do.  Our job is to do whatever it takes as long as it is legal, ethical and within our licensure…from the moment we check in to the moment we check out.  Even if it means helping others that we may not necessarily like.  We are to treat people based on who we want to be as a team instead of judging whether they are deserving.

We must never forget that it is a privilege and an honor to be able to work in the dental industry.  Don’t get lost in the muck of the mundane of daily tasks.  Instead focus on the opportunity to change peoples’ lives.   We help create beautiful smiles.  A smile is the number one connector in any language!  Our patients become more confident when they have a beautiful smile.  We help people chew food which enables them to maintain better health.

Check in with each other at the end of the workday.  Does anyone need help before you leave?  A fond farewell is just as important as warm greeting in the morning.  A warm greeting and appreciative farewell are great bookends to help make it an awesome day!

When we mindfully choose a positive attitude, we create a positive path of thinking.  Our positive thoughts today create a positive reality tomorrow.  We do create our own lifestyle!

December 2, 2019

It’s Time to Celebrate!

December is the perfect time to remember to celebrate our gifts.  I am not referring to the gifts under the tree.  It’s time to celebrate all the things already in our life.  The more we celebrate the more joy we will feel.  We truly get happier when we celebrate life every day. There is a power in celebration. Celebration lifts our spirits and empowers us to instantly feel happier.  Celebrate even in the little things in life instead of taking them for granted.

Our health is a big gift!  Many of us go through each day without even thinking about our health let alone feeling grateful.  We focus on and complain about the little aches and pains.  It isn’t until we really get sick or injured that we truly appreciate our health.  The moment you wake in the morning give thanks and praise that you woke up.  Live each day celebrating the gifts of health and life!

Our work is a gift that gives us purpose.  Instead of seeing it as a gift, we may get lost in the muck of the mundane.  Work becomes something to survive until the weekend.  It isn’t until the normal days and simple activities are taken away, that we change our outlook.  Celebrate the blessings in your work every day!

Our family and friends and colleagues (including the furry ones) are gifts that are often taken for granted.  We act as if they will always be with us.  We take the filters off and treat them disrespectful or unkind.  Don’t miss a moment to show your people and pets how much you love them and appreciate them.  Celebrate the gift of them being in your life!

We have been given so many gifts.  What would you miss if it was no longer?  Whatever it is, stop and take a moment to give thanks and praise.  Whatever you would miss is a gift.  Get in the habit of celebrating all the gifts in your life.  Making a list of our gifts is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Take a moment to start and end your day celebrating what you are grateful for each day.

 “Everything is here until it’s not… celebrate every second!” ~ Judy Kay Mausolf

Let’s take a moment and practice celebrating by doing a TA-DAH together! On the count of three, I want you to smile, throw your arms into the air and shout with passion in your loudest voice… “TA-DAH!”

October 1, 2019

Your Team Is Your Greatest Asset… When You Invest in Them! Part 2

In Part 1 we covered how YOU can get your team aligned and engaged to become your greatest asset.  In Part 2 we will cover how to empower them so THEY can become your greatest asset!

Have team meetings and discuss with your team the core values of the practice.  Together define what it means in words in actions.  Make agreements as a team that support the core values on how you will communicate, work together to serve each other and the patients.  Establish as your number one standard that the team treat each other as well or better than how they treat their patients.  It is vital that you do not set double standards for how the team treats each other versus how they treat the patients.  Print the standards and store them in a binder accessible to the team.  Keep them alive by reviewing them at huddles, team meetings or when hire someone new or when someone’s behavior deems it necessary.  Everyone helps everyone support the standards by holding each other accountable once the agreements are in place.

Some examples of standards:

  • Greet and smile at each other in the morning
  • Ask for help
  • Ask don’t assume
  • Offer help
  • Say please and thank you
  • Don’t gossip
  • Be kind

 

Empower

Empowerment happens with clear training and implementation processes.  We need to let go of perfection and instead strive for excellence.  Proficiency comes after mistakes and leads to excellence.    “Unless we try to do something beyond what we have already mastered, we will never become what we might have become!”

  • Set high standards not impossible standards
  • Learn from mistakes and move on
  • Share what will be done differently

Have a clear and consistent training process.  Which means the team does tasks the same way.  So often times I see team members choosing how they will complete a task based on what they think is right.  Or because it’s how it has always been done.  Or it’s just someone’s opinion…usually the most vocal team member.  Often times there hasn’t been a formal team meeting discussion defining and agreeing on how the system or process will be done.  Utilize the R.I.S.E. Process to successfully implement new ideas and create clear and consistent systems and processes.

Set realistic weekly training goals for you and your new employees to measure their progress.  Base training expectations on the average time it took for an employee to learn instead of the quickest time.  It will help lessen new employees feeling overwhelmed and allow them and the team to measure their progress.  Have a constructive conversation weekly with the new team member discussing goals, expectations and accomplishments instead of criticizing what they are doing wrong.  Catch them doing things right and highlight them at a minimum of 3 positives to every 1 growth opportunity.  Exceptional relationships are built on a 5 to 1 ratio.

Our life, the people in our life and our circumstances continue to change.  Therefore, it is necessary to continue to invest in learning and training to continue to grow.  Where are you in your growth process?  What is working what has changed?  What investment would make the biggest impact in your team being your greatest asset?  Your team will be your greatest asset when you invest in them.

Email Judy Kay at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net to learn more!

September 13, 2019

Your Team Is Your Greatest Asset… When You Invest in Them! Part 1

Your team is your greatest asset…when you invest in them!  I find it interesting that little time and money is spent on investing in growing the team in comparison to doctors learning new clinical skills!  When in truth the team can be the greatest asset and advantage in determining the level of success in the dental practice.

Alignment

Let’s start by aligning the team!  The more aligned the team is the more consistent the care and service.  The owner doctor(s) start by creating clear core values for their practice.  Take time to come up with your why…what four core words in order of priority would you choose?  This will help create clarity and unite the leadership team (doctors/managers/team leads).  Utilize a consistent decision-making strategy to avoid fly by’s which includes considering the following:

  • What’s in the best interests of the patients, practice and team, not any one individual (including doctor)?
  • What is practical and realistic based on current resources of people, time and money?
  • What is the precedent being set?
  • What is the value of implementing? Necessary to have a value of 8 or above on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being high.
  • Will it support the 4 core values?

It is necessary that the leadership team’s message is consistent from all leadership team members.  Otherwise it creates confusion and divides the team.

Engagement

The engagement part happens when you include your team in the discussions and decision making.  When your team feels like their ideas are heard and considered they feel valued and respected.  They become a creator versus a victim of their circumstances.  Creators focus on what is positive, identify and change what isn’t and own their results.  Whereas victims complain, criticize, blame, gossip and compare.

If you want the team to embrace a change ask for their suggestions and feedback on how to implement the change.  If you want the team to have ownership give them authorship as well.  A well-structured plan is well thought out and clearly defined.  I teach teams the R.I.S.E. Implementation Process to help them work together to create a well-structured plan.  R.I.S.E. is an acronym for Review, Implement, Sustain and Evaluate.

Review – WIIFTP&P&T (What’s In It For The Patient, Practice & Team)

  • What is it we are currently doing
  • Does it support the doctor(s) Core Standards
  • Is it a WOW?
    • What’s working
    • What’s not
  • WIIFTP&P&T – What’s in it for the patients, practice and team if we make the change
  • It is important for the value/benefits to rate an 8 or above on scale of 1 to 10 or it is difficult to sustain

Implement – SOP – Standard Operating Procedures

  • What are we going to change
    • What area(s) do you want to grow?  Prioritize if you have several areas.  Start with the area that will make the biggest impact.
  • Who is going to do it
  • Who are we going to do it for
  • When are we going to do it – including time, sequence and flow
    • It is important to actually schedule time to fit it in to your day, week, month, and year or it won’t happen.
  • Where are we going do it – very specific location
  • Why are we going to do it
    • This is the most important part to successfully sustain growth.  What is it that will motivate you to continue to do the new behavior when you don’t feel like it or you are pressed for time.
    • It has to be a big enough why (8 to 10) – WIIFTP&P&T if we make the change – there must always be something in it for the team to sustain the change
  • How are we going do it
    • Practice verbal skills
    • Practice role playing – yes I know it’s weird but it’s effective
    • Practice the entire physical walk through – never test it out for the first time on a patient
    • Clearly spell out the attitude, mindset and action steps will you need to take to be able to succeed.
  • Define process
    • Create standard operating procedures and put in a SOP Manual
    • Schedule the roll out date

Sustain – Form Habits

  • In order to sustain a new change it is important for the new change to become a habit
  • Be precise and consistent and realistic to make the change become a habit much sooner
    • Same sequence and steps for every team member every time
      • 5 out of 5 times
  • It takes a range of anywhere between 18-254 days  to form a habit depending on the difficulty with the average being 66 days
    • Until it becomes a habit it will feel awkward and uncomfortable
    • Give any new change at least 60 days to get comfortable before considering any changes
  • Support the change positively in words, actions and attitude

Evaluate – Reflect/Diagnose

  • What are the results
    • Were we able to implement
    • If not, why not
    • Is the process still working effectively
    • If not, what is the value and benefits in a change
    • What part is still working what needs to change

Investing time and energy in getting your team aligned and engaged are the first steps in making your team your greatest asset! Tune in next month to learn how to empower them to be your greatest asset!

August 1, 2019

Life Would Be Better If It Weren’t For…

Have you ever thought, my life would be so much better if it weren’t for…!  You fill in the blank.  Do your thoughts pertain to circumstances or other people? What if I told you that having a better life has little to do with our circumstances or other people?   That it is our mindset that determines our quality of life.

Today I will share 2 of core concepts to help you live a better life.  I created acronyms to make them easier to remember.

The first acronym is B.O.A.T. to help us with those other people!

When we interact with others we are always coming from a place filled with our own experiences.  Our expectations differ because of our unique and individual beliefs, opinions, and assumptions based those experiences.  These expectations become our personal truths – how we judge the world by what is right and wrong.  To help you remember it they spell out the word B.O.A.T.  Beliefs, opinions, assumptions, therefore, are truths based on our experiences.

This is so important that I want to share a story to help it cement!  A few years ago when I turned 50…okay maybe a few more than a few.  My husband Steve and I went on this amazing trip to Napa!  50 seemed like a monumental age to me – so I wanted to do something that challenged me to grow.  I thought I am terrified of heights so why not go on a hot air balloon ride?  The morning of the balloon ride we arrive around 6 am outside the town of Napa.  There are 7 or 8 balloons all getting ready to go up at the same time.  There are 17 people in our balloon – the balloonist in the middle and four quadrants of four.  Steve has his arms around me and asks me if I am going to be okay. I said, I’m fine!  He said no really your legs shake on a three foot ladder are you sure you are okay…I said I’m fine…and we women know that means…I am so not fine!

We start to lift off and I am hanging on the edge for dear life thinking I AM SO NOT FINE and this is going to be the longest ride of my life!  We get up about 1000 feet-when I start to notice that the basket actually seems pretty stable.  I notice no one is talking just taking in the scenery.  It is breathtaking!  You can see the entire Napa Valley.  You can see the Golden Gate Bridge and the other balloons off in the distance.  As we floated along I couldn’t help but think – it was so calm, so serene, so Zen like I could meditate.  I was no longer afraid.  We landed and Steve asked if it was that scary enough and I said no now we need to do something else.

The point is the next day that same balloon company went up and this time a big gust of wind pushed a one of the balloons into a power line.  The people were okay…but do you think they would describe their experience as calm, serene, Zen like!  Let’s say we were all together here at the break and sharing our balloon ride experience…I would say it was so safe you could take your kids, and they would say…she’s crazy we almost died.  This is life – so who is right and who is wrong.

Imagine that this room is the universe and holds every potential experience in life.  Even if we are a centurion and have lived a very full life…we have probably only experienced this much (make eye-hole) in comparison to all the potential experiences.  This is Our B.O.A.T.!  The problem is we are making judgments of right and wrong and about other people and our B.O.A.T is very limited.  Concept 1 to remember is the only reason people seem difficult is they disagree with our B.O.A.T.!  Who’s to say our B.O.A.T. is right and maybe we are the difficult person?  Be open to other people’s B.O.A.T.’S!

The second acronym is C.O.W. to help us with circumstances in life!

The average person has 60, 000 thoughts a day…did you know you thought that much?  95% are redundant – which means the thought you had yesterday is the same you had today and the same thought you will think again tomorrow. And 80% are negative unless we are mindful.  The awesome news is we can re-wire our brains to start thinking more positively!

Here is where the cow comes in!  I am going to share a little of my farm background! C.O.W. is an acronym for Cognitive/Optimistic/Wiring to create a new path. Growing up on the farm we had dairy cattle.  Every afternoon the cows would come home from the pasture to be milked.  They walked in line on the same path every day and would slowly wear a deep rut in the pasture.  So deep that we would have to fence it off so we could drive our pickup across.  Initially you would see scattered hoof prints until a new path started to emerge.

Our thought paths are like cow paths in that we get in a rut and follow the same path of thinking.  That is unless we are mindful about creating a new positive path by fencing out negative thoughts.  Initially we will wander and feel uncomfortable until we start to make a new rut/a new path.  The average path/habit takes 66 days.  Concept #2 to remember is -Apply C.O.W. (Cognitive Optimistic Wiring) to rewire to see the positives in our life.

We each have been given the gift to choose our path.  Our life is so much better when we choose to embrace the people and circumstances along the way!

Change our mindset; change our results; change our life!

July 1, 2019

People Before Profits!

This message is focused on the management style of great managers! The reference to managers includes dentists as they may either manage or support the manager.  What I find at the core of all great managers is the viewpoint of putting people before profits. It’s often a huge change in mindset for many to shift the focus from profits to people. The ironic result is that the profits are much greater when we focus on people not profit. Great managers do the following to exemplify the principle, “People before Profits”. 

Clarify core values and eat, breathe and sleep them. In other words live them by example modeling the waddle. I suggest limiting core values to no more than four or it becomes confusing for the team. Please email me at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net if you would like to receive a sample of core value words. 

Hire and keep people based on character as well as skills sets. Never sacrifice character for skill sets. Toxic Performers (people who are highly skilled and toxic to their co-workers) are not welcome to become or stay as part of the team regardless of their level of skill and longevity. 

Develop a training program with defined weekly growth expectations. Conduct weekly growth reviews with the new team member for the first 90 days. The growth review is a discussion of accomplishments, obstacles and opportunities an how to help the new team member to succeed. The focus is on catching people doing things right and showing recognition versus catching people doing things wrong and criticizing.  

Establish a schedule that is a realistic pace centered on patient care and service and not just the bottom line. It is essential to provide consistent exceptional service and care to patients and move at a speed which the team can be accurate, detailed and complete without running into the next appointment.    

Don’t kick the dog. In other words point the finger and look who can be blamed when the wheels fall off. Which they most certainly will some days! Instead co-create as a team…what can be done next time to keep the wheels on! The question to ask is, “So this happened so now what could we do?”  

Communicate using positive constructive conversations that build others up instead of criticizing and tearing down. A good conversation starts with showing appreciation for 3 positives per one growth opportunity. A great conversation includes 5 positives per every growth opportunity. People have a tendency to highlight what they don’t like and take for granted what they do. What is amazing is once the focus becomes seeing the positive the negative often seems very small in comparison. People lean in and try harder when they feel good about their accomplishments. People shut down and stop trying when they feel bad.  

Include the entire team in the decision making process. People want to know that their ideas are heard, understood and at least considered. Thoughts and opinions must matter to management in order cultivate creators versus victims. A huddle or team meeting setting where most can attend is the perfect setting. Before implementing any change always get feedback from the entire team. Discuss potential obstacles and the opportunities to overcome.  The bottom line is valuing people over profits will boost the practice culture, patient experience and the bottom line! A triple win!

Please email me at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsinc.net and put R.I.S.E in the subject line if you would like to receive my R.I.S.E. Implementation Process white page.  

 

June 1, 2019

Is Your Practice Out of W.A.C.K.? Get Aligned! Part 2

In Part 1 of “Is Your Practice Out of W.A.C.K.? Get Aligned!” we defined the 3 levels of performers and top 6 stressors that reduce engaged rowers into lazy riders or disrupting resisters. In Part 2 we will illustrate the acronym W.A.C.K. to re-align, re-engage and re-ignite your culture!

W.A.C.K. is an acronym for:

  • We Team
  • ABC Standards
  • Core Values
  • Kudos Culture

The W is for We Team. The We Team is made up of all owner/partner doctor(s) as well as the practice administrator. I suggest We Team’s schedule weekly We Team meetings. The practice administrator becomes the designated point of entry where the team brings all questions, requests or concerns. They are to share the questions, requests or concerns at the We Team Meeting. The We Team discusses and come to a decision or solution. The practice administrator shares the We Team decision or solution with the team member(s).

The A is for ABC Standards. ABC standards are standards for attitude, behavior and communication. Creating ABC Standards together as a team will help align the team and cultivate a service culture that is happier, healthier and higher performing! ABC Standards increase clarity, unity, accountability, consistency, level of service, and your business reputation; while preventing the chafing and disagreements from assumptions and opinions of who is right and wrong.

Have a team meeting with the entire team to discuss ABC Standards for your practice. Ask each team member to share what they feel they need from each other to be able to work together better. I find using a big easel pad with markers to write down the responses helps to generate more participation.   Be specific and define what it means in words, actions, body language and tone of voice.

The C is for Core Values.   Doctors it’s very difficult to get your team aligned if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for.   What 4 words in order of priority describe your core values for your practice? Would other people be able to recognize those values in your practice? For example, my 4 core words in order of priority are: Lifter, Authentic, Happy, and Committed. Doctors if you don’t know what yours are stop reading and take some time to reflect. They are important to know because they will help guide your team in their decision making to align with your goals and objectives. Core values become a blue print on how to live and work together. Every action or attitude is to be examined before proceeding. Does this action or attitude support the core values of the practice?   Which takes us to the fourth fundamental.

The K is for Kudos Culture. A Kudos Culture is showing appreciation to nurture value and purpose. Value and purpose are what reignite people!   It starts with the entire team knowing and be aware of what is good and right in their practice.  We often see what’s negative and wrong with each other.  Instead, focus on what is good and right and verbally reward those behaviors with statements such as “I am proud of you”, “Great job”, “Way to go” or even a simple “thank you”, or “kudos”.  In a very short time, everyone will begin to feel recognized, important, and cared about because they know they are being seen and praised on a daily basis.  I love this kudos stuff because it really works.  It only takes one person to get the ball rolling in the right direction.  The person could be you!  You don’t need permission to start.  Just reward what is good and right such as good moods, good attitudes, uplifting mindsets, even just a smile.  I’m not talking about sappy, disingenuous gushing!  I’m talking about simple, heart-felt appreciation. Show appreciation for other team members’ attitude, actions or behaviors by implementing following steps:

  • Show your appreciation as immediately as possible after the event or action you want to point out and reinforce.
  • Be specific. Avoid general clichés and statements.
  • Mention how the action or behavior was personally helpful or supports the team vision, values, and purpose.
  • Keep it brief. Long, detailed compliments can be uncomfortable and sound fake.
  • BE GENUINE!  This isn’t about being insincere to manipulate others.
  • Ask if there’s anything you can do to provide further support or service to that person or team.

You will be surprised how quickly appreciation fires up the team! Implement the four WA.C.K. Fundamentals in your practice and re-align, re-engage and re-ignite your team!

Email Judy Kay at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net to receive your copy of Appreciation & Celebration. Type in Appreciation & Celebration in the subject line.

Older Posts »