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November 30, 2018

Shifting WIIFM (What’s in it for me) to WIIFT (What’s in it for them)!

Shifting WIIFM (What’s in it for me) To WIIFT (What’s in it for them)!

Our world seems to have become very focused on WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Imagine the effect if we shifted our focus from WIIFM to WIIFT (What’s in it for them). We may not change the entire world but we could definitely impact where we live and work. What if every decision every person made on your team (both at home and at work) was centered on WIIFT?

Think about what it is like to work with your colleagues, employees and employers. How different would your work place be if everyone focused on what they could give or do for each other?   So, instead of thinking what’s in it for me, or how does it affect me. We think about what’s in it for them. We ask ourselves, what could we do to make their life easier or better at work? How could we help them more? Kindness, respect, trust and accountability would thrive in a WIIFT culture! The effects of focusing on WIIFT would far outweigh a WIIFM focus.

A successful leader never focuses only on WIIFM. When faced with a new policy, procedure, product, or service, they should consider the question, WIIFT? The subtle difference is that the leader is thinking about the best interests of the team and the patients instead of themselves.

As a consumer I have had many bad experiences with WIIFM policies. Just recently, I had an experience where the company changed their policy within a few days after we had spoken and would not honor their prior policy. Their WIIFM response was, “We are so sorry but it is no longer our policy!” If they would have taken the time to explain the why based on benefits for me it would made for a very different experience.

Consider if you focused more on serving your patients based on WIIFT. For example, seating the patient early instead of finishing a cleaning or organizing task. Utilizing a Syrijet to make the injection pain free. Purchasing prophy paste and other products based on taste. Supplying blankets, neck rests etc. for comfort.

What about your home life? How different would your actions be if you focused on WIIFT? What’s one thing you could do that would make the biggest impact for them? Reflect on each family member individually. How would changing your actions affect your relationships? How would the overall atmosphere change? The value of focusing on WIIFT may actually benefit you as much or even more!

 

 

My husband Steve is awesome! One of the awesome things he does is that he makes me special coffee every morning before he does anything else. And no there is no alcohol involved! J It is a pumpkin latte with special cake spice drizzled on top. Steve says he is sprinkling my coffee with love. This one simple consistent act makes me feel very loved and special each day. It is an example of putting another person first…in other words WIIFT. How he makes me feel essentially benefits him as well. The happier I am feeling about him the more I want to do for him. WIIFT actually generates a circle of positive responses and actions!

It is important to always tell the other person what you are doing and the benefits. Whether it is a patient or coworker or family member, if you explain clearly how what you are doing affects them, you are more likely to create value. The better you do this, the more they will understand the benefits. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about the benefits. How is what you are doing a value or benefit to them? Will it make their experience easier or better? How will it make them feel? What are the long term benefits? How will it affect their life?

You can help them understand the benefits by completing a formative phrase:

 

  • The benefits of this is…
  • What this means for you…
  • Why this matters…
  • How this will affect you…

 

Can you envision the amazing culture this kind of thinking would generate?   Everybody would be helping everybody to succeed. It would be a win for all. It is more sustainable when everyone wins. The outcome will be a happier, healthier, higher performing culture! Hmmm…It sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Well, all it takes is one step. Here it is! Ask everyone on your team (both at home and at work) to dedicate this week, as WIIFT week. There is only one rule. Before anyone takes any actions or makes any decisions, they must first ask themselves what’s in it for them (by them I mean others). Their actions and decisions must always be in keeping with what benefits the other person.

What are you currently doing that you could stop doing? What are you currently not doing that you could start doing or do more of?

Just wait and see the awesome benefits of cultivating a WIIFT culture! Have a meeting with your team or family to discuss the changes and benefits at the end of the WIIFT week. The ironic thing is that when we focus on WIIFT we often end up with as much or more WIIFM results! So maybe WIIFT actually ends up being WIIFU (What’s in it for us)!

November 1, 2018

Be on time! Be on time! Be on time!

Be on time! Be on time! Be on time!

For those practice owners who are always late; you might be frustrated or even upset that that I brought up this topic.

You may think I don’t realize or am unsympathetic that you wear many hats and work really hard and often very long hours after everyone else has left. Or I don’t grasp that you not only are the producer you also have to run the business, be a leader and a cheerleader and balance a home life! So in your mind that justifies the right to come in a little late.

I agree with you that as the practice owner you have every right to come in late! But not without consequences! “While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions!” – Stephen Covey. Truthfully this is one of the most difficult conversations I have to have. I help doctors achieve a happier healthier and higher performing culture even if it means having a difficult conversation with them.

It’s time to be on time.

Be on time first thing in the morning! Doctors who are the practice owners; if you want to disengage your team arrive late to work every day! There is absolutely no reason in the entire world for you to be late every day! Because you own the practice. If you don’t want to be there at 8am start at 8:30, start at 9:00, start whatever time that will work for you to be on time.

I see this happen often. The patient is seated and impatiently wondering what the delay is after all that’s why they chose the first appointment of the morning…so they would not have to wait. The team is prepped and ready to go! There at the starting gate like race horses chomping at the bit. Everything is set to go except there is no doctor. Fifteen minutes later the doctor arrives and says, “OMG the traffic was bad and the kids…!” You know what; the team and the patients have to deal with traffic and kids! The team and the patients think the doctor doesn’t respect them or they would be on time.

Be on time during the day! Doctors, some of you run by the seat of your pants. You want your schedule booked so tight to avoid any downtime. You consistently run over into the next patient’s appointment. You are sacrificing patient care, service and experience for a perceived profit. It is perceived profit because realistically you aren’t being more productive. You still are taking the same amount of time for the appointment but just squeezing more patients in and running over.

Your team is running their heads off and aren’t able to deliver consistent excellent service or care. They have little or no time to handoff the patient and turnover the room. Details are missed, instruments are lost, and documentation and sterilization suffer. It becomes the norm to work far into lunch and run over at the end of the day.

Your patients think you don’t respect them or their time. You are even training your patients to arrive late for their appointments because they know they won’t be seen on time. Some patients may even choose to leave the practice.

The downside of cramming your schedule:

  • Your team will stop trying if there is no possibility of staying on time
  • An unrealistic workload/schedule generates disengaged team members
  • You will lose good team members who are unwilling to underperform or consistently work late
  • You will get a reputation of running behind and running over which will deter attracting and keeping new patients and new team members

The upside of un-cramming your schedule:

  • Patients will receive better care and service and have a better experience resulting in more loyal patients and patient referrals
  • You will attract and retain high performing team members who want to work in a happy and high performing culture
  • The day will flow smoothly increasing job satisfaction and happiness level while decreasing stress and low morale
  • Engaged and optimistic attitudes will radiate
  • You and your team can actually schedule home life

Time to un-cram your schedule. Have a team meeting and together as an entire team discuss and evaluate your appointment times. You will have more solid information if you monitor the schedule for a few weeks prior to your meeting. What treatment do you consistently run over? When do the bottlenecks most often occur? What can and can’t be scheduled alongside in another column? You have a choice of un-cramming your day by extending the day and seeing more patients scheduled appropriately or keeping the same hours and seeing less patients. The more specific you are the more you will empower your business team to schedule appropriately.

Be on time checking your hygiene patients. I understand that the hygiene appointment check can seem like an interruption in your day. However, it is not interruption it is your bread-and-butter! The average dental office obtains 75% of their revenue from treatment diagnosed on their hygiene patients. It is important to also be mindful of how much time you spend chatting about personal topics with the hygiene patient. Having a consistent specific briefing process with your hygienist at the start of the appointment will help you be more time efficient and allow you a little more time for personal conversation. When your hygienist tees up the treatment don’t repeat everything they just stated. Instead respond, “I work with the best hygienists! Sue is absolutely correct that tooth is indeed a candidate for a crown. Because it is a large filling that is breaking down I would suggest we take care of that sometime within the next month. (Know the next available appointments so you don’t create an urgency you can’t fulfill.) Do you have any questions for me regarding the crown?” If they say no, you are done talking about the treatment needed. This will free you up to have a little more personal chat time, less redundant conversation and keep your hygienist on time. Please email me at judykay@practicesolutionsInc.net if you would like to receive the white page for the 60 second doctor/hygiene briefing for a more efficient hygiene exam.

Consider that whenever you are late you are robbing time from those waiting for you. Being on time is the most valuable gift you can give to another person. Be on time! Be on time! Be on time!

October 1, 2018

Achieving Authentic Success! Part 2

Achieving Authentic Success! Part 2

In Part 1 we talked about how confidence can help us be our authentic self. When we are confident we are free to choose who we want to be. We stop worrying about what others think and stop relying on others for affirmation.

This message is focused on how the power of perseverance and commitment can help us to achieve authentic success.

Perseverance is what helps us keep going when the going gets tough. I am an overnight success. LOL that is if you call 12 years overnight. I am blessed to have inherited my mom’s perseverance to succeed. You could often hear her say; “Come hell or high water this is happening!” Trust me it did. We never doubted whether mom would get the job done even against insurmountable odds.

I started my coaching business August 1, 2006. The next six months I visited over 200 dental offices in Minnesota to introduce my coaching services only to receive a resounding NO response. My awesome husband, Steve continued to cheer me on even though his heart was breaking for me. I finally started to get a tiny bit of interest but not enough to really stay afloat. One of my closest friends suggested I stop wasting my time and get a real job. (FYI she is no longer in my life). Her words were a challenge like waving a red flag in front of bull. Growing up on a farm in North Dakota we learned you pulled yourself up by your own boot straps. I had tried to do it all on my own and finally realized I needed some help. Two dental industry giants, Lois Banta and Linda Miles were there to lift me up. I attended my first SCN (Speaking Consulting Network) Meeting June of 2007 and haven’t looked back since. (www.speakingconsultingnetwork.com) I am forever grateful for their mentoring and support and I am honored to call them good friends.

Many of us have had someone during our life time help lift us up. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Develop strong relationships with others who have complementary skills to help you succeed. Perseverance doesn’t mean we have to do it all on our own. Perseverance means we do what we need to do to succeed. Let me clarify; as long as it is legal, ethical and done with integrity! These fundamentals are a given and expected yet we often see just the opposite. “Success is the ability to lay your head on your pillow at night with your integrity uncompromised!” Here are some reminders of dos and don’ts.

  • Do what you said when you said you would do it
  • Don’t claim you are someone you are not
  • Don’t step on someone else to step up
  • Don’t plagiarize from others
  • Don’t be vague and misleading
  • Don’t do something you know is wrong and think it is okay as long as you apologize later

Commitment is the third component to achieving authentic success! It takes commitment to daily action steps to achieve the results we desire. Remember to avoid O.C.D. …over committer’s disorder. Be realistic about what you can commit to doing consistently. Consistency is the key. Something you do occasionally will never be sustainable. In order for us to sustain something it needs to become a habit. The average habit takes 66 days of precise and consistent practice. Once something becomes a habit we don’t even think about it we just do it. My good friend Dr. Uche Odiatu simplifies how to consistently eat healthy and exercise. He has created a 7 minute exercise routine to help those who don’t exercise at all get started. Don’t forget to celebrate each step of the way. The joy happens during the journey!

Here are some steps to help you shine!

  • Define your 4 core values.
    • Make sure they are what you are enthusiastic about, and not someone else’s dream.
    • Share your core values with others.
  • Clarify your goals and objectives for the year.
    • Know your strengths and the areas you need to grow.
    • Embrace daily habits that help you achieve your goals.
  • Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
    • Develop strong relationships with others who have complementary skills to help you succeed
    • Focus on what you can do to lift others.
  • Don’t compromise your core values, your health, or your family.
    • Challenge yourself to do difficult things to help you grow.
    • Do only what is legal, ethical and with integrity.
  • Enjoy the journey as much as the final destination.
    • Be grateful for what is and celebrate even the small things daily.

Every day we have the opportunity to show up authentic and be our best us, we can be. Every day we have the opportunity to shine. Every day we have the opportunity to serve and impact others in a positive way to help lift them up to shine. When we do we achieve authentic success! TA-DAH!

 

August 30, 2018

Achieving Authentic Success! Part 1

Achieving Authentic Success! Part 1

 

It seems as if the Universe has been nudging me to write this message. I have been witnessing and extraordinary amount of people being fake by pretending to be who they are not. Just turn on the T.V. and listen to the news. It’s becoming the norm in every industry. So many people talking the talk but not walking the walk. It is not our words but our actions that speak our truth. Thankfully there are still those who choose to live an authentic life.

I love the quote by Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

The intent may not be to deceive others. It can unintentionally happen when we have not taken the time to explore and know our true self. The fear of what others may think and the desire to fit in also pushes many to be less than authentic.

While sadly to say there are others who intentionally mask who they are and become a chameleon to get what they want. These behaviors are dangerous whether they are intentional or not. They don’t merely hide but transform who we are. We become who we impersonate.

This message is focused on showing up our best authentic us in an often times artificial world. “Today is a great day to show your shine!” ~ Judy Kay Mausolf. This quote reflects the core of my belief system and is the compass of my life. It is my mantra for serving others in this day, not waiting until the opportunity which may never come again.

Do you have a quote or statement that reflects your core belief system, your compass in life, your mantra for serving others? If not, what would you like it to be? As important as it is to have a business vision statement, it is even more important to define personal core values. It is key to limit it to a few core words or it dilutes clarity. What four core words in order of priority would you choose? Having core value words will help guide us in our decision and actions. They will help us show up to shine every day. For example my four core words in order of priority; lifter, authentic, happy and committed.

  • Lifter – lift others up to shine
  • Authentic – be true to who I am
  • Happy – be present, grateful and celebrate life’s gifts
  • Committed – perseverance to continue to succeed in when difficult

In life things don’t always go our way and people can be interesting. Interesting is a great way to describe difficult personalities and behaviors. Having four core words helps us to be who we want to be even when our emotions would lead us astray. I heard a powerful quote from Fred Joyal during a recent interview webinar discussing culture.   “The gap between reaction and response is wisdom!” Our response will support who we choose to be when we take time to think before we react.

Maybe some of you aren’t necessarily thrilled with the role you are playing in your life right now. It is never too late. You can change how you live your life starting today. In every breath we take we have the opportunity to continue to grow and become the person we choose to be. Day dream for a moment. Imagine, what would your life look like if you were your best you? What core values would you add or change? What would you start doing and what would you stop doing? What daily action steps would you need to take to support those values?

It takes confidence, perseverance and commitment to show up and be our best us. Confidence, perseverance and commitment are what separate the people who talk-the-talk from those who walk-the-walk. All three are vital to achieving authentic success!

Let’s start with confidence. The more confidence we have in our self, the less likely we are to sway in our beliefs and give in to the noise from others.   Real confidence comes from knowing who we want to be and accepting our self…our strengths and overcoming our limitations…in contrast to depending on affirmation of others.

I remember when I was starting my business, Practice Solutions Inc. in 2006. I had advice on what the best, proper, or the only way to do things. I realized quickly I had to decide what the core values of my coaching/speaking business would be to avoid having my business philosophy change daily on the whims and beliefs of others. Much of the advice I received focused on monitoring numbers and the bottom line. What rang true to me was to not focus on the bottom line. Instead I chose to focus on happy and healthy doctor, team, and patient relationships built on trust and respect. A healthy sustainable bottom line would be the result not the focus. Yes, it would still be important to know, understand and monitor numbers, systems, and protocols to know the health of the practice.   However, the practice’s success would come from the change in mindsets, attitude, and communication resulting in happier, healthier, higher performing culture.

It’s time we stop worrying about what others think. The truth is we are so busy worrying about ourselves we don’t spend more than a few seconds worrying about others. Do you even remember what the headlines in the news were yesterday? If you are like most you don’t…and it was the headlines. We have been given the gift a life. What a shame it would be to waste our life being someone we are not.

People are drawn to people who are confident in being real. It’s time to be authentic and show our quirky and unique nuances to the world. Our sense of people’s authenticity has an enormous impact on how much we trust them, how comfortable we are with them, and how willing we are to follow them. Sharing our authentic self is a vital, essential piece to becoming true to our self and our core beliefs. When we share who we really are and what we are passionate about, our message comes across loud and clear and rings true!

Tune into Part 2 to read about the power of perseverance and commitment to achieve authentic success!

August 3, 2018

The Power of Appreciation!

The Power Appreciation!

Appreciation is a fundamental human need yet is often considered an unnecessary nicety. Niceties like please, thank you, that was awesome, and I appreciate you. After all why should we have to interrupt our busy day to tell someone else we appreciate them? Aren’t they just being needy? Doesn’t that show a lack of confidence on their part if they need constant reinforcement? They should know that they are appreciated without having to have a pat on the back. Wrong! That little pat on the back is so powerful that 64% of Americans leave their job because of lack of it.

So what is so powerful about appreciation? Appreciation gives us purpose! Appreciation changes perceptions! Appreciation emits positivity! We all want and need to feel valued for who we are and recognized for our contributions and accomplishments. It’s important for us to know that we truly make a difference.

 

Let’s start with Purpose.

Appreciation expressed through acknowledgement of our good work confirms our work is valued. When our work is valued, our satisfaction and performance rises and we feel purpose. Feeling genuinely appreciated makes us feel secure, which is what empowers us to do our best work. If a person takes the time to express their heart-felt appreciation for something we have done, it makes us feel good about what we do. It builds our self-confidence, self-esteem and our entire self-image. It gives us energy and motivation to work harder and do more.

Appreciation put simply is positive feedback. We all want to know whether our employers think we are doing well. Positive feedback is their confirmation. When we aren’t given positive feedback it seems as if they don’t notice, care or value our contribution. Instead we may only hear when we are doing something wrong. A healthy ratio is three positives to every one negative feedback conversation. Exceptional relationships are the result of five positives to every one negative.

When we don’t feel valued we wonder if we are doing a good job. We may even worry if we are at risk of losing our job. We lose our sense of purpose if we believe what we do isn’t important enough to be noticed and appreciated. Purpose is powerful!

 

Next is Perception!

Appreciation can change our perception by changing our focus. For example let’s say you’re not getting along with a coworker. It is our nature to focus on what we don’t like and take for granted the things we do like. We get so focused on what we don’t like about a person we stop seeing the good in them.

Here is an exercise for the next time you get really upset with someone…your spouse, significant other, close friend or co-worker. It may even be today. What are five things you appreciate about this person? How do they make a difference in your life? On a scale of 1 to 10 how big of deal is what you are upset about? Focus on what you appreciate about that person instead of what you don’t.

When we take time to think about what we appreciate about the other person it changes our focus. When we change our focus we see them in a new light and it changes our perception. When we show appreciation to another person it changes their perception of us as well. It also changes their willingness to help. People are much more willing to go the extra yard if they know they will be appreciated.

I have the privilege of working with dental teams nationwide in my Culture Camps to create a happier healthier and higher performing culture. I utilize appreciation because it has the power to mend and restore relationships. A major focus of my culture camp is to help teams work together better. I was working with a team that was extremely divided. We started the culture camp with an appreciation exercise. This is an exercise I use often when there is drama, hurt feelings or conflict between colleagues. I asked every team member to share with the entire team what they appreciate about each of their coworkers. They were to be very specific including how it was helpful to them. It was amazing to watch the energy shift in the room. Frustration, anger and hurt shifted to receptiveness, willingness and gratification. There are often times tears of relief and hugs of acceptance. Perception is powerful!

 

Last but not least Positivity!

Positivity is the practice of being positive or optimistic in attitude. Positivity is a side effect of appreciation. Whether we are the giver the receiver of appreciation we feel more positive.

When we feel appreciation we feel happy and at peace and no longer feel anger or frustration. We are not wired to entertain both appreciation and negative emotions at the same time. The more we look for opportunities to show appreciation the more we will find and the more positive everyone will feel. It is positive circulation in motion!

In positive psychology research, appreciation is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Appreciation helps people feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships. Which is why I wrote my book TA-DAH! Get Happy in 5 Seconds or Less. Positivity is powerful!

Another great read for the entire office is “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman. He shares the five ways we feel appreciated. They are verbal, time, help, gifts and touch.

Look for reasons to show appreciation daily and BE the following:

  • Be timely
  • Be specific
  • Be brief
  • BE GENUINE

Start practicing appreciation today! You will be amazed at how simply showing appreciation will cultivate purpose, perception and positivity in your life!