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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!”

November 1, 2019

The Power of S.P.F.!

The Power of S.P.F.

“Every moment you make a choice of what you want to keep, and what you want to let go of

…and that’s how you write your story!”

~ Judy Kay Mausolf

Here is the biggest secret about staying positive in difficult times.  It does not take superpowers.  It is simply a clear understanding of the power of focus.  “Our focus creates our attitude.”  If we focus on the positive, we will have a positive attitude.  If we focus on the negative, we will have a negative attitude.  Life seems positive when we focus on and our grateful for what is already in our life.  Life seems negative when we focus on what we believe we are missing.  The reality is we can find a reason to be happy and feel good every day.  It is simple but not easy to do.  Focus on what is good and right regardless of how simple, normal or mundane it may seem.  See the value even in the little things.  Don’t take anything for granted for it could be gone in a heartbeat.  Practice giving thanks and praise daily for what is already in your life.

It is human nature to emphasize the negatives and downplay the positives.  We are drawn to the negative!  Just look at the news and the shows that get coverage in the newspaper, magazines and TV!  Drama and negativity draw the biggest following.  There are very few shows that highlight the positive.  Negative is what sells!  The sad truth is it is not in our nature to focus on the positive!

However, we can shift and change by developing S.P.F.!  A Super Positive Focus!  Focus on what is already in your life and your world and appreciate it.  Think of three positive things in your life right now.  It becomes much easier to do this if we embrace these simple facts:

  • Life is uncertain
  • Life is unexpected
  • No one owes us anything
  • Life changes in a moment

Once we embrace these facts, we will learn to appreciate what we have and what is regardless of what has happened and what isn’t.  Regardless of how difficult a situation may get you can always find something positive to focus on.  Even if the only positive is the lesson learned.

I am often asked how I stay happy and positive.  I will share with you that it is not only because I meet nice people.  I meet some of the same people that you meet who are not always so lovely!  It’s also not because my life is perfect or that everything is easy.  I have had many difficult times and things don’t necessarily go my way.  Instead it is a choice I need to make every day!  It’s a mindful choice to focus on finding the good in every moment.

I created two orange power bands as a reminder that we can choose to be positive and happy!  One reads “Smile & Shine” and the other reads “TA-DAH”!  I give out thousands to my clients and audiences every year.  I wear one every day as a reminder and ask others to as well.  They are available on my website at www.PracticeSolutionsInc.net.  Wearing a power band can help us create a positive attitude.  A positive attitude is extremely powerful and wide spreading.  A positive attitude uplifts the mindsets of the giver, the receiver, and everyone in the vicinity.s

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!

May 1, 2019

Is Your Practice Out of W.A.C.K.? Get Aligned! Part 1

Imagine what would happen to your practice if your team was happier, more cohesive, and performing at a higher level? Please continue reading, Is Your Practice Out of W.A.C.K.? Get Aligned! Part 1 if I have peaked your interest!

I have the privilege of helping dental teams co-create a happier, healthier and higher performing culture. I have found the key is getting the team aligned with core values and collectively working together to achieve practice objectives.

When I think of getting aligned I can’t help but think of chiropractors. Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments to align their patients’ musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine to enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.

Doctors and managers, having you team personally aligned to your core values and working together to achieve your objectives will enable the culture to heal itself from negativity, stress, low morale and poor performance.

The upside of getting aligned creates enormous benefits, not only in terms of implementation, but also in terms of sustainability, teamwork, attitude, accountability, training and performance!

Getting your team aligned starts with understanding and identifying the three levels of performers. The three levels are rowers, riders and resisters!

Rowers are the high performers we strive for the entire team to be! The average team has 30% rowers. These people are engaged, happy and passionate. They love coming to work and can’t wait to tell everyone they meet about their awesome doctor(s), team and office! They are connected, loyal and proud and are your best walking bill board for the practice. They are excited to learn new things and embrace growth. They have big picture-long term focus. Rowers measure their success by the long term success of the patients, practice and team. The goal is to keep them engaged and rowing!

Riders are the biggest group of performers and make up 52% of an average team. They are not engaged but difficult to spot. They do show up every day but lack passion. Their job is just a paycheck. Riders do not take initiative instead they do the bare minimum to get by. Good enough is their motto. You will find Riders distracted with lunch, after work plans and their cell phone. Anything is more interesting than work. The goal is to help Riders rise to Rowers.

Resisters make up 18% of an average team. You know who the resisters are because they demonstrate their unhappiness on a daily basis. They enjoy making others miserable as well. They always have issues with everything and everybody. 80% of management time is spent listening to resisters whine and complain. Resisters fight change and resist growth and are unwilling to help others. You will often here them say things like; “they should be able to do it…I shouldn’t have to help them!” The most negative trait of a resister is they sabotage and undermine their engaged co-workers. The goal is to get them off your bus as soon as possible. Very few resisters ever become even a rider.

So what happened that your practice ended up with riders and resisters on the team? I assume that you didn’t run an ad asking for riders and resisters to apply and then hired them. Most likely you hired rowers who were engaged people that became disengaged over time. So what made them disengage? Stress is the leading cause of the disengagement that converts rowers to riders or resisters!

The top 6 stressors in a dental practice!

  • Lack of training
  • Schedule is a nightmare
  • Working at Mach 10 speed limit
  • Kicking the dog – blaming each other
  • Lack of appreciation and value
  • No foreseeable change

We can reengage our team by removing or reducing the top 6 stressors in our practice. Please email me at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net to receive a copy of the Top 6 Stressors. Tune in next month to learn how to re-align, re-engage and re-ignite your culture by implementing the acronym W.A.C.K.!

April 1, 2019

Managing Micromanaging! Part 2

In Managing Micromanaging! Part 1 we covered the four signs of a micromanager and why someone becomes a micromanager. This blog’s message is focused on how we can help a micromanager lessen micromanaging.

The first thing we can do to help a micromanager is to try to understand and try to ease their concerns. The best way to do that is to an ongoing clear communication. I suggest weekly updates or what I refer to as FYI check-ins. Give detailed progress notes so the micromanager is kept in the loop of the progress and current status. The key to building trust with the micromanager is consistency. Always do what you said, when you said and how you said you would do it!

Principles to Remember

Do:

  • Do everything you can to gain the micromanager’s trust
  • Know what motivates and worries them and try to ease their concerns
  • Provide regular and detailed updates so the micromanager is kept in the loop of your progress

“Success is the ability to lay your head on your pillow at night your integrity uncompromised!”~ Tanja Diamond

Here are some Be’s to build trust to help minimize micromanaging?

  • Be Clear!
  • Ask questions
  • Be specific
  • Take concepts to measurable action steps
  • The following questions can help create clarity:
  • What specifically do you want me to do
  • When exactly do you need this by
  • How specifically do you want it done
  • How do you want me to keep you up-to-date on the progress
  • Where do you want me to do this…if pertinent
  • What else do I need to know to do this right

Be Realistic!

  • Avoid OCD-over committers disease
  • Ask yourself – based on what is on my plate can I realistically complete the task in the time allotted
  • Under promise and over deliver
  • You may be able to do anything but you can’t do everything

Be Reliable

  • Do what you said when you said and how you said you would do it
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Inform when you can complete
  • FYI and keep others in the loop

The first step in changing micromanagement behaviors in ourselves and others is being aware and understanding their impact! We can conquer controlling tendencies by focusing on our actions and reactions!

Please join me when I present Managing Micromanaging at AADOM Annual Conference in beautiful Orlando, Florida on July 19, 2019!  Click on this link www.dentalmanagers.com and use code JKM.  Please contact Judy Kay at Judykay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net  if you would like to speak with her to learn more about how she can help you cultivate a happier, healthier and higher performing culture.

March 1, 2019

Managing Micromanaging! Part 1

You may work with someone who is a micromanager or maybe you are a micromanager. Most people don’t strive to be a micromanager. Managing micromanaging is not easy to do. Micromanagers are often motivated by anxiety. “They are often perfectionists and nervous about anyone else being able to do things as well or in the way they would do them.

Many micromanagers feel the need to hover in order to monitor efficiency, or to keep things on track, especially if someone has made mistakes in the past. Others simply don’t know any better. Dentists don’t go to school to be managers and often times become micromanagers. Managers may be promoted into a manager role because they were great at completing tasks. Often times without proper training.

We tend to promote the person who does the best job at the individual level and not the best potential manager. Why? Because it’s easier to see who is a skilled worker then it is to determine who would be the best at managing and empowering others.

Here are four signs you may be a micromanager!

Your greatest fear is losing control!

You have a need to control, you’re obsessed with watching and knowing what others are doing. Everything must be done the right way…which really means your way or you’re not satisfied. You often change trivial things even if it is done well because it is not exactly how you would have done it.   You tell others step-by-step of how the task has to be done and leave no room for their input. As a result you suppress their growth. Being controlling out of fear will actually make you lose control.

You know best!

Believing you know best, you think your employees and co-workers’ work is not good enough. Your actions communicate that their work is substandard. You don’t give them the opportunity to share ideas or use their skills, talents. Instead, you implement your ideas and make decisions based only on your knowledge. Believing you have all the answers, you do everything yourself. This attitude alienates employees and co-workers and causes them to doubt their own capabilities.

You believe most people don’t work as hard as you do and often waste time and resources!

One of the most negative traits of a micromanager is judgment of others. Micromanagers question whether others are working to their capacity. You spy or demand proof that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. This lack of trust creates stress for everyone. Constantly judging and prying will eventually create lack of trust, respect and engagement.

You think delegating is a total waste of time!

You usually run out of day before you run out of tasks. Everyone has the same amount of time during the day. However, your day seems less than others. Lack of delegation leaves everything up to you to get done. You’re overloaded with trivial tasks and projects that rarely get completed. Lack of trust in delegation and communication with your employees and co-workers forces you to micromanage. Practice developing your delegation skills to reduce your workload and give employees and co-workers a sense of ownership.

So if we don’t desire to be a micromanager why do we become a micromanager? There are three main reasons someone becomes a micromanager:

  • Fear of failure in the past experiences
  • Need for perfection
  • Only example we know

Check out my next blog and learn what you can do to help a micromanager lessen micromanaging. The first step in changing micromanagement behaviors in ourselves and others is being aware and understanding their impact!

Please join me when I present Managing Micromanaging at AADOM Annual Conference in beautiful Orlando, Florida on July 19, 2019!  Click on this link www.dentalmanagers.com and use code JKM.  Please contact Judy Kay at Judykay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net  if you would like to speak with her to learn more about how she can help you cultivate a happier, healthier and higher performing culture.

January 29, 2019

Building a Brand That Builds Loyalty!

Building a Brand That Builds Loyalty!  Our dental-care will evolve more in the next 20 years than in the previous 50. On the horizon is a bright and exciting future…with the qualifier…that we must be willing to embrace growth and change. This change involves a high-touch, high service, and high care patient experience…not just fixing teeth! It means building a brand that builds loyalty!

There is a buzz of fear in the dental industry. Many dental teams fear they are going to lose their existing patients to new doctors, group practices and corporate dentistry. The truth is patients who are happy with their dental office seldom leave. We lose existing patients only when we haven’t created enough of an experience to build loyalty. There are two exceptions…the patient has relocated…or they only came to your office initially because you were a participating provider of their insurance and are no longer. AND they only, only, only, only…did I say only…care about insurance coverage.

Happy patients as a rule our loyal patients. If we want our patients to be happy it is important to consistently deliver a good experience from the start. Notice I said good not exceptional. The ironic part is the patient’s experience doesn’t have to be exceptional. Patients are happy with consistently good. Consistency reinforces expectations. When the patient’s expectations are being met they are happy and loyal. Consistency builds loyalty and trust…it builds a brand!

A brand is who we are; who we say you are; and what our patients experience consistently. It must be all three. It is in essence our reputation. It’s the 2 or 3 adjectives our patients use to describe our office…friendly, awesome, caring, high-tech, always late, always upsell. What do your patients say about your practice? What is your brand? If you don’t know it is time to find out. People are loyal to brands they like and trust. Is your brand worthy of your patients’ loyalty?

Let me give you an example. I love EVERYTHING about Heinz Ketchup…the color, the texture, how it pours and most important the taste. I can count on Heinz being the same every time. I am loyal to Heinz Ketchup. I would never, ever, ever even consider tasting another ketchup let alone buy it! Regardless of the cost, because I can definitely find cheaper; or the latest and greatest, or even Aunties homemade. Heinz meets my expectations every time so I am totally loyal. I ask you to take a moment and think about the brands you are loyal to and why.

Let’s talk about cost for a moment. Marketing has sold us a bill of goods when it comes to cost. We are told to run ads focused on free or reduced. It’s not the cost that stops people from buying…or we wouldn’t see so many people with iPhone or Samsung phones glued to their ear…you get the picture. Cost is a deterrent when there is lack of value. Are you building a valuable brand?

If you don’t already have a valuable brand or any brand for that matter there is no better time than the present to build one.

Doctors it starts with you clarifying your vision, your why for what you do. What is the reputation you desire? Who are you and who do you want to be at your core? Simplify it by reducing it to 4 core adjectives in order of priority. If it is more than four it will be confusing for your team and your patients and will not create a clear brand. Next involve the team in a team meeting setting. Share with your team the 4 core adjectives that support your vision for your brand. Discuss as a team how you can create a consistent experience reflecting these adjectives with every patient at every visit. What do your patients need to see hear, touch, smell and taste to think, feel and experience the brand. I can’t stress this too much…consistency is key.   If you don’t have consistency you have don’t have a brand. It is necessary to be consistent 5 out of 5 times with every team member, every patient, and every visit. Consistent and congruent with your people, services, amenities, systems/protocols, and transitions. It only takes one less than experience to weaken or diminish your brand and lose patient trust and loyalty.

For example, let’s go back to ketchup! If Heinz came out with a new and improved ketchup and stopped making their original…shuddering thought!

I would give the new and improved impostor one chance. If I didn’t love it…if it didn’t meet ALL my expectations for Heinz I would no longer be loyal.   I would now be open to trying any new ketchup in town!

Build a brand your patient’s value and it won’t matter who comes to town!

January 1, 2019

Service Starts With The TEAM!

Service Starts With The TEAM!
I often find there is a misconception about service. A belief that service starts with the patients and doesn’t really pertain to the team. In other words we must treat our patients exceptional but not so much each other. It’s as if there is an entirely different set of standards for patients than there is for the team pertaining to attitude, behavior and communication. What I refer to as the ABC Standards.  Service starts with the team!
I have the privilege of working with dental teams nationwide to help them create a happier, healthier and higher performing service culture. I witness some team members (including doctors and managers) treating other team members poorly. That same poor behavior towards a patient would be grounds for dismissal.
We make excuses for our behavior. We use labels and say this is just how we are. For example, I am direct, which really means, I say whatever is on my mind without any regard of how I may make you feel. Or I am a non-morning person, which means because I am a non-morning person others should just understand my moodiness.
What confounds me is watching the same direct or non-morning person flip a switch and turn it on for their patients. It is like watching a Jekyll and Hyde transformation. We believe it is acceptable to turn the respect and kindness filters off for each other. After all we wouldn’t want to be fake would we? We also know they will just accept or put up with our poor behavior. We frequently even turn it off for the people we love the most like our family. I find it thought-provoking that we put filters of kindness and respect on for strangers and acquaintances and don’t for the people we care about and love the most. Something seems a little backward with this behavior.
It’s time to put the filters back on and start service with the team. I teach the Golden Standard; treat each other as well or better than you treat your patients. Now that doesn’t mean lessening the standard for patient service.

Creating ABC Standards for how the team will treat each other will help cultivate a service culture that is happier, healthier and higher performing! ABC Standards increase clarity, unity, congruency, 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. Some examples might be:
Be Likable
Give benefit of doubt
Be Honest
Be Compassionate
Be Trustworthy
Have an Ownership Mentality
Be Respectful
Lead by Example
Be Reliable
Be Appreciative
Be Fun
(If you would like to receive a copy of my ABC’s Sample Standards please email me at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net and write ABC’s Sample in the subject line.)
Create a document titled Team ABC’s Standards Document with the team standards. Print it out, frame it and put it on display wherever one can see it daily. A lunch room or locker room often works well. Your daily huddle is a great opportunity to create accountability. Discuss on a daily basis how they did the previous day as an individual and as a team supporting the standards. Where did they rock it and where can they raise it? The more you discuss your standards on a daily basis the more real and alive they become.
It is crucial that the ABC Standards are adhered to by the Leadership Team. The team will look to leadership and mimic their behaviors. Never create something you are not comfortable supporting. Everything starts and stops with leadership. It’s time to model the waddle to a happier, healthier and higher performing team culture!
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