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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

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.

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!

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 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!

 

 

 

 

July 3, 2018

Avoiding Assumptions…How to Ask!

Avoiding Assumptions!

Assumptions create 90% of all dental team conflicts! We make assumptions every minute of every day. Something happens and we instantly assign meaning to it. That is an assumption. We start imagining what other people are doing, what they’re thinking, what they’re saying about us. We invent an entire story based on assumptions and we believe it. One assumption leads to another assumption; we jump to conclusions and we take it personally. Almost all team conflicts are based on assumptions. Assumptions are nothing more than false stories that we are telling ourselves. They create a big drama for no reason because they aren’t based on fact.

It may be correct or it may be incorrect. We won’t know unless we take the next step. ASK! Sounds easy but it’s not. We often fear that if we ask, we may open ourselves up to an emotional reaction such as judgment, criticism or retaliation.

It is vital that we don’t allow the fear of a negative response stop us from asking. We truly don’t know what someone intended by their actions or words. Our perception of what it means to us when we do a certain action may have a totally different meaning for someone else. Sometimes even what others say or the words they use can mean something different than what we believe them to mean. And just because someone felt a certain way in the past doesn’t mean they still feel the same. Stop making assumptions and start asking questions regardless of a potential negative response.

When you get that twinge in your gut and you think “Hmmm – I wonder what they meant by that, or I wonder why they haven’t…?” Or you find yourself saying “I think they meant this.” Stop wondering and ASK the person! Go directly to the person instead of asking others…what do you think they meant when they…? Other people’s responses will only be assumptions as well. It may seem like conflict to approach the person who gave you the twinge in the gut. It is actually very respectful. Because you are going to the source instead of gossiping to others. You are giving them an opportunity to be heard and allowing them to share their why. Be mindful of the energy you bring to the conversation. Always approach from a place (mindset) of care, concern and curiosity versus anger, judgment and criticism.

Some simple questions to ask are:

  • I am not quite sure what you meant, please tell me more?
  • I am not quite sure what happened. Can we talk about it?
  • Is everything okay?
  • Are you okay?

Continue to respectfully ask questions until you understand the other person’s intent. If you are still thinking “I think they meant…” you are assuming. It is important to continue to ask more questions to achieve a deeper understanding! Believe them when they explain their why otherwise, there is no reason to even have a conversation.

If you are the person being approached thank the other person for speaking with you. Remember they respect and trust you enough to come to you. “Thank you for sharing this with me. I appreciate that you came to me instead of not addressing it or going to someone else.” Take time if you need to reflect before responding. Always set a specific time to meet again to discuss. “I can see this is important to you. I would like to take today to think about it. Can we talk about it tomorrow at lunch?” The more questions we ask the less assumptions we will make the better we will work together!

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