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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!

August 1, 2019

Life Would Be Better If It Weren’t For…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 1, 2019

People Before Profits!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

June 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

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