Providing outstanding care: 5 Tips for leading your team
Roger P. Levin, DDS
1. Establish a professional work environment
- Employees typically emulate their leader’s behavior, whether positive or negative.
- Responsible leaders, though, recognize that they must consistently be the kind of staff member they are asking others to be.
- Rather than chastising individuals for thinking or behaving a certain way, the leader should coach them on how to overcome a particular frustration.
2. Express empathy
- When a team member is struggling, a little compassion makes it easier to shift that person’s focus back to practice performance.
3. Provide structured feedback
- It is the practice leader’s responsibility to maintain awareness of how staff members are performing and to provide accurate direction.
- All staff member positions in a dental practice should have a written job description so that expectations are clear.
- Performance reviews should be conducted on a consistent basis (usually once a year) in a structured meeting between the dentist and the employee.
- These meetings are not about criticism but about guiding and mentoring team members to perform at consistently high levels.
4. Show appreciation
- Inspiring leaders go out of their way to express gratitude for a job well done.
- Providing a quick compliment to team members is an easy way to create and spread goodwill throughout the office.
- Dentists should promptly recognize those who finish a task quickly, deliver excellent customer service, or simply complete a difficult activity with a positive attitude.
5. Delegate as much as possible
- During clinical care, all nonclinical duties should be delegated to other team members.
- Brief morning gatherings enable the dentist to share essential information with the team without interrupting patient appointments.
- With the proper systems in place, delegation will allow the staff to work efficiently and take ownership of their roles in contributing to practice success.