Back To School With Your Team

We are beginning our series on Back To School, as you would expect this time of year.  I gave you a bit of an orientation last week.  I hope you did the work.  Many did, as I got more comments than usual, which I read each and every single one of them.  Thank you to those who participated.

Those were important questions for you to not only answer but be aware of and not only be aware of but be deliberate about the actions you take to bring them to life in your practice.

It’s really simple, if you don’t have answers to those questions, no one else does either.  If you aren’t intentional with them, then you won’t exceed much above ordinary and average.

However, because you are here reading this, we both know better, we know you are operating far beyond mediocrity.  

Okay, so we are diving straight into the soul of your practice and that’s the people, of course.

You are the ultimate differentiating factor of everything you do because you are the origin of making everything else happen and as I said last week – there is only one you, never to be duplicated again.

Talking Back to School with your team, you are probably thinking I’m going to talk about training and systems and doing all the “stuff.”  And yes, there is a point to that and don’t worry, we’ll get to it.  But not this week.  That’s because people, you, are about more than just going through the motions of the tasks and responsibilities.

Yes, everyone must know what their highest value actions are, which piece of the practice they own, and what protocols must be followed.  However, that is not all and that’s not where we start.

To me, back to school starts with…

Attitude, School Spirit, and Team Work.  

After all, the school can only do so much, it is the students inside who make the difference.

These back to school basics are about establishing a positive outlook that wants to be there, wants to excel, and wants to learn.  It means having a room-for-improvement mentality that drives growth, progress, and knowledge.

They say “attitude is everything,” which is not entirely true but it is the “start to everything.”  You can show up the first day of school and struggle, but with the proper attitude you will still learn from mistakes and be better prepared for tomorrow.  A student who wants to learn, even if slightly behind, will exceed the most gifted students who think they know it all already.

What is your attitude about the practice, about patients, about dentistry?  How would you describe it?  How would you describe the practice’s attitude as a whole, in your huddle’s, and for the patients you care for?

Now it’s time to assess your spirit.  To me, this is about the pride you have for your practice and the role you play in patients’ lives.  How do you grade yourself on your practice spirit?  You could turn it into an essay question and answer “What would an A+ practice spirit look like and how are you going committed to achieving it every day?”

Next, how well you are doing on your communication, meetings, effective flow of information to each other, and overall team work as a practice?

Again, grade yourself thing from A to F and answer what you can do to maintain it or improve it?  What it would take to get to an A+ for your practice’s ability to work as a team?

Finally, as we prepare for the semester, grade yourself on whether you are working to your strengths and determine what subject you need the most help with – this could be a specific area of the practice, part of your responsibilities, or an aspect you feel deficient in.

If you want to do it in reverse you could ask yourself this question, “How could my team better utilize me to benefit from my abilities, in what ways could I be more valuable, and how can I contribute on a greater level to our overall success?”

This is basic in concept but graduate level stuff in the application of it.  If you do the work you are going to find powerful personal and team dynamic breakthroughs.

The problem with school is everyone is taught the same stuff in the same way.  It is a cookie cutter one size fits all approach instead of customizing the education to someone’s potential and embracing their capabilities to help them be the best they can be.

Now, however, we have our own school right here and we make all the rules.  You’ll be able to individualize the curriculum to better match your goals.  That’s why it is a lot more meaningful (and perhaps more enjoyable too) to go “back to school” as professionals. 
Let’s see what you can do with these back to basics lessons.  Then get ready, we are going to move past 101 classes next week.