So what do great people do anyways? What makes them great? What are the best traits of successful Team Members?
Today, we’ll dive into some of those internal as well as external behaviors, attitudes, and skills that a Team Member needs to be a high performer (in addition to their actual ability to carry out the tasks and responsibilities associated with their position).
Over the past few Weekly Reports we talked about growing your people and how that is the absolute greatest value builder of your practice as asset because the value of your patients is directly related to the value of your team.
I always remind you that your team is with your patients far more than you are. Granted, you carry the most significant responsibility above all others given your own ‘lead by example’ principles, your diagnostics comprehensiveness, and your overall ability to execute on everything I am going to share today.
The patients follow the team, the team follows the doctor, and the doctor follows their – your – own commitment to success based on your belief in what’s possible and confidence in yourself.
For now, this week, let’s close up the team dynamic conversation about growing people with the top four most critical factors to overall success.
Of course, this list could be long and very complicated but I’ve made it incredibly simple for you. I’ve layered these traits so that you could even turn this (as you could do with every Report) into a team building activity where each person can evaluate themselves on each of these categories and publicly proclaim where they could enhance their skills.
Here’s the bottom line: you want people who do the very best they can at these four core success attributes and who believe in the concept of constant and never-ending improvement.
First, you have to have people who take initiative and have an overall desire to do well. This is a basic principle but it is the difference between just showing up to punch the close and actually making progress. Team members who have pride in what they do take ownership over the outcomes.
Next up, is having awareness (beyond just themselves) of everything and everyone else, and we aren’t just talking about patients. This is what makes flawless teamwork because you are aware of everyone around you and everything going on.
Have you ever had a team member not answer the phone because you asked them to organize files? Or walk past a patient waiting at the front desk without a greeting? This is the lack of awareness; a lack of understanding of why we are all here and how the practice operates – files can wait, the phone can’t.
Now, this can be difficult to teach because some people are more prone to tunnel vision, which is not a bad thing and shouldn’t be held against them, it is just an attribute that has to be worked on.
In addition to that, when applied to patients, this is where you really gain the ability to create and control situations by learning to have influence over others in a positive way.
I can tell you that the majority of lost opportunities (whether treatment, money, time, or actual patients), comes back to awareness… coupled with the next powerful principle of success team member performance.
Next are communication skills and verbiage. I have joked before, although it really shouldn’t be taken lightly, in one of our Monday Morning Huddles about the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” is a harmful and dangerous concept we teach children because the reality of human nature is – words are everything.
Yes, actions matter, but even still, most actions begin with simple words. Yes, using pictures to communicate in dentistry is a fundamental that you should live by every day with every patient, but it’s often the words that accompany the image that will make the difference.
Whether it’s a positive outcome or negative outcome really boils down to a person’s ability to communicate. This is the most overlooked, underappreciated, and rarely practiced aptitude for your practice, any other business, and even personal relationships.
The emphasis on communication and verbiage starts with the Doctor and passes down to everyone else. Be sure you take it seriously so that everyone know does as well. When done correctly, it can have a dramatic impact on results, instantly.
Finally, as we simply lay out the principles today, there is one that makes all of the others more valuable but also can negate a lot of other characteristics if it is lacking – diligence with a positive attitude.
If they don’t show up on time, if they don’t take responsibility for their actions, if they bring negative energy, or if they are apathetic towards patient health …what’s the point. You simply can’t tolerate it.
On the other hand, diligence can actually make up for a lot including mistakes, misjudgment, or a lack of technical skills. A person who has this trait inside of them is one who can be counted on to go above and beyond, to dig down deep, and to find ways to make things happen.
They also bring a sense of loyalty among many other great qualities. With such, they make others around them better; which is ultimately the trait of the very best team members.
I challenge you to go back through these and take a look at how you embody and represent them yourself. If you at least think back, if not actually read over, the past few Weekly Reports on growing your people, you will see the connection and relationship to everything else. Then ask yourself how your practice exemplifies these traits in your morning and end of day huddles, in your meetings, in your break room with the positive messages, in your culture overall, and in everyone’s interactions with each other.
They say you can’t train ‘nice’ but you know what, environment can achieve more than you realize. Take this year as example, people will respond to both positive and negative influence; it’s all in your intentions.
As I’ve said before: you get what you accept and tolerate. However, you also get what you create by deliberately going to work to make something special happen with the people inside of your practice.
These are traits that every Team Member should own and commit to developing further in themselves. Best of all, they’ll benefit them both in and out of the practice.
This is how you invest time and energy into your people in order to grow the value of your practice while growing their value to themselves.
A big change to our topic and a shift in the discussion next week. For now, have fun with this. It is where you discover, orchestrate, and manifest all of your untapped potential!