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Bad Dental Team Meetings


Dear Sharyn

I know you’d like us to have weekly meetings but, in my practice, they seem like a waste of time. My team isn’t interested in discussing the same statistics over and over. They also accuse me of only focusing on the negative.  Although, they do put items on the agenda, it’s mostly trivial stuff that doesn’t affect the entire team and which doesn’t need any discussion.  At this point, we’re meeting because we think we’re supposed to meet, but frankly, I’d rather be seeing patients.

T.S., ID

Dear T.S.

Sometimes a structure or system needs to evolve and it sounds like that’s what should happen here.  Instead of having the whole team meet every week, do more departmental meetings.  Have the clinical, hygiene, front desk teams meet separately for 30 minutes to discuss improvements they want to make with each other and changes they’d like from their colleagues. Then, everyone comes together for the final 30 minutes to share and agree on the proposed changes.

The purpose of numbers meetings is so the team can put on their dental detective hats to determine WHY numbers were over or under goal. If they’re over-goal, brainstorm and record the specific actions that led to this success. You can offer small rewards for each person who has an insight. For example, Dr Bill Gilbert’s Bag o’ Cash game is a fun, reward activity. (Email me and I’ll share how it works.)

Alternatively, when a trend is under-goal, go on a fact-finding tour to discover what went wrong and have the team answer these questions: What do we want to stop doing? What do want to change? What do we want to continue doing? Again, each answer can merit a reward or the team can award points to each idea and reward the best idea.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

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