Archive for November, 2013

Meeting Perspectives

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Have you ever left a meeting in which everyone agreed that action needed to be taken to address a problem or issue? Where it was clear that the group was on the same page, so the next time everyone reconvened you were looking forward to seeing how the plan to address the problem was coming along? Then, much to your surprise, the group brought the issue up again, almost as if it hadn’t been addressed before. And just like last time, everyone agreed action needed to be taken. Was this déjà vu? You couldn’t help wondering if this was a recording of a previous meeting being played back again.

 

Similar situations can be found in the dental practice – chiefly because of a lack of clarity, a lack of communication, and a lack of accountability. The doctor and the team meet, everyone agrees that steps need to be taken to address specific issues, yet no one is assigned responsibility for developing a plan. No deadlines are set for implementation. Consequently, nothing gets done. Next time you want action and outcomes on those great ideas, designate an individual or a subcommittee to develop a plan with an established timeframe and watch your great ideas, plans, and expectations come to life.

 

Managing Your Micromanaging Doctor

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Dentists by their nature are high achievers, and thus more likely to be micromanagers. They didn’t get through dental school by leaving the details to someone else. These doctors are accustomed to doing it all, and handing over responsibility for even those seemingly insignificant tasks can be a struggle.

 

Consequently, these micromanaging doctors are stressed out – working and working, yet never able to actually get ahead. Forget quality of life, forget balance, these docs are living their jobs. Like most micromanagers, they tend to confuse activity with accomplishment and consequently create bottlenecks of inefficiency. Even more frustrating for these dentists and their staff is the fact that they are quite capable of thinking strategically, but they simply cannot bring themselves to relinquish control. They will not allow others to problem solve, and they consistently second-guess decisions. However, if the practice is going to grow and truly succeed, the doctor simply must let go. But how do you bring your micromanaging dentists to relinquish a few of those tightly held responsibilities?

 

Number one: Don’t try to change them, only they can do that. Instead, work with what you have. One of the greatest needs your micromanager has, outside the need to feel needed, is the need to know. Perhaps your micromanaging dentist really wants more time for treatment planning to encourage greater case acceptance, but at the same time insists on giving all patients their post-op instructions, which only puts everyone behind schedule. Develop a detailed step-by-step plan that outlines how you could help the doctor with this duty. Explain to the doctor that you would like to handle this for her/him in a way that s/he will be completely comfortable and confident that patients receive the post-op information they need.