Five Keys to Effective Management

To manage a dental practice effectively, concentrate on these key areas:

1. Attitude. A person’s attitude is an outward manifestation. If a concierge at an upscale hotel or a Broadway actor is in a bad mood, the hotel customers or theater patrons will never know. In a dental office, team members must also present a positive attitude to patients. It is an essential job requirement.

2. Expectations. I tell team members to insist on written job descriptions so they will get credit for the work they are doing. Doctors should make sure that everyone has a written job description so that performance is based on objective standards which reduce the chances of misunderstandings.

3. Communication Skills. One of the most important communication skills that is often overlooked is listening. Team members must not only have excellent verbal skills, but they must also actively listen to patients. Great listening skills are necessary to show empathy toward patients.

4. Leadership. It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum. The doctor has to be a leader and act like a leader, but leadership must be evidenced by all involved. For example, when a patient needs to be educated regarding proper home care, the hygienist has to step into a leadership role.

5. Accountability. Newton must have visited dental practices when he developed his first law of motion: “An object at rest tends to remain at rest.” There is much inertia in a dental practice when it comes to making needed changes in the way the practice is run. By breaking down projects into subparts and asking individuals to report progress on specific dates, you can create a culture of accountability and begin to make progress on implementing new protocols in the office.

These are the five keys to management success. If you would like a free telephone consultation to talk about how to apply these principles in your office, send an e-mail to dschwabphd@me.com

David Schwab, Ph.D. provides dental seminars and dental practice management consulting.www.davidschwab.com

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You are a very skilled speaker and the 6 hours we were with you went very quickly. The information was easy to follow and quite interesting. You must have a very busy practice helping dentists. The Seinfeld of Dentistry!

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