Home 2024 Sleep Dentistry Issue From Negative Naysayers to Positive Powerhouses: Transforming Your Team Dynamics for Practice Success

From Negative Naysayers to Positive Powerhouses: Transforming Your Team Dynamics for Practice Success

by Lois Banta

The Power of Defined Systems in Team Building

Okay, you have a dental practice—with all the best equipment, a great computer system, a beautiful building, and all the necessary protocols in place. Now what? You need a dynamic dental team to elevate your practice to the next level. Have you ever worked with a team member who had a negative attitude? Negative attitudes can impact all areas of your practice, especially collections and financial arrangements. One reason a negative environment can arise is due to a lack of clear systems. Without well-defined job descriptions and duties, your dental team may lose focus and be unprepared for challenging situations. Furthermore, when policies and procedures are not consistently followed, frustration ensues.

Several types of attitudes can negatively affect your systems:
  • The naysayer: “That will never work here,” “We can’t do that,” “Our patients will never agree to that,” “Our patients have never paid at the time of service.”
  • The complainer: “Our patients never pay what they’re supposed to,” “Doctor XYZ always performs treatments without financial arrangements,” “You always file these EOBs in the wrong place.”
  • The martyr: “That’s okay, I’ll send the statements… I always end up doing it anyway,” “I’ll put the supplies away, otherwise it will never get done,” “I don’t mind taking out the trash… I’m the only one who does it anyway.”
Turning a Negative Attitude Around:
  • Walk your talk: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Creating a positive environment in the office starts with the owner. The old saying “positive attitudes are contagious” holds true. When the doctor fosters a positive environment and attitude, it influences the entire team.
  • Address negativity immediately: Gossip is unhealthy and should first be addressed in the employee manual, then directly with the individual involved.
  • Address issues early: This prevents problems from festering.
  • Reward good behavior: Recognize good behavior both publicly and privately, depending on the team member’s personality.
Positive Attitudes that Enhance a Practice:
  •  The team player:

“To ease your day, I will confirm appointments for you,”

“Which patients need special conversations about financial arrangements today?”

“I’d be happy to escort the patient up to you personally. Let’s see, I say ‘Lois is going to get a receipt for you, right?'”

  • Random acts of kindness:

Leave Post-it notes with a positive message for someone who acted unselfishly.

Offer a sincere smile.

When you finish your task, help someone else without being asked.

  • Positive reinforcement

There’s nothing more rewarding than catching a team member doing something great. Praise them when they act unselfishly or help someone else. This reinforces more positive behavior. Remember, the top reason a staff member leaves is due to feeling unappreciated or overworked. It’s a two-way street—your boss needs positive reinforcement too.

To sum it all up, treat others as you would like to be treated. Incorporating these principles can unlock unlimited potential for your practice and significantly improve your bottom line.

Learn More from Lois in Tuscany!

Ingredients for Excellence  

Blending Leadership and Systems for Dental Practice Perfection

April 30 - May 4, 2025

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