We are a group of Dental Consultants who offer, improved practice morale; a happier, more profitable patient base;and improved home life; increased collections. (And yes, our average is 35% in year one.)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


 Team Member Handbook for Teamwork
        By: Lenora Milligan Salt DPM 
                        Part 2 of 2

 Help new teammates make entry.
            People come, people go.  Turnover can be hard on teamwork.  It makes sense to help people succeed, to take pains to keep them.  You and your teammates play a key role in this process.  Too often, when a newcomer fails to make it in the team, it’s because the team failed the person.

Play down yourself and build up others.
            You’ll never build the team by acting like a big shot-you do it by building your teammates.  Play the game in such a way that your presence make the others perform at a high level.  Be a cheerleader.  Offer encouragement.  Tell them what a good job they’re doing.  Point out their strengths.  Catch them doing things right.

Spend time with your teammates.
            If your group get together only now and then – say for an hour or so – it doesn’t have crying chance of becoming a close knit unit.  It take togetherness for the group to gel as a team.  Even though you work side by side with someone, it doesn’t mean you will develop “team integrity.”

Help drive discipline into the group.
            In high performance teams, the players police themselves.  The people don’t relay on somebody else – for instance, the boss or whoever is in charge – the crack the whip.  Team members show superb self-discipline.  Individuals hold themselves, and each other, accountable for topnotch results.

Make sure you make a difference.
            Just having your name on the roster doesn’t mean you’re earning your keep.  Making a difference take more than just showing up, doing only enough to by or merely going through the motions.  Staying busy is no big deal either.  You need to do what counts.  Often the top performer isn’t the most talented person on the team, but the person who puts our the most effort.

Give attention to group process.
            Things are always going wrong when people work together in groups.  And even when things are going right, a sharp eye can often find ways for them to go a lot better.  Pay attention to what’s going on inside your group, and you’ll see problems there that need fixing.

Help create a climate of trust.
            The “growing season” for trust is when people are being tested – in matter big or small.  Only then do you get a chance to really prove anything.  Will you keep your work?  Do you honor your commitments?  Are you consistent?  Dow you play fair?  Can others count on you to “be there”-hanging tough under fire, helping out when the need you, putting yourself at risk for the sake of the team?

Strengthen the leader through good follower-ship.
            No leader is good enough to take a team to high performance if the team members are lousy followers.  What’s involved in follower-ship?  Initiative.  Know what to do without being told, and do it.  Think for yourself.  Good followers are people who lead themselves.  It requires that you align your efforts with the rest of the group.  Commit yourself to the team’s common goals.  Don’t drift off in another direction and splinter the group.  It also requires that you work to strengthen the leader.  Show your support and empower that person.

Be a good sport.
            Have a sense of fair play.  Show respect for others, rather than putting them down, finding fault, or promoting yourself at their expense.  Humility fits into the picture too.  Don’t brag or get a big head when you do well.  Be big enough to ask for help when you need it, admit your mistakes, and say “I’m sorry” when appropriate.  Learn to take criticism without taking it personally.

                                 (The team member handbook for teamwork by Price Pritchett)
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Monday, June 25, 2012


 Team Member Handbook for Teamwork
        By: Lenora Milligan Salt DPM 
                        Part 1 of 2

High quality communication 
 It’s not enough for the right hand to know what the left is doing.  The right hand needs to know what the left intends to do.  People need a keen sense of what’s planned if they are to execute with precision.  There is no hope of orchestrating a coordinated team effort unless good communication precedes action.

Bring talent to the team.
            Teams need talent.  The more of it you bring to the group, the more you can contribute.  Build your skills and in a very real sense, you are building the team.  You can’t have a high-powered team with low-talent people.

Play your position
            Dig up all the details on your assignment.  Nail every bit of it down so you will remember it.  The, play your position.  It’s tough to achieve a coordinated team effort when people leave their stations…stray into someone else’s area…or just get sloppy and let thing slip through the cracks.  Sometimes you need to cover for teammates, of course, since everyone needs a little help now and then. 

Turn diversity to the team’s advantage.
            Don’t sideline the person that is different, whether that person happens to be you, or somebody else.  All too often people pull themselves out of play.  Maybe because they feel like they don’t fit in.  Or maybe because the look, think, or act different from the rest of the bunch.  Do your part to help the team identify, and benefit from, diversity.

Back up others who need help.
            The best way to put a safety net under the team’s performance is to back each other up.  Anybody can make a mistake, get overloaded, or just need a helping hand.  The question is will you be in a position to cover for you teammates?

            It’s one thing to show up for work every day and do your job.  But it’s another thing to show up for practice.  To drill.  To rehearse.  To run through everything time after time, watching the people perform as a team pushing for better performance.

Be prepared to sacrifice for the team.
            The struggle of “me versus we’ is not stranger to team members.  You can expect occasional conflict between your selfish interests and what’s best for the team.  Personal sacrifice is part of the price you pay for membership in the group…for team support when you need it…and, most importantly, for the trust of your teammates.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Lesson Learned, "Nathan's Hot Dogs" How pricing affects your bottomline

Photo by: Nathan's Hot Dogs
Photo from: http://nathansfamous.com/PageFetch/getpage.php?pgid=39

You might be asking what can we learn in the dental field from a story about a man who sold hot dogs? Well a lot actually.

A History on "Nathan's Hot Dogs
"It started in 1916 as a small hot dog stand on Coney Island.  Nathan wanted to undercut the competition and so he sold his hot dogs for 5 cents.  However, according to an excerpt from Sway, by brothers Ori and Rom Brafman, no one bought them because they didn't believe in the quality of the product.  "People believed there must be something wrong with them if he was willing to sell them so cheap."

How does this affect you in the dental office?  Finding the right balance when pricing your product can be tricky, because we aren't talking about a tangible product that people can feel and taste.  We are talking about experience and education, dental supplies, time, and relationships.   

You don't want to have your business prices too low, because you may wind up with no one to sell to, however, if your prices are too high patients may not be able to afford your product.  How much are your services worth? How much you should charge? Does the market always determine your worth?

Nathan's products did so well because he was serving a quality product.  In a world where hundreds of dentists exist and people could go anywhere it is important each interaction and every procedure with your patients is truly a quality product with nothing but the best inside.  His product was a unique recipe and he believed in this product so much it did not deter him from his pricing choices.

Everyone has a product to sell and they must believe in themselves, their office, and the job they are doing.  However, a quality product must be delivered every time for patients to believe in your services.  Nathan didn't need to sell his hot dogs for only five cents, because others were selling theirs for ten cents, but his quality product trumped the believe that his hot dog's weren't as good as the competitions'.

Today, Nathan's is famous and many individuals such as, "Al Capone, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, and Cary Grant ate his hot dogs.Last year there were over 360 million Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs sold! Today,Nathan’s is sold and enjoyed in all 50 States and sold at over 20,000 foodservice and retail outlets."   

Although, you may never have anyone famous come into your office and buy your services, the product you produce each day matters to the patients you have now.

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Original Lesson By: Lenora Milligan Salt DPM President and Consultant

You can learn more about Nathan's Hot Dogs at http://nathansfamous.com/PageFetch/getpage.php?pgid=39

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A little help during the busy times

Quick food idea by Salt DPM Consultant 
Debra Quarles

            Team members are always pressed for time at home with their families. Here is a quick meal tip for chicken soup!
            Keep canned chicken, broth, mushrooms, and corn on hand as well as some yellow onions, carrots and Bisquick. Place the chicken, mushrooms, chopped onions, carrots and corn in the broth and bring to boil. Season with salt, pepper, chopped celery, or celery salt. If you like dumplings, use the Bisquick recipe, but leave covered for the whole 20 minutes and do not peek!
            If you like noodles mix some flour and salted eggs together to a dough. Roll out on a sheet and cut strips with a pizza cutter. If you like your noodles short, cut them. Make them the width you like. Just place them into the boiling broth for about 15 minutes.
            Chicken soup has been shown to keep you healthy. It also will keep a smile on your family’s face!

P.S. It seems like the low fat Bisquick makes fluffier dumplings!


            When cementing crowns with resin cements, be sure to keep a constant pressure on the crown during the curing process. If the crown is allowed to move during the curing, it will pull the weakened cement bond away from the tooth. This will lead to “micro-leaking” which will allow bacteria to get under the resin cement. This will cause a “black” line under the edge of an all porcelain crown or onlay.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Inevitable"

Debra Quarles

Summer can mean new goals, new opportunities and new ideas. All of which translates to change. Why is it when we hear the word change our heart starts to beat a little faster? Our palms get sweaty? We begin to panic a little?

According to philosopher Heraclites, “There is nothing permanent except change.” In our lives we’ve seen this. We see seasons change, yet change still has the power to unsettle us.  As a coach and consultant I implement and initiate change. So one of the first things I do is ask, who likes change? Invariably there will be one or two who raise their hands—but the majority will tell me they are creatures of habit. I’ve found even those who tell me they like change are only referring to changing their living room furniture, the car they drive, or their hair color. When it comes to change at work, doing the things we do every day, change is difficult.

So why change at all? The results you currently see at work are a reflection of your current behaviors. In other words, your current patients, your current stress level, your current salary, your current value are all based upon what you currently are achieving as an individual and a team. If you want different results, you will have to learn to do things differently.
  Here are some tips for handling change:
·      Understand why the change is necessary. We are much more accepting of change when we can understand how it will work to ease our day, increase our production or result in a better quality product.
·      Accept change willingly. You cannot prevent change from happening. In fact the act of resistance actually makes change worse. If you were to sit down in a straight-backed chair and have someone push against your outstretched hands, you would find that by resisting you actually give them the power to tip or turn you. Instead relax your arms. I know this is hard, it is easier to resist, but by relaxing you will find you can’t be so easily tipped over. Fighting change actually makes it worse. Remember, welcome change.
·      Get started making the change immediately. Support and remind each other of the change daily. Keep in mind change creates heroes and heroines. Can you become the hero of the office by implementing a change that saves time, energy or money?
·      Learn to love your mistakes, they will occur, remind yourself again why the change is important and move on. Don’t tell yourself stories about how it was so good before the change; instead focus on the future.
Change is what propels us toward a more rewarding future.

Debra Quarles is a coach consultant with Salt Dental Practice Management. 
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Original Article published by
Tri-County Dental Society

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

15 Changes to a healthier, happier life: Part 2 of 2

 By: Lenora Miligan
Salt DPM Consultant
        Part 2 of 2

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

 8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change
 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels
 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment
This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self-less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations
Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

8. Give up your need to impress others
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
9. Give up your resistance to change
 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

 Part 2 of 2
If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

Monday, June 11, 2012

15 Changes to a healthier, happier life:

 By Lenora Milligan
Salt DPM Consultant
Part 1 of 2

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame
 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk
 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs
about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy; no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

Read Part 2 on Wednesday

If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thinking Errors Part 3 of 3

Thinking Errors By: Salt DPM Consultants
Part 3 of 3

21.  Love, Approval and Respect:
This is the belief that it is absolutely necessary to have the love and respect of everyone - even people you do not like. If people do not freely give you respect you have a right to get it by manipulation or force. Everyone must idealize you, or your self worth is zero.

Example: You spend a lot of time discussing recommended treatment with a patient who then decides against it. You must be a failure at communicating.
Payoff: You do not have to make any effort to make the relationship work. You do not have to be sensitive to the other person's needs and feelings.
Consequence: You're blind to the fact that you set people up to reject you.

22.  Lying by Omission:
Keeping essential information secret either by omitting it or by only answering a question in the narrowest of contexts.

Payoff: You get to pick who knows how much about you. You feel powerful because you can fool others.
Consequence: Others do not trust you.

23.  Mind Reading:
You believe that you know what other people think and feel and of course it's always negative. You impose your thought onto others without checking it out to find if what you’re thinking is really true.

Payoff: You never have to deal with doubt. You are always prepared for the worst.
Consequence: You never give yourself or anyone else a chance.

24.  Minimizing:
Means that you believe that what you have done is not really important or significant.

Example: I was only speeding 10 miles over the limit.
Payoff: Your actions become unimportant and not really bad.

25.  Negative Envy:
An emotion you experience when you discover that someone else has some quality, trait or possession that you want. You endow this quality, trait or possession with magical powers. You know if you had it, then you would be happy. Unlike envy, which can be used in motivation, in negative envy, you are unwilling to put effort into having the desired quality, trait or possession.

Example: If you looked like her you'd be more valuable to the team.
Consequence: Envy eats at you and destroys your relationships with others.

26.  Ownership:
The belief that if you want a person or an object, you have a right to claim it as yours. If you have a relationship with a person that means you own them and that person should do everything you want them to.

Payoff: You have the right to abuse people.
Consequence: You abuse people. Healthy people shun you.

27.  Perfectionism:
This is the belief that you are totally competent in all you do. If you do not succeed at something, it is someone else's fault. Sometimes you choose not to act for fear you might fail, or you just daydream about the great things you'll accomplish one day. Since you are perfect, you have the right to demand perfection from others. If others fail to measure up your standards, you can ridicule them.

Payoff: You feel superior to other people.
Consequence: You humiliate and embarrass other people. You seldom risk a new activity.

28.  Personalization:
You see yourself as the cause of negative external events for which in fact you had no responsibility.

Payoff: If you believe you caused it, you believe you can fix it.
Consequence: You feel shame, guilt and are involved in endless efforts to right things you can't.

29.  Piecemeal Thinking:
There are several types:
Negative thinking: You avoid taking goal directed actions because you know that something bad will happen. All or nothing thinking: You see things as black or white. Events or people are either good or bad.

Payoff: You never have to deal with uncertainty, faith, hope, or ambivalence. You are justified in not putting effort into tasks because they are doomed to fail.
Consequence: You only see a small part of reality.

30.  Power and Control:
You expect to control others. Since you are special you think others should obey you. Lying and manipulating are good ways to gain power.

Payoff: You get people to do what you want.
Consequence: You do not know how to have a relationship with others. People avoid you.

31.  Procrastination:
To endlessly put off doing things that ought to be done now, until later. It allows you to obsess about what might happen if you took various courses of action without ever having to take a risk.

Payoff: You never have to take risks you are afraid to take.
Consequence: You accomplish little. You're seen as lazy or a poor worker by others.

32.  Resentment:
You hold on to real or imagined pain that others have "caused" you. Your pain turns to anger and rage.

Example: You refuse to work with one team member, because last week she cut you off when you were talking.
Payoff: All your acting out is justified. You can't be held accountable for your actions.
Consequence: You become bitter. You never see your role in your difficulties.

33.  Self-Justification:
Making excuses and rationalizations for one's behaviors.

Payoff: You do not have to take responsibility for your actions. Your actions are justified.
Consequence: You continuously hurt people and/or yourself because you are justified in doing so.

34.  Sentimentality:
You care about other people issues when it makes you feel better about yourself. Unfortunately, your gestures of kindness are always motivated by self-interest.

Payoff: You get to pat yourself on the back. Your image is in good standing and you get what you want. Consequence: You do not develop a capacity for concern or true empathy.

35.  Should Statements:
You attempt to motivate and guide yourself with should and shouldn't. You believe you have no desire to do things of your free will, that left to your own devices you will do nothing productive. You hold others accountable to the same "shoulds".

Example: I should lose 25 pounds by Christmas.
Payoff: You can rebel against yourself. You can make huge demands of others and be angry if they fail. Consequence: You alienate others placing demands on them.

36.  Super-Optimism:
You take it for granted that things will work out for you. Why shouldn't they? Planning and effort are for ordinary people.

Payoff: You do not have to put any effort into tasks.
Consequence: Lots of your "good ideas" never come to fruition.

37.  Trust:
You trust no one completely. Other people should trust you completely. You trust people only as far as they allow you to manipulate and control them. You have the right to stop trusting someone as soon as they disagree with you or disappoint you.

Payoff: No one has a right to expect any commitments from you—although you have the right to demand commitments from others.
Consequence: You end up trusting no one since you can't seem to find someone who will do everything you want them to. You experience deep feelings of loneliness and isolation.

38.  Vagueness:
Purposefully being unclear to avoid being pinned down and having to be honest.

Example: I guess, probably, maybe, I don't know, I might, I'm not sure.
Consequence: Loss of the growth and freedom that comes from commitment, honesty and integrity.

39.  Victim-stance of Self Pity:
A position you take when you are held accountable for your actions. You believe that you are not responsible for your actions and that you are the victim. Anything that goes wrong in your life is someone else's fault.

Consequence: You alienate others because you blame them for your problems. You are always looking for someone to fix things for you and it never happens.

40.  Zero State:
Can be defined as the periodic experience of oneself as being nothing - a zero. Zero state has three components.
a. Viewing oneself as worthless.
b. Transparency - everyone else knows that you are worthless.
c. Permanence - this experience will never end.

Payoff: When you are in zero state, you can play the victim and get others to feel sorry for you. Consequence: Despair, hopelessness, suicide and failure to endure adversity.

Thinking errors can make your practice stronger or weaker.  Take the time to know and understand which errors you use to get through your day and adjust accordingly to see your practice, individual life and relationships change in positive ways.

If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

This is an original lesson by Salt Dental Practice Management