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, August 29, 2012

Featuring: "Laws of Teamwork," Weakest Link

 Salt Dental Practice Management Brings Success

"You are only as strong as your weakest link."

Thomas Reid's Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, 1786. He stated that, ""In every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the weakest link of the chain, whatever may be the strength of the rest."

Have you worked on a team where your weakest link drives your team into the ground? Or where one person seems to make it impossible to move forward? It doesn't mean you have to automatically get rid of this person, but you do need to ask some critical questions and make some changes. 

 It might be that this person is the best person for another position or that their strengths could be utilized elsewhere while the position they are in highlights their weaknesses.  However, it may mean they need to move on. Which ever direction is taken, it is important that this person not be allowed to continue in that position.


“Winning teams have competent players, The Law of the Chain from my book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork states that the strength of a team is impacted by it weakest link. And that weakest link is always going to determine the load the team is able to carry.

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http://www.hoopskills.com/blog/archives/law-of-the-chain/

 

The strength of the team is impacted by its weakest link.  You lose the respect of the best when you don’t deal properly with the worst. 







When people watch a person on a team, not step up, or not contribute it begins to take it's toll on everyone around them. It is important for leaders to change something to break the cycle. 

To Identify which areas you are having trouble with ask these questions:



  • What link (area) is holding us back from achieving more of our goal?
  • In what area are we constantly experiencing the most problems?
  • What area is really limiting our ability to improve?

  • Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6540659

    Once you have identified the area or the problem, next you need to design a plan of action.  Make the goal to improve the weakest link. 

    Let Salt DPM help you receive typical results today for a better tomorrow. 
                     
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Team Responsabilities

    This week we are staying with the theme of teams and your responsibility as a member of a team.

    The team you create in your office is key to the success that you will have.  It is important to build a strong team who support and believe in the mission of the office. You want team members who are passionate about what they do and want to come to work everyday.  And every team member has a responsibility to the team.

    Keep communication positive. It is easy to get into a negative communication pattern. Stop it before it starts. Take responsibility for what you say and do. Be receptive to feedback.  

    Assume positive intentions from everyone.  If someone is short with you, don't make assumptions about the interaction.  If you are unsure about something that was said ask questions for clarification.

    Keep communication lines open. When you present yourself as someone who is open for communication if a problem arises it can be resolved quicker.

    Have a positive attitude. You can control your attitude everyday. Although, you can't control the angry patient you can chose how you handle and respond to the situation. By choosing your attitude you can help keep the team working towards their mission of helping patients.  

    Google-Royalty free photo
    Build a relationship with your team and make time. In every business we are pressed for time, however, spending time with your team is an important part to building a great working relationship. If you spend time alone, they may believe you are not approachable or trust you because they don't know you.

    Step-up when you are needed. When you are on a team, although you need to have clear expectations and responsibilities you also need to be willing to step up when needed and help.

    Know the mission and vision of your office and make decisions that promote the mission. If your office's mission is to provide a pain free environment then complete actions with patients that are pain free. If you mission is to increase patient referrals, then ask every patient every time for a referral. 

    The team you create in your office is key to the success that you will have.  It is important to build a strong team who support and believe in the mission of the office. You want team members who are passionate about what they do and want to come to work everyday.  And every team member has a responsibility to the team.

    Keep communication positive. It is easy to get into a negative communication pattern. Stop it before it starts. Take responsibility for what you say and do. Be receptive to feedback.  

    Assume positive intentions from everyone.  If someone is short with you, don't make assumptions about the interaction.  If you are unsure about something that was said ask questions for clarification.

    Keep communication lines open. When you present yourself as someone who is open for communication if a problem arises it can be resolved quicker.

    Have a positive attitude. You can control your attitude everyday. Although, you can't control the angry patient you can chose how you handle and respond to the situation. By choosing your attitude you can help keep the team working towards their mission of helping patients.  

    Build a relationship with your team and make time. In every business we are pressed for time, however, spending time with your team is an important part to building a great working relationship. If you spend time alone, they may believe you are not approachable or trust you because they don't know you.

    Step-up when you are needed. When you are on a team, although you need to have clear expectations and responsibilities you also need to be willing to step up when needed and help.


    Know the mission and vision of your office and make decisions that promote the mission. If your office's mission is to provide a pain free environment then complete actions with patients that are pain free. If you mission is to increase patient referrals, then ask every patient every time for a referral. 
    The team you create in your office is key to the success that you will have.

    It is important to build a strong team who support and believe in the mission of the office. You want team members who are passionate about what they do and want to come to work everyday.  And every team member has a responsibility to the team.

    Value team members. You do not have to be friends with every team member however, you do need to work effectively and efficiently with them. 


    Let Salt DPM help you receive typical results today for a better tomorrow. 
                  
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:



    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Teamwork part 2 of 2

    Part 2 of 2 

    This week Salt DPM Features: Price Pritchett's book, "Teamwork, The team member handbook for teamwork."
    By: Price Pritchet


     How does your team work? Are they strong, communicate and an extension of your right hand? Or are they argumentative and negative? 

    Here are some highlights from the book:

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    http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/team-sport.html
    Help new teammates make entry.
                Although, new people may be entering your team all the time treating them like an outsider does not build a cohesive team. Spend time making the new person feel comfortable and help supprort them as they become comfortable with the team.

    Play down yourself and build up others.
                A team becomes stronger when you work to build everyone up.  Noone is going to get anywhere following their ego. 

    Spend time with your teammates.
    Team's take time to build and you can't expect that you are going to become a close knit group with a few hours of time here and there. Spend quality time getting to know everyone on your team. No what their goals are and how they work.
     
    http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/trust.html
               .
    Help drive discipline into the group.
                Hold yourself accountable. Don't wait for the boss to tell you what to do but take initive to complete your job well anticipating and fixing problems when you need to. 

    Make sure you make a difference.
               Times are tough and people have lot's of options in terms of business choices.  Showing up to work isn't enough. You have to committ to making a difference and doing your best everday.

    Give attention to group process.
               When you are at work pay attention to what is going on and work to fix problems when things are not working. Know what is going on with your teams in order to support them when needed.
    http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/team-sport.htm

     Help create a climate of trust.
             Talking about a teammate can be the quickest way to drive a problem into a team. Make sure you are not causing the problems. Be committed.  When there is a problem that is when people learn whether those around them will honor committments, make sure you are.
    http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/trust.html

    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.  

    Be a good sport.
    A lesson that is learned when we are younger but we can forget as we get older. It is our responsability to let everyone shine on the team and provide opportunities for everyone to win.


    Let Salt DPM help you receive typical results today for a better tomorrow. 
                  
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Teamwork part 1 of 2

    Part 1 of 2


    This week Salt DPM Features: Price Pritchett's book, "Teamwork, The team member handbook for teamwork."




     How does your team work? Are they strong, communicate and an extension of your right hand? Or are they argumentative and negative? 

    Here are some highlights from the book:

    http://www.dreamstime.com/teamwork-cat53
    Communication is key-the team needs to know not only what the other hand is doing but where the right hand is going as well. In a dental office things change every second you need to have someone that can anticipate problems, find a solution and move forward without skipping a beat.  This takes strong and effective communication.

     Bring Talent to the team: Everybody has a talent so bring as many people to the table as you can and learn from each other.  Constantly build on your talents and skills by going to conferences, studying and learn about the going on's in your field.



    http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/soccer.html
    Play your position: Know what your job entails and do it well. Stay within your station and complete your responsibilities without wavering.  If you move into another person's area it can create problems.



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    Turn diversity to the team’s advantage: diversity is a positive thing use it to enhance your team's power in the office. Don't shy away from others if you are the one that is different and don't ostracize if you are not. Everyone brings a unique position to the team and it can help your office.
    Back up others who need help: Anybody can make a mistake or have an off day so help them when they do.

    Practice: Make everyday count. This isn't just a job, it is a career, a family that counts on you to be there and to take care of what needs to be taken care of to the best of your abilities. Run drills and practice what needs to be done, so you can see where the holes are and find a solution.


    Be prepared to sacrifice for the team: Inevitably there will be times when you have to weigh what you want up against what is best for team. Be prepared to sacrifice when it is needed because that is the, "price you pay," for being a part of the team and having their support.

    By following these view steps everyday you will become a strong, cohesive group that can take on challenges.

    Let Salt DPM help you receive typical results today for a better tomorrow. 
                     
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:








    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Salt Case Studies

    Why is Salt Different? What can it do to help your practice? What can you expect when you work with Salt Dental Practice Management Consultant? Read below for case studies that help support and provide evidence for the difference that Salt can make for your practice today.

    Dr. D - "Economy Down, Productivity and Feet Up"
     
    Before Salt: In 1995, Dr. D was running a 3-operatory practice in rural Arizona, with 3 team members. Before Salt, his net production was $205,402 with a net collection of $209,403 



    After Years of Salt: During the recession, most practices have been down 30-35%, laying off staff or closing their doors entirely. In 2009 in the Phoenix area, over 200 practices went out of business. During this same period, Dr. D's year-end net production was $579,117, with net collections of $598,031. In 2010, his year-end net production was $612,027, with net collections of $602,375. He's projecting to end 2011 with $632,452 net production and $646,389 net collections. He presently enjoys a 3.5-day work week, takes several weeks vacation each year, and his overhead is 50%. His current (and happy) team has been in place for over 10 years. He attributes his success to the ongoing coaching which created and maintains a stable, safe, happy work environment focused on giving the very best to each and every patient.


    Dr. A - "From Tears to Cheers"

     
    Before Salt: A one-doctor, 3-operatory practice. When we met Dr. A in 2003, she was in tears.  She felt her office was completely unmanageable. Worse, it was unprofitable. The staff were poorly trained, lacked focus and the office was full of drama. It was draining her ability to be a good wife and mother. She dreaded Monday morning, and was considering selling the practice. At the time, their year-end net production was $452,634, and net collections were $446,065. Dr. A was referred to us by one of our best clients. After the first meeting, Dr. A felt hopeful for the first time in a long time.

    One Year After Adding Salt: After one full year of Salt working with Dr. A and her team, year-end net production was up to $629,639, with net collections at $600,414. That's a 39% increase in net production and a 35% increase in net collection. She continues to be a client, and continues to have great success. She still works out of the same office, having no need to expand or move.



    Dr. Q - "Debt Be Gone" 

     
    Before Salt: Dr. Q's net production was $1,089,076.89. Net collections were $1,066,562.79. However, his concern was not production and collection, but overhead, profit, and (most of all) outstanding debt.

    After Adding Salt: After one full year of service, Dr. Q's net production rose to $1,306,599.45, an increase of 20%. His collections at the end of that year were $1,283,987.50, also an increase of 20%. Concurrently, we significantly decreased his overhead, giving him more discretionary funds to pay off enormous accumulated debts. He remains a client and is on track for a third record year.


                          Let Salt DPM help you receive typical results today for a better tomorrow. 
                     
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:



    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Digital Dental Photography




    This week's Salt Blog is featuring a special guest:  WIAND Dental Laboratory in Scottsdale, Arizona.  






       
    They provide a variety of supports and services. You can locate their website for more information at WIAND Dental Laboratory.          

    This week's Salt Blog is featuring a special guest: WIAND Dental Laboratory in Scottsdale, Arizona.  They provide a variety of supports and services. You can locate their website for more information at WIAND Dental Laboratory.                              



    A Tip from WIAND: Digital dental photography can help increase patient acceptance and provide valuable information for you to better help your patients receive the care they need. What else can digital photos do for you?  

    "A picture is worth a thousand words," and when you have a picture insurance companies will not be as likely to deny a claim if they have a picture to support the problem.


    Patients are more likely to be on board with a treatment plan when they are able to clearly see the problems going on in their mouth.  If you take digital photos you will be able to upload them to a small computer, IPAD or Power point and clearly show your patients what is going on in their mouth.

     If you want to use digital photography it is important in order to receive the high quality product your patients want and deserve Wiand Dental Laboratory can help. Dr. Steven Goldstein, an expert in both dentistry and digital photography, will teach you how to incorporate digital photography through live hands on demonstrations and assistance.

    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:
     


    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Great teams thrive on feedback

    Debra Quarles Salt DPM Consultant


    Ten Tips for Giving Feedback:

    1. Never give feedback when you are angry. Instead wait until calm has been restored. This also means, do not avoid giving feedback, allowing your emotions to build. The first time the employee acts in a manner not in keeping with your expectations, you should provide feedback.

    2. Make sure the person giving the feedback is in a position of authority. As the dentist you are in this position, but in many of the practices I work with, others may also have authority. (In fact, in some practices, every member of the team is in authority and has learned how to give and receive feedback positively. Think of how strong this would make a team.) Make it clear to all employees who has permission to give feedback.

    3. Ask questions to create joint ownership of the challenge: “How do you think you’re doing?” “How do you feel things are going with . . .?”

    4. Most of any message is contained in our body language. When giving feedback your body language and tone of voice should be one of disappointment. When body language or tone of voice shows anger or irritation, it is less effective.

    5. Feedback is generally better received when the employee grants permission to give it. “May I make a suggestion?”

    6. Make sure your requests and statements are clear.  Some coaches recommend what is called the “sandwich technique,” where you make a positive statement, followed by your feedback and then another positive statement. This fools no one. They know what the real message is. More facts will lead to less interpretations of what you really mean. Too often we may try to soften the critique, which may in turn leave the other person confused as to what actually needs to be changed.

    7. Use “I” statements to soften your comments. “I have found that when I . . .”

    8. Know your employee: Are they very sensitive to critique? If so you may want to adapt your feedback, as it might be taken more personally.

    9. Know yourself: Are you someone who appreciates feedback, do you tend to be harsher? If so, change to a milder tone.

    10. Know that defensiveness may be your employee’s reaction to your words. This is because studies show when we are confronted with criticism we may feel our sense of belonging to a group is threatened. Knowing this can help you to give feedback while at the same time focusing on the employee’s inclusion with your current team. “You are a valuable member of our team, so I wanted let you know . . .” Or if it is now time for them to leave, how they might be a better fit utilizing their strengths in another practice.

    Ten Tips for Receiving Feedback:

    Some of us are more sensitive to feedback. It seems to attack our self-esteem, our sense of self. As dentists, you are constantly exposed to feedback. (The patient who is unhappy with your care or your office. The employee who feels you are not handling situations appropriately.) According to Peter Bregman, in a Harvard Review Blog post, feedback “exposes you to yourself, which is why it is both tremendously unsettling and exceptionally valuable.”

    1. Do not become defensive. Just like when you are giving feedback to your employees or teammates, when you are the one receiving feedback defensiveness will probably be your initial reaction. You will want to reject the information.

    2. Take a deep breath. Accept you are not perfect. No one is.

    3. If you are being asked for permission to receive feedback remember how difficult it is to give feedback. Be grateful someone thinks you are worthy of his or her time and attention. Know that you can choose to receive the feedback now or later.

    4. Remember, this is not about whether you are liked or not. This is the time to learn how you can improve.

    5.  Listen. Somewhere in the feedback will be some important information. (Again, remember tip number 1, you are not perfect.) There will be some kernel of truth. If you are busy attaching any other meaning to the encounter, you will not be present to hear those words. Instead become quiet. Focus on the words spoken to you and attempt to grasp the message. 

    6. Ask questions to clarify the meaning of the feedback.

    7. Find the truth. Too often we focus on what is wrong with the comments being made. (“I don’t always  . . .”) Instead make a verbal statement accepting what portion of the feedback is correct. (“You are right, I do sometimes . . .)
    8. Consider all the information that has been given. Evaluate. They may be seeing something you do not. Reflect. Have others made some of these same comments before?
    9. Focus on how to solve the problem. What is being recommended?
     10. Ask for assistance, if appropriate, or change a system. Show you are willing to make the necessary change and ask for help to do it if needed.
    Most important, remember feedback is a gift from someone who wants you to do well, thank the person who gives it.
    Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results. For more information please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.
    11

    Debra Quarles is a positive focused, motivated professional with over 25 years of experience in the dental field. She has a unique ability to assess dental practice productivity and a keen talent for communicating.  Experience has accustomed her to handling all types of issues that arise daily in dental offices and with dental teams of any size.



    Article originally published by: Tri-County Dental Society
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Great teams thrive on feedback

    Debra Quarles Salt DPM Consultant





    Feedback is necessary for growth. We all agree with this in theory, yet each of us probably remembers an incident when we either gave or received feedback and it went poorly. While intellectually, we understand feedback is about helping; emotionally we may find ourselves preparing to be hurt. Most of us were trained to be courteous and polite as children, but it seems society does not train us to handle either giving or receiving feedback appropriately. But keep in mind, if handled well, feedback can be an extremely valuable tool that will take your employees and consequently your practice to the next level.

    Most of our clients would agree they dislike giving employees feedback or evaluations. They are unsure how to do it successfully. They may want a different result from the employee, but either their own personal experience with feedback, or their previous experience with giving employees things to work on has been received badly. While we understand feedback is essential for growth in any position, many would say the process of critiquing another comes out awkward or mean, even when that is not the intent.

    I have yet to find a group of people who inform me they are over appreciated. In fact, I still remember sitting in a room with a group. The doctor went around the room spending a significant amount of time giving everyone a specific and heartfelt compliment and then proceeded to discuss what improvements needed to be made. The team came away only hearing the negative. It seems we are wired to hear the negative more than the positive statements that come our way.

    Knowing how others may respond to your feedback negatively can actually assist you in making changes in how you handle the situation to create a more positive result.

     Article originally published by: Tri-County Dental Society
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:


    Friday, August 3, 2012

    How does your team measure up?

    Survival of the fittest

    By: David Milligan Salt DPM Consultant
    Part 3 of 3

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    Help drive discipline into the group.
                      In high performance teams, the players police themselves.  The people don’t rely on somebody else – for instance, the boss or whoever is in charge –to 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 takes more than just showing up, doing only enough to get by or 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 out 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 that need fixing.
    Help create a climate of trust.
                      The “growing season” for trust is when people are being tested – in matters big or small.  Only then do you get a chance to really prove anything.  Will you keep your word?  Do you honor your commitments?  Are you consistent?  Do you play fair?  Can others count on you to “be there”-hanging tough under fire, helping out when they need you, putting yourself at risk for the sake of the team?
    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.
    Great teams take effort.  Take time to work on your practice regularly to build teamwork and strengthen your results.   It does not matter if you are running the ball for a touchdown or building a strong dental practice, if the people around you feel that they are a part of team, you will all achieve your goals. 

    For more information please visit us at www.saltdpm.com where you can download a list of questions to help you build your team.
     Article originally published by: Tri-County Dental Society
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:



    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    How does your team measure up?

    Survival of the fittest

    By: David Milligan Salt DPM Consultant
    Part 2 of 3 

    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.  Practice your talents working to be the absolute best at them.
    Play your position
      Dig up all the details on your assignment.  Nail every bit of it down so you will remember it.  Then play your position.  It’s tough to achieve a coordinated team effort when people leave their stations…stray into someone else’s area…or get sloppy and let thing slip through the cracks. 
    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 they 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 need a helping hand.  The question is will you be in a position to cover for you teammates?
    Practice
                      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 and pushing for better performance.
    Be prepared to sacrifice for the team.
                      The struggle of “me versus we’ is not a 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.
    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.  Catch them doing things right.

    Article originally published by: Tri-County Dental Society
    Find Salt Dental Practice Management on:

    http://www.saltdpm.com