The Phyllis Waite column “To Give is to Gain” ran in Trojan Today from August 2019 through August 2010. This week’s classic was among those published in 2010.
The Gift of Being an Effective Manager
By Phyllis Waite
From May 2010
Management is defined as directing
the work of others. While all types of people can manage, the GIFT to the dental team
is to have a manager who is an effective leader.
Dental teams require each person to
perform duties consistently and precisely-timed to GIVE patients a
centered, seamless experience. If patients say, “Go ask the
is not what Doctor said,” your seams are weak or broken. Patients become confused and
While basic cross training is
essential to managing the flow, skills necessary to be a Dental Assistant,
Hygienist, Financial Coordinator, or administrative team member require mastery
of specific skills. Specialists require recognition for their individual contributions;
feelings of equality and mutual respect among team members must be nurtured. TAKING is when a manager is
viewed as “more important” resulting in others feeling “less important” and
leads to an unmotivated, resistant environment.
GIVING the team a
respected leader should build team morale. Leaders should be empowered to plan
regular team development meetings and spontaneous gatherings to meet the team’s
needs and to recommend individual or team rewards. They should earn respect by
their willingness to accept the responsibility of acting as the liaison and
administrator of personnel policies and employee agreements. The team should know
Doctor’s intention is to GIFT them full-time management support by giving the leader the
ability to focus on the clinical and developmental needs of the practice.
GIVING LEADERS inspire the team to do the right
managers focus on doing things right. A strong team is founded on every
individual taking responsibility to manage their daily tasks and to deliver
results. The manager or team leader has the additional responsibility to see
the opportunity for change and the big picture, and then organizing time and
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Most of us in productive dental practices have learned that getting multiple services performed in one visit is much better for the patient in terms of scheduling appointments in a busy life.
Many patients ask to have as much done as possible in one visit for convenience and comfort.
In the real world, we do what we can to make the patient happy. If it doesn’t compromise the standard of care or put the patient at risk, we comply with their requests.
Doing as much for the patient as possible is also advantageous to the clinical team because the use of materials and chair time is more cost-effective. Sometimes, however, an insurance policy provision dictates when you can perform certain procedures and when you cannot.
The patient certainly doesn’t want to pay for a service that would have been covered had itbeen delivered according to the rules of the policy.
There are countless dental claims that are disallowed because of policy provisions that don’t allow for combining two procedures on the same day. The following represent three examples of this situation:
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Originally published in 2013, this Dale Tucci article looks at different types of leaders.
By Dale Tucci
From February 2013
Over the past
twenty-five years as a management consultant I have enjoyed helping people
succeed and manage success. Success is defined
in the Oxford dictionary as: noun 1. a favorable outcome; doing what
is desired or attempted; the attainment of wealth, fame, or position. 2. a
person or thing that is successful.
I believe business success cannot be
attained or managed until the business owner defines success in very precise
and personal terms. Sounds simple! In truth this fundamental step is often
overlooked or avoided by so many leaders. The premise here is straightforward:
you cannot hit a target until it is in your sight.
If you are like many business professionals,
you can skip the foundational work and rely on outsiders to define and
recognize your achievements. In fact, professional advisors, such as
accountants, may reinforce your success by comparing your achievements relative
to industry norms. This benchmark method is valuable but in the context of
personal success this alone may be insufficient to result in a sense of
personal satisfaction. The true measure of success is based on your personal definition
and level of fulfillment.
Success truly is measured against internal beliefs, goals, and values. Therefore, the most powerful accolades are those you give yourself. At the end of the day, your personal sense of achievement will fuel future actions to propel success and manage it going forward.
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