Christmas is in just two days, and the kids are waiting anxiously for Santa to arrive. If you are a parent, you’ve probably enjoyed using his imminent approach as an added incentive. “If you don’t clean your room, Santa’s going to skip over our house” probably works like a charm. Although you’re too old to look forward to a visit from the jolly old elf, this is a good time to examine your behavior and find out how you stack up. In particular, your dentist leadership is a good place to start. At a time of year when peace and joy are the focus of our thoughts, how are you managing your team? Do you possess good leadership skills that benefit your practice? Or are your management skills more likely to earn you a lump of coal in your stocking?
He’s Making a List and Checking It Twice…
Are you on the Nice List, or have you landed on the Dentist Leadership Naughty List? Answer the following questions to find out whether you can expect anything under the tree this year.
- How do you celebrate Christmas with your team?
A. I bring in a catered lunch from a local restaurant. If we’ve had a good year, I try to give everyone a little bonus, too.
B. They have Christmas off. That’s cause for celebration.
C. I forgot until the last minute, but I ordered pizza.
- You’ve had trouble with your hygienist this year. She was slow on the job and seemed unmotivated. What was your solution?
A. I scheduled a private meeting to see what was up.
B. I found a new hygienist.
C. I put up and shut up. She’s still giving me problems.
- What materials do you read to provide better leadership for your team?
A. I read a combination of medical journals, dental newsletters, and leadership blogs.
B. I am so tired by the end of the day. The last thing I want to think about is work.
C. I read medical journals. I didn’t realize that there are other things I should be reading…
- You have a few hectic weeks coming up. What is the first thing you do?
A. I hold a team meeting and explain the upcoming schedule. I delegate duties so that everyone feels a little more in control.
B. I brace myself. I just hope I don’t lose my temper, like I did last time this happened.
C. If things get crazy, I’ll ask my assistant to step up her game. No point in rocking the boat until then, though.
- What are you doing for yourself this Christmas?
A. Taking a week off to spend it with my family.
B. Taking Christmas Day off. I will catch up on some emails once the gifts are all unwrapped.
C. Taking Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. I haven’t had time to do my shopping, so it’s really a necessity!
Where Do You Fall on the Dentist Leadership List?
If you answered mostly A’s: Whew! You’re on the Nice List. You know how to communicate with your team and delegate duties. You also know how to express appreciation, and you treat yourself right, too. You can look forward to a stocking full of goodies – and a New Year full of professional satisfaction.
If you answered mostly B’s: Be on the lookout for a lump of coal. You’ve landed on the Naughty List. Your career is important. However, you must remember that it is not the only significant thing in your life – or in your team member’s lives. Compassion, empathy, and appreciation for your team will boost office productivity and efficiency. Most importantly, you will be making life pleasant for your employees, your patients, and yourself.
If you answered mostly C’s: You’ve fallen midway between the Naughty and Nice Lists. Santa might have some compassion this year, but it’s time to take control of your practice and your life. Developing your communication, delegation, and time management skills will make your work less stressful. A dental coach can help you improve these and other areas of your dentist leadership skills. Now that you know these problems exist, you really must take action. Otherwise, you could end up on the Naughty List next year.