Dr Mark Hassed

Many dental staff members dread team meetings because they often turn so negative.

What has gone wrong in the past month and who is responsible? This creates a climate of confrontation and blame. People scramble to cover their  own backs and little productive is achieved.

The most productive meeting you can have is working on the systems in your business.

By all means identify areas where problems are occurring but don't assign any blame to individuals. Instead say: “How can we alter our systems to stop this problem occurring again?” Then all look at the problem together as a group and come up with answers.

For example, let's say it's taking you 8 minutes to set up for a root filling. That's a total waste of time. The whole staff should brain storm – How can we get set up faster? Let's see if, together we can work out a way to set up in 10 seconds.

Or, for example, some patients are wasting the doctors time by turning up late or failing appointments. What systems can we, as a team, put in place to prevent patients wasting the doctor's time?

Or, accounts receivable is growing. What can we do as a team to cut AR? What systems can we implement to make sure people don't slip out without paying?

Or, last month we had 2 crowns that didn't fit. How can we change our impression taking technique so it doesn't happen again?

This mind set converts meeting from negative blame laying sessions to productive, exciting problem solving sessions. I'm sure you get the idea. Fix the systems. Don't hammer the team members.

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