Ten hut! Taking a page out of the military handbook

2015 05 12 15 59 09 147 Geier Jay 200

For years, the U.S. Army used a great slogan: "Be all that you can be."

It's a promise, really, to potential recruits that says, "Join us, and we will push you to be better than you are right now. We will bring out your full potential as a man or woman -- not just a soldier."

“As a practice owner, you have both a unique opportunity and a responsibility to grow your staff to its fullest.”

Think of that mantra as you consider your staff members. How do you see them? Do you see them as what they currently do (clean teeth, assist in procedures, manage the books, and so on), or do you see them as all that they can be?

I like to call it your God-given potential. Everybody has it. It means that you have discovered all of your gifts in life and are exercising them; you have found out what you're good at and are leveraging it. The Army is known for its ability to take young, impressionable boys and girls and turn them into strong, courageous men and women. It digs deep to find the hidden potential in that young recruit, because when in harm's way, his or her life depends on it.

As a practice owner, you have both a unique opportunity and a responsibility to grow your staff to its fullest. And while their lives don't necessarily depend on it, they will, along with your practice, most definitely benefit from it.

Ask yourself honestly, without excuses, are you bringing out the best in them? Are you even trying? The fact is, there's a gap between what they're giving you and what they're capable of. You can play an exciting role in closing that gap, while simultaneously increasing your bottom line.

Human capital

When we go into dental offices throughout the U.S., the first thing we focus on is leveraging the human capital. We train the staff members to be better at what they do, to take on additional responsibility, to find their strengths, and to lead in ways they hadn't considered. We help doctors get more out of an investment they've already made.

There is nothing in the world I would rather do than bring out the potential in someone -- to put them in a position where they get tested and learn what they're capable of. I want to be someone my staff considers a mentor. I want to help them close that gap and fulfill their potential. Why? Because it is life-changing for them!

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.

You, too, can have that impact, but you have to see it that way. You have to want to be the person in their life who pushes them the hardest. How do you do that?

First, take a look at them as a person, not as someone accomplishing a task. Do they have good energy? Can they be molded? Do they have leadership abilities? Are they ambitious? Great. Now you test and invest in them.

The Army has boot camp to test its recruits. For you, it means putting your staff out there in a boat, giving them the oars, and letting them go. Then you simply play the role of investing in them. You invest your time, energy, and money, and you help them achieve greater things than they ever imagined. Train them, give them information and additional responsibilities, and reward them when they perform at a high level.

The result is often a happy, thriving staff that is producing at a much higher level. Why? Because you've sought out their potential and invested in their growth. And that begins a trickle-down effect. A happy and highly productive staff creates an efficient and positive patient experience. And the better the patient experience, the more likely patients are to keep coming back and referring their friends, which may send your new-patient numbers up dramatically.

So then, what happens if you choose to see your staff members as they are rather than what they are capable of? When you do nothing to invest in their potential? The talented people will become frustrated and move on, and you will find yourself with a staff of untalented, uninspired, and unhappy people, whose dissatisfaction will affect the patient experience and ultimately your revenue earnings.

As a dentist managing the practice capital, remember the importance of your staff. Your upside is in the humans -- not the machines, not the stuff you buy. Whether you know it or not, you're in the people business. So put on your helmet and start thinking like a general in the U.S. Army. Make your staff all that it can be and see how quickly your practice grows.

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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