Dos and don'ts for team leadership: If it isn't production, delegate it

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One of dentists' major shortcomings as team leaders is their tendency to micromanage. Beyond short-circuiting staff development and diverting you from exercising your special professional skills, this habit also limits your practice's productivity. You generate revenue when you're chairside, not when you're hovering over team members or taking administrative matters into your own hands. To grow, you need to focus on dentistry -- and delegate the rest.


Use training and targets to upgrade staff performance. To enable team members to handle their new responsibilities well -- and to achieve the best results from delegation -- you need to arrange for task-specific training. In addition to this essential skill building, you should also assign performance targets to staff members. These will motivate them to excel and make it clear that everyone has a role to play in practice success.


Don't slip back into bad habits. If you've tended to micromanage, you'll need to make a conscious effort to give delegation a chance to work. Rather than taking over when team members seem to be struggling, or thinking about how you could perform the tasks better, leave the work in their hands. Offer advice or provide more training, but don't revert to your old ways.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

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

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