Create a more realistic morning huddle

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I am often asked what items should be included in a morning huddle. In addition to your practice metrics and where you are according to your goals, I want to focus on something that will help your team build more comradery.

Each team member needs to be able to share how he or she is doing personally within the team.

Lynne Leggett.Lynne Leggett.

We all work so closely together as a team, and let's face it: Life can be difficult. I started doing this with my clients before COVID-19, and this addition to your huddle is now even more important. If people have had a bad morning or life is heavy for them right now, how do you share that information within the team? I have found that something as quick as a number on a scale makes a huge difference and brings the team closer together.

At the end of each huddle, ask your team to go around and give a number. I like one to five since that range is more concise than one to 10. On this scale, one is deeply troubled or upset and five means everything is great.

If team members say they are a one or two, the team needs to ask how they can support them. It also allows the entire team to actively make sure a team member is OK during and after the huddle meeting.

During the week, we spend more time with our coworkers than our families. Allowing your team members to share their number actively demonstrates that the doctor or office manager genuinely cares about the team.

Giving your team the freedom to share this number each morning helps foster communication and allows sharing to better bond the team. The practices that do this show empathy for one another and create a culture of sharing and support.

Using this type of number system also sets your team and your practice up for success. When we are stressed and our number is one or two, sometimes we do not communicate as well as if our number were three or higher. So many misunderstandings occur, and communication issues arise when we are not having a four or five kind of day.

Let me give an example. If you know that Mr. Jones can be a difficult patient, perhaps switch things around so that a team member with a low number does not come in contact with Mr. Jones during his appointment. By proactively taking action, the day will run better for your team member, and it focuses the entire team to look out for one another. This also ensures your patients are getting the best from your team at each appointment.

There is also another benefit to doing this during your daily huddle. Allowing your team the opportunity to be vulnerable will help build a culture where your practice is incredibly special and unique. By creating the right culture, you help ensure your team members stay long term at your practice.

Lynne Leggett is the founder and CEO of Victory Dental Management and the author of You Can't Coach Quit: How to Create a Winning Dental Practice for Your Success. She has more than 25 years of business experience in several industries, including dentistry, medical, pharmacy, sales, transportation, logistics, and project management. Learn more about her and her services, including some free offerings, on the Victory Dental Management website.

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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