Dos and don'ts for team building: Keep the lines of communication open

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Just as practice-to-patient communication is crucial to customer service, interactions between dentist and staff members are critical for team building. When people feel appreciated and listened to, their job satisfaction will rise and they'll be more willing to help the practice reach its goals.


Check in with team members regularly. Every six months, sit down with team members individually and have an informal conversation about where they are in their career. For example, where does the marketing coordinator and front desk coordinator stand regarding their skills, experience, attitude, and motivation? What would they like to accomplish in the next six months? This discussion helps all staff members understand their progress as part of a high-performance team.


Don't criticize. When providing feedback, don't chide team members, but rather focus on how the employees, office, and doctor can all do a better job of working together. With this approach, the emphasis stays on how to build a more effective team and practice rather than shining a light on individual shortcomings.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

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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