March 15, 2023 -- Have you wondered where to go with your life, career, and practice in a post-pandemic world? Many of us have had to change to survive, and we want to make some further changes to flourish. Does the world seem unfriendly, or are the old ways no longer working? Where do we start to change the direction of our personal and professional life?
James Altucher's book about reinvention, Reinvent Yourself, is an excellent place to start your journey, whether you want to improve on what is currently working or take an altogether different direction.
Many business gurus believe that self-assessment, prioritization, and mental focus are the key traits to successfully reinvent yourself every five years. Why every five years? We go stale and burn out unless we awaken to what we truly want and need. We can get into a rut and not be happy and not know how to change for the better.
In analyzing what it is you want to change, what is your perception of what needs to change and why? For instance, suppose that your new patient numbers have dropped off. What do you need to do to attract and keep your patients happy? Is it different from what you are doing now? What have you been doing that is no longer working?
Are you looking for ways to improve practice revenue? Have you considered billing medical insurance for procedures that may be covered? If you've avoided it because you don't know how to bill medical insurance, you could outsource it to a professional billing company.
Have you considered taking extra time to help your older patients understand Medicare Advantage plans? What about dental savings plans? These are all options that help patients pay for dental care so they are more likely to accept treatment.
Stephen Covey's metaphor of the emotional bank account is a proactive way to establish a strong foundation of trust with the important people in your life, your team, and your patients. The concept of an emotional bank account works like this: Your relationships are like bank accounts. They start with a neutral balance in the account and allow for deposits and withdrawals.
We can make regular deposits to build relationships as we interact with people. Over time, we gain a healthy positive balance. We may have a disagreement or an argument, and we then make a withdrawal. Hopefully, the relationship will be healthy and sound in the aftermath, and our account still has a positive balance.
A higher balance in our emotional bank account leads to higher levels of trust and healthy communication. Take a moment to evaluate your emotional bank account or relationships with your team and your patients.
Five things to consider to build a healthy emotional bank account
How do we create healthy emotional bank accounts? Below are five steps you can put into action in your interactions with team members starting today:
As Stephen Covey states in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Trust is the highest form of human motivation." It's a feeling of safety with another human being.
Where do you stand with your patients?
Are you more interested in securing financial and physical assets than human assets? Are you building your emotional bank account with your patients too? Here are three ways you can increase your emotional bank account with patients:
Many factors -- internal and external -- are addressed when we reinvent ourselves. Making a list of what hasn't worked and what you want to change kick-starts the journey. Prioritize the list and begin.
After you have worked on your list for a while and have seen progress, take a step back and analyze your progress by asking the following questions:
It may be a post-pandemic world, but we can make it a better world if we realize that change for the better can make a massive difference in our lives and the lives of others.
Dr. James V. Anderson is a practicing dentist in Syracuse, UT, and is the CEO and founder of eAssist Dental Solutions. He can be reached via email.
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