It’s a great day for Dr. Doug Radio

This Friday, May 1st at 10am Mountain Time, An interview with Rohn Walker, business consultant and president of International Executive Technology, and the force behind the video, “Emotions in the Workplace”.

We discuss key elements for the business owner on achieving balance in their work and their life.

We also discuss the key elements in a successful hire and employee. We also discuss how emotions and drama in the workplace can affect productivity and overall profitability.

Learn how to identify those employees that are true players in the game, vs those who are broken pieces.

You can listen live on w4cy.com.

Are your dental practice routines maximizing efficient delivery of services?

Here’s a truism: Any commercial endeavor one could undertake in the professional sphere adheres to the same basic managerial precepts.

Even so, when a business owner has focused his or her work in one industry sector for a lengthy period of time, a myopic mindset can set in, dulling the entrepreneurial passion that fuels a spirit of innovation.

Then it becomes harder to see the gradual drift away from the razor-edge focus one had when starting out in professional life. Routines have a way of exacting a deadening influence. It’s the way we’re wired. Our brains always seek efficiency, but this usually comes at the cost of those precious gems of insight that arise in a moment of inspiration when the muse is at work.

For dental professionals routines provide comfort and consistency in how care is delivered, but they also tend to deaden a manager’s ability to perceive a gradual decline in a practice’s efficiency and operational routines.

There is also the constant push of new technology to better serve one’s patients. Wisely choosing technology that will maximize returns is crucial for creating a flourishing list of clients ready to outlay on high-end dental services.

As with any commercial enterprise, clarity and insight can diminish with the passage of time. This is why dental practitioners should take a critical look at the practice’s operational procedures. Inefficiencies may have crept in over time.

Bringing in an outside perspective can be helpful in achieving a more astute understanding of what internal processes in your dental practice may be in need of an overhaul. For example, as technology changes staff members may have taken the initiative to create adaptations to the workflow that exert a negative influence on efficient operations as well as the bottom line.

A second set of objective eyes can better understand the practice areas that need an efficiency tuneup. We’re happy to help!

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Facial expressions may speak volumes in words left unspoken

Facial expressions may speak volumes in words left unspoken.

One study analyzing a firm’s highly committed and engaged workforce came to a startling conclusion: The topmost effective leaders were the ones who were also the happiest with their workplace and colleagues.

This fascinating revelation came about through the study of micro-expressions — those fleeting, but revealing indicators of how one feels towards a colleague or client.

The results of this compelling research beg the question: What are your facial expressions communicating to your staff in those moments in-between verbal conversations? Apparently a lot of data crucial to positive relationships is regularly exchanged through signals so slight, so fleeting, the average person is consciously unaware of this ongoing, silent interchange.

So what does this have to do with cultivating an attitude of appreciation? As it turns out, a manager’s “attitude of gratitude” has an amazing impact on affirming a positive work ethic. And we all share that same desire for affirmation. Your employees will thrive on the knowledge they are appreciated. That maxim is true for staff and clients alike.

That’s why a proverbial tilt of the hat to a highly valued staff member is invaluable for building a positive morale and a supportive work environment. After all that task is the prime directive for all business managers. These silent nuances that say “notice me” give a manager an excellent opportunity to build a trusted, collegial relationship with a valuable staff member.

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Riding the waves of opportunity through building relationships

The cool thing about business friendships is the inherent motivation we all have to be sociable. It’s part of our DNA. Even when the folks who live in your immediate area are a bit more reticent than the average American, forging business friendships is always good for business.

Extending a handshake could be the start of a productive and enjoyable business relationship, but if you miss those spur-of-the-moment opportunities to forge alliances with other professionals, that productive force will simply dissipate. Networking with other small business owners remains the time-honored way to grow a successful enterprise or professional practice. Surely the average small business owner would agree, but we’ve all experienced a string of days in which we failed to take advantage of strategic opportunities that arose with short warning. It’s frustrating!

Face it: Every business owner is pressed for time. Distractions abound, dulling our ability to seize the moment when a high-value proposition comes our way. And we’ve all seen a conversational partner start to fidget as they eye the watch on their wrist. Time waits for no one.

Here’s the solution: Learn to surf! You need to get atop the proverbial surfboard and catch the wave. The next time you see a strategic opportunity to talk shop, seize the moment. Ask engaging questions. Afterwards commit the interchange to memory, so it doesn’t end up a stillbirth effort of what could have been.

Remember that what appears to be merely small talk is actually a strategic opportunity to increase your social status and raise the profile of your business. And here’s the cool aspect: Some of those opportunities will simply come your way, as the tide brings in a new flux of networking opportunities. Others you must actively pursue. Either way, keep growing your influence through business friendships.

It’s imperative to chase those strategic opportunities. Take your business or practice to the next level.

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

 

Smile Your Way to Profits

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What’s the impact of a smile in a dental practice?

More than you might imagine at first glance, according to a recent article in Psychology Today.

Smiles are highly contagious, spreading happy feelings in the workplace. More importantly flashing a smile increases the likelihood the other person will return that smile, leading to a synergistic effect in which both parties get a welcomed psychological lift.

Dentists are in the business of creating beautiful smiles, but the daily stress of operating a dental practice can turn those smiles upside down. It can be a challenge to maintain a calm, happy mood on one of those days when appointments stack up and a lengthy case can throw the whole day off kilter.

It is for these reasons that dental practice managers should tread carefully when it comes to criticizing a staff member. Don’t show your frustration in front of other staff. A disheartening attitude can spread like a cancer in a practice. People tend to hear and recall critical comments much more than compliments. So aim for a ratio of at least two compliments for every critique.

Schedule team-building opportunities and make the meetings fun and light-hearted. Hold a silly in-office contest or invite staff to submit fun recipes.  And never forget at the end of a challenging day, flashing a smile at a coworker can do wonders to lift collective morale in your practice.

Copyright (2015): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

New research sheds light on child tooth enamel

Dental professionals are abuzz about an amazing discovery involving prenatal baby-tooth formation.

Incisors grow faster in mid-gestation, erupting at the perfect time to coincide with weaning at six months.

An article in the British Medical Journal, “Boosting length of breastfeeding could save NHS more than 40 million pounds each year,” was published on December 5, 2014.

The research indicates that mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than the ideal weaning time, primarily due to socio-economic factors.

Scientists are excited about this finding, because the discovery may lead to a better understanding of a perplexing developmental oddity: Why do dental problems occur in different ways in different teeth?

With dental caries posing a significant health problem worldwide, premature loss of baby teeth is currently a focus of vigorous research. According to an article in Dentistry Today, scientists would love to unravel this mystery.

Worldwide, there is a focus on ways to prevent premature loss of baby teeth as early dental disease often carries lifetime repercussions. (The original source for the article arose from a study conducted by the Human Osteology Research Lab at the University of Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation in the United Kingdom. It appeared in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.)

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Dental practice management: Friend or foe?

The complexity of interpersonal relationships can confound the most astute dental practice manager.

Building a cohesive team is a challenge in any industry. Left to their own devices — particularly in the presence of a communication vacuum — dental staff members will form alliances. It’s just human nature.

Cultivating a team spirit is a good thing, but make sure the relationships among staff members in your practice are clearly defined.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Left to flesh out their job responsibilities without clearly defined parameters, dental care professionals may create their own rules and form their own work culture.

This is true for any personal service professional, but in dentistry there are particular elements that make building a cohesive team a bit more challenging. It’s all about proximity. Bumping into another person releases stress hormones. The integrity of our personal space is what gives us a sense of comfort and relaxation. It’s a positive factor that balances out those little stresses incurred over the course of the workday.

The nature of dental care requires a team to work in very close proximity. If the hygienist is behind schedule, that rattles the process. If the X-ray technician had a tough time getting children off to the school bus, more stress enters the picture. People under stress tend to lose patience more readily. Upset feelings are contagious.

There is a solution: Investing in team-building exercises can defuse that tension. It’s an easy, preventative step that will contribute to a more relaxed, efficient dental practice where smiles abound!

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

iPad app invented by a Japanese father calms child in the dental chair

Something as simple as a cartoon drawing may help young children and special-needs patients with physical and mental challenges feel more comfortable in the dental chair.

Noritaka Kaneko, a 47-year-old Japanese executive with Saitama IT, created an iPad app that uses visual aids to help children better understand and anticipate dental procedures.

Even with very young children, knowledge is empowering. When patients of tender years are better able to anticipate specific procedures, they suffer less anxiety as do their guardians.

Spurred by a father’s concern, Kaneko not only heads a not-for-profit that provides assistance and support to developmentally challenged children, he also spreads word of his discoveries through presentations at various conferences. A man with a mission, Kaneko has put the spotlight on an urgent problem.

Reducing stress is not just a means to more dental chair turns; it also provides a health benefit to a child. Parents will be more likely to take children in for regular checkups when the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. Since parents are the ones in charge of scheduling appointments, ensuring that their young children feel comfortable visiting the dentist is a huge issue in avoiding an early loss of primary teeth.

Relatively simple investments in providing helpful distractions to younger dental patients reduce interruptions and delays. And in the era of digital apps, Kaneko’s discovery likely will decrease the stress arising from dental procedures.

A calm atmosphere within the dental examination room also ups the odds that a child’s guardian will not dread the next visit. Parents may subconsciously delay the next dental checkup as they remember the stress of a previous visit.

Copyright (2014): All content and images used on this site are owned or licensed by Doug Gulbrandsen for use on this site only. Unauthorized use is prohibited.