Every fall we welcome back the regular football season, baseball heads to the playoffs, and youths kick off their school sports seasons. At HFD, we see parallels between the sports world, our work and thriving healthcare practices. When we talked to our top dental practices we learned they share the same sentiment.
The worlds of sports and dental practices might appear to have little in common. However, honing one’s physical and athletic abilities to reach new heights is similar to maintaining the brainpower necessary to navigate the modern healthcare environment.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Especially at the highest levels, the similarities between the two immediately appear. Hard work, dedication, commitment to improvement and a desire to be the best are just a few of the traits shared by the top performers in both fields.
Sports can teach us valuable life lessons and provide insights into running a winning healthcare practice. Here are some of our favorite dental practice tips learned through our love of sports:
Be a good coach.
A team is only as good as the individual leading it. You need to provide guidance for your team to see the big picture, inspire them to perform to their fullest potential, and make sure everyone is using their unique talents in the most beneficial manner. Maintain a vision of your ultimate goal to set an example, and ensure that each one of your team members is working towards the same end. By managing staff relationships and bringing out the best in each individual, you can leave a legacy for the ages.
Have a playbook and execute accordingly. Communicate a clear vision, delegate and then hold your team accountable. This is especially important for times when you’re not available to answer all of a patient’s questions. Being strategic and having a shared playbook is the best way to make sure your staff are educated and ready to answer patients with confidence.
Invest in your team.
Make sure your players are drafted to play the positions best suited for their abilities. We sometimes see dentists and their teams frustrated because someone is in a position that’s just not the right fit. When staff is provided little or no training or–worse–resist changing their methods, it’s a recipe guaranteed to tank team morale and stunt your effectiveness. Develop policies and procedures for staff accountability and consistency, and invest in ways to help your team grow as professionals.
Be a team player to increase the score.
Running a winning practice is like being part of a winning team. And, just like a sports team, you have to be a good team player to win a game. Understand that your practice objectives impact not only your staff but the patients you serve. This involves educating your staff on all the tools and options available to serve patients so that everyone feels empowered to assist and help provide an excellent patient experience.
In conclusion, dental practices need to think like they’re playing in the World Series. Ask yourself – how can I create maximum efficiency in my practice, reduce costs, and offer an incredible patient experience? If you maintain a sports team mentality you can make it happen. The practices who figure this out will survive, thrive and GO… ALL… THE…WAY!