Before you change anything in your life, you will usually ponder the idea, ask other opinions, do some research and then make the final decision for change. The idea of change is challenging for most people, yet it comes from the feeling that you want a different result then you are currently experiencing. This is true with any type of change, whether it is a visual change, a financial change, or an overall business change.
There are several reasons that dental offices, don’t like change. Dentists and their teams are by nature people who like routines, predictable results and don’t have much dynamic change in their daily delivery of patient care. This predictability can become an aversion to change even when they know their lives could be better with changes in the systems.
Implementing change on your own is possible but is often very difficult and can lead to results that are disappointing. Whenever you have a change that has an unfulfilled outcome, the next attempt will be harder to implement as there will be some resistance from the prior attempt.
You hire professionals in all areas of your personal life and professional life, hiring a coach/consultant for your office is another professional you should have an ongoing relationship with. Ongoing, is the important word, people’s natural tendencies are to continue with a new system for a while and then slide back into old habits sometimes without even realizing it, just like on a diet.
Choosing a coach should be done with care, talk to your existing advisors (accountant, lawyer, banker) and see if any of their other clients have used a coach that worked well in their office. Speak with other dentists and listen to their recommendations as well.
You now have a list of possible coaches, there should be a few steps to complete your research:
- Take the time to make some phone calls to perspective coaches, you want to have a conversation with them where they listen to you speak about your office. Each office is the same but different, you need to feel that they understand your needs and concerns and the type of outcomes that you want.
- If you want a Return on Investment (ROI) be sure that this is openly discussed and ask how they will achieve this, ask for a definite plan of where the ROI will come from. A vague change up of systems needs to have something attached to ensure an ROI.
- Get to know the person who will be in your office coaching the team, ensure that there is a personality match. Coaching and change are much easier if there is a connection between the team and the coach.
- Feel confident that yes, there may be some turmoil initially as most people are nervous with change, once there is a comfort level with any changes, the turmoil will subside. You need to be prepared to back the coach during the time when your team feels turmoil, your support will help with the team’s acceptance of change.
- Ensure that there will be accountability put in place for your team members during coaching and that you will be receiving regular reports from your coach, these reports should keep you in the know about progress. Feel free to question these reports and be a part of the coaching process. You should know what your team is learning and be able to replicate it yourself if needed.
Coaching and change are linked, you can take a chance on change and embrace coaching or you can continue down the same path and always have that feeling that things could be better.
Take the chance!