Many Dentists stress over the decision to bring a Practice Management Coach into their office to improve the systems and culture of their practice. This is a big decision as it is an investment of time, mental energy and financial resources. If you really think about it, they are considering bringing in a stranger to help improve thei business. They are going to advise the Dentist and their team on what they do. A coach will make the practice better over time but there is always the fear of the unknown and likely some initial discomfort to consider.
Make an informed choice from the beginning, a bad fit could take a long time to re-wire the culture in a practice. We also know that “figuring it out on your own” also isn’t a solution for many practices because as human beings we are designed to reach our potential with the help of others. You don’t often hear about successful hermits.
Investing in the right coach can change the trajectory of your practice and provide you with very positive results for years to come. It will change your work/life balance in many ways which benefits everyone around you.
There are many good Coaches out there, finding the right fit for your practice is the harder decision. You will want to find a Coach who has a track record in the industry, they don’t need to have a national presence, but they do need to have clients who will give good references about the lasting positive impact on their practices. A Coach that makes big promises before they have even learned about you and your practice may not be a good match, you may want a more customized approach that will suit you and your team. A Coach that makes these promises won’t last in the industry very long, a steady approach and successful ROI will sell their services. Ask your dental advisors (Lawyer, accountant, financial advisor) who has a great reputation with their other clients.
When initially meeting with a Coach ask them some questions about themselves and their experiences. A good Coach will tell you that they have learned as much from the clients as they have taught. A Coach needs to be an expert while always learning and growing themselves. Ask what courses they have taken lately, what/who they follow in the business world and how they like to learn. A Coach who isn’t always growing themselves may not be a good match for your practice.
A coaching fail usually comes down to a bad fit. A bad fit for both the practice and the Coach is just like a bad fit in any relationship. There maybe the usual “honeymoon” period and then some of the prickly reality may come out on both sides. As soon as you feel that it’s not a good fit, speak with the Coach, see how they are feeling and the best decision for both of you may be to part ways.
When interviewing Coaches to come into your office you may want to explore three different areas with them. Firstly, has the Coach taken the time to get to know you, your practice and your goals during the initial interview or are they only talking about themselves and their “wins.” Secondly, you will want your core values match up with those of the Coach. By defining what success looks like on both sides then you may come up with an answer for this. Thirdly, ensure that both you and your team are looking forward to working with a Coach. Both the owner and the team need to be excited about change and the efficiency it can bring to their days.
Once you make the decision to bring a Coach into the office, do your homework and you won’t ever regret it!