I’m Dreaming of a Perfect Dental Team
Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night and had a great idea or thought? Hazard of being a team manager. We will take good ideas any way we can get them, even in our dreams. Dreams might entail the past, present, or even show what the future might hold. What I have learned in the past has certainly helped me make decisions for my future.
When you manage a practice, you are expected to make decisions based on past and present knowledge as well as create a vision for the future. Successful managers need to support and implement the doctor’s vision, and in order to make this a reality, we need to keep working at building our dream team; creating and coaching such a team has been a dream of mine for a long time.
When I began in dentistry in a small office with one doctor, his wife, and two employees, it was a close-knit group. We attended to every detail, making sure to take care of our patients. The word team was never used in that small setting. As I moved into my next position with a new office, I attended group seminars which helped me grow as a person and learn how to be part of a larger team, increasing my connection to my co-workers and the business I supported. I learned what it was like to be on a team with a goal, and I was hooked; days were better, making work easier since we all had the same purpose and vision. I found more enjoyment in my work and the beautiful smiles we made, so proud of our success in the small community.
I have never settled for just a place to work or just having a job. Choosing to always learn and grow in my career is very fulfilling.
Visualizing Your Dream Team
When you understand what a team is capable of and can accomplish, you can see a future. That future looks positive with all its possibilities for your practice. Yes, I said YOUR practice. When you work so hard for it you feel ownership as a team member and manager. Creating a team is certainly a challenge with obstacles of various personalities, levels of knowledge, past training, experience, morals, values, work ethic, and cultural ideals. Wow! Who else needs a road map for that?
Thank goodness AADOM has a plethora of support to help us create our best team.
Over the years, I have attended seminars, webinars, and classes and have read books on developing a team. The Dream Team is something you can strive to achieve, and many companies succeed in finding that magic mix.
Let’s play what if. What would your day be like if you had a wonderful team that communicated, worked well with each other, was selfless, and helped each other? What is your vision for your team? What personalities would you have? How many assistants, hygienists, and administrative staff? Do you need 5, 8, 10, 12, or more team members? What does your best schedule look like? These are just a few qualities in assembling the right team. When you are searching, don’t take just the next applicant that shows up. Waiting for the right fit is important, and you will find that a great team member is worth the wait.
My dream team is twenty to twenty-five smart, hardworking, helpful, and caring individuals who love children and want every child to have a great experience. Having a team that communicates on the highest level is such a reward in a workday. It illustrates our team’s efforts and creates patients who love us. To my team, thank you for being my dream team.
When you see a patient with a wonderful smile, your team has worked together to create a special gift and a well-deserved sense of pride. Be sure to let your team know how proud you are to continue coaching and building your dream team with them.
Some of my favorite team books include:
- Creating a Healthy Work Environment – Cathy Jameson, PhD
- Harness the Power of Celebration TA-DAH! – Judy Kay Mausolf
- Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment – William Bayham, PhD
- Fish! – by Stephen C Lundin and John Christensen and Harry Paul
About the Author
Traciee Stafford, FAADOM is the practice manager for Children’s Dental Associates in Columbia, TN.
She began her dental career as a dental assistant in 1989. Traciee has been working in the pediatric dentistry/orthodontic specialty since 1994.
She is a lifetime member of AADOM and received her Fellowship (FAADOM) designation in 2017. Traciee is the president of AADOM’s South Central TN chapter and also moderates/leads AADOM’s Pediatric Specialty Network.