Faces of AADOM – Melissa Floyd, FAADOM

From Dental Assistant to Office Manager: Leading with Influence

In our latest “Faces of AADOM” series, Heather sits down with Melissa, whose remarkable journey from dental assistant to practice manager embodies the spirit of excellence in dental office management. Melissa’s story is a testament to the transformative power of dedication, empathy, and a passion for helping others.

Melissa began her career in dentistry at the age of twenty, unsure if she could handle the demands of the job. Melissa’s path to becoming a practice manager was paved with curiosity and a commitment to learning. Without formal training, she sought guidance from seasoned professionals in the field.

She recalls her first experience with a severe periodontal patient: “I was very weak-stomached growing up and didn’t know if I could do this. The dentist kept asking if I was okay, and at the end of the day, he told me, ‘If you can do that, you can do anything.’” This trial by fire proved to Melissa that she had the resilience and determination to succeed in dentistry, a field where she could make a profound difference in people’s lives.

Melissa’s philosophy on practice management is centered around putting people first.

“If you’re a leader, you’re a leader no matter what capacity you’re in. Leadership is just influence. So it doesn’t matter if you’re an assistant, dental hygienist, or office manager, or whatever you are. If you’re a leader, you have influence and you’re going to use that no matter what position you’re in.” — Melissa 

Join us in celebrating Melissa and many other AADOM members who make up the heartbeat of our community, sharing their unique journeys and the moments that define their passion for dental leadership.

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories in our “Faces of AADOM” series!

About Faces of AADOM

Meet AADOM members who make up the heartbeat of our community – the diverse and talented individuals who embody the spirit of excellence in dental office management. Every member has a story. “Faces of AADOM” shares members’ unique journeys, the path that led them into dentistry, and the moments that define their passion for dental leadership. 

Subscribe to Faces of AADOM to discover more stories of resilience, growth, and empowerment within the AADOM community.

Be sure to watch our video now or read the transcript below to learn more about Melissa’s journey toward becoming a successful office manager!

 

Read the Transcript:

Heather: Hi, everybody, and welcome to our next installment in the Faces of AADOM series. I’m Heather Colicchio, Founder and President of AADOM, and I am delighted to have you join me here, where we put the spotlight on our members.

AADOM is known for our business education, but what really makes us great are the amazing people who are the AADOM members.

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to have you with me, Melissa Floyd. Melissa is the office manager of Oak Grove Family Dentistry in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Melissa is also a Fellow of the association, as well as president of the Central Mississippi Dental Practice Leadership Network.

So, Melissa, thank you so much for being here!

Melissa: Hey, thank you so much for having me.

Heather: Great to see you.

So, I’m probably not going to be asking you today about any business tips or how to run a report or any of that good stuff—although, that might come out. What I am really interested to learn about today is you.

And that is because, what I’ve come to learn, is that almost all of our members didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’m going to be a dental office manager when I grow up.” Everyone’s had a very fun and different and circuitous journey into dental office management.

And, so, here at AADOM, we’re just looking to share everyone’s story. So, thank you for being a Face of AADOM.

Let’s start with—have you always been in dentistry or did you have a professional life prior to being in dentistry?

The Journey to Dentistry

Melissa: So, I did not have a life prior to dentistry, so to speak. The reason I say that is because I’ve been in dentistry since I was 20 years old. This is where I started and where I still am.

I actually was in school for medical transcription and was going to church with a dentist who approached me about coming to be a dental assistant for him. I then quit school and went to work for him. And, as they say, the rest is history.

That started my dental career. And, since then, I’ve just kind of worked my way around and up and here I am as a dental office manager for almost 10 years now.

Heather: Nice. Now, when you were invited to work in the practice as an assistant, have you had assistant training at all or just the medical transcription?

Melissa: From the time, except for the time I was a kid, whenever I was small, I did go to the dentist. But, I had never been on really the clinical side of it and dental office at all.

So, he trained me. I went to school and got my radiology permit, but I did not go to dental assisting school. I just learned on the job, jumped right in and just listened very intently to everything that he said.

I’m a learn-by-doing kind of person, the hands-on learner. So, I was just able to pick up and run with it. And I stayed there for about 9 months. And then I came to the practice that I’m at now. And I’ve been here for— this will actually be my 23rd year here in this.

Heather: Wow! With the new, younger generations, you don’t hear stories like that anymore, with someone really being so devoted. And they must be very good to you and value you, which is wonderful to hear.

So, Melissa, like so many of our members, you started in a practice as a dental assistant, but you did not graduate or go to even assisting school. You learned on the job.

I’m just curious, what was that like for you, taking a job where now you’re touching people and you’re in their mouth. Did you enjoy that? What was that like for you?

Starting Off as a Dental Assistant

Melissa: I did. I really shocked myself. Growing up—and, like I said, I started in dentistry when I was 20. So, growing up, I was very weak-stomached, and I didn’t know if I would even be able to do this or not.

And so, the very first patient that I worked on was a severe perio patient and he was my very first patient. The dentist kept looking at me saying, “Are you okay? Are you okay?”

“Yes, sir. Yes, sir.”

And so, at the end of the day, he looked at me and he said, “Well, if you can do that, you can do anything.”

And so, I made it. I definitely learned how to put peppermints in my mouth with the mask on and all the things that you need to know.

I am a caregiver by nature, just my personality, and I’m an interim to for all of my peeps out there. I’m just a caregiver by nature. And so, taking care of people, helping people comes very naturally to me. And being able to do that in the dental field is— it’s very rewarding.

Heather: It is. Yeah, it’s such a great field. We’re so blessed and lucky to be in this field.

So, when you left that first practice and came to your current practice, that was as an assistant?

Melissa: It was. It was as an assistant. We had two doctors, and we currently have four doctors. But we had two doctors then. And so, I would bounce back and forth and kind of assist between the two.

And then, as the years went by, I cross-trained to the front and kind of started doing things and filling in as needed, kind of back and forth.

We might discuss this later. I don’t know, but I may be jumping the gun. But we had a consultant come in and he had never had an office manager before. And he said, “You need an office manager and she needs to be it.”

And, so, here I am. And it’s been almost 10 years now since I’ve taken this role. And if you watch the video that Savanah did earlier, the little TikTok—of course, we’re dental office managers type deal—mine was that we always have a pair of scrubs in our office. So, whenever we have to assist you.

Heather: Just in case?

Melissa: Yes, literally last week, or week before last, excuse me, I was in scrubs, assisting.

Heather: It’s always amazing to me how many AADOM members and office managers in general, started as assistants. And even now for myself 20 years later, I find that it’s such a funny dynamic because, to me, one is clinical and one is non-clinical. And yet, so many people make the transition.

But I guess once an assistant, always an assistant, is what you’re saying. So, let me get this straight. Whose idea was it to bring in a consultant? Was that your idea or the doctor’s idea?

Melissa: One of the ladies that worked up front—it was her idea to bring them in.

Heather: Oh, you may have said that. The doctors were agreeable to bringing a consultant in. So, what was that experience like?

Bringing in a Consultant

Melissa: I mean, it was a good experience. It was a fresh set of eyes on things and someone to kind of point out things that you get in the middle of the ditch and you can’t really see what’s around you because you’ve been in the ditch for so long.

So, it was really good just to have an outsider’s perspective on things. It was very educational—things that we learned. And at that point, she pointed out a few things that were problematic and I took it on as, “Okay. I’m going to find a solution for this and I’m going to be the one to fix it.”

And that was even before I knew any of that. And so, I enjoy the challenge, I guess—having a project. And so, that was what I did.

Heather: That was the start of your management career. And I just want to say for anyone listening, if your office is open and willing to have a consultant come in, I highly recommend it. And Melissa, it sounds like you had a great experience.

Some people feel threatened, like, “Oh, are they coming in to find our mistakes? Are they coming in to do away with jobs.

Having been in the industry, I can tell you that’s never their goal. Their goal is truly to find missed opportunities for the practice.

If you are having a consultant come in, really embrace that. It’s a great opportunity for your practice.

So, this consult comes in and prior to this, your practice had no office manager?

Melissa: Correct. We had a couple of ladies that worked up front as receptionist and one of those ladies was not an office manager, but she was the kind of the go-to person. She did not want to be the office manager. She said, “That’s not me.”

She’s still, to this day, will tell you that’s not her. Her brother is an orthodontist, and she says, “I’m not doing it. That’s not me.”

She said, “I just like being a peon” is what she calls herself. She just wants to do what she does, but she does not want to be an office manager.

Every place has a culture. And, whenever you walk into a restaurant or to your home, or to Walmart or to Target, everything has a culture. There’s tons of names and jokes about culture and Walmart’s culture. And then you got to go home and get dressed so you can get to Target if Walmart doesn’t have what you need.

Having a consultant come in, I think, it’s just kind of someone that is like a thermometer that comes in and checks that temperature of the culture and see what you have going on. And again, just an outsider’s perspective, a third party, someone who doesn’t have any skin in the game per se.

Heather: Yeah. A fresh set of eyes. So, this was 10 years ago and it hurts me to hear. Oh, I’m sorry.

Melissa: No, you’re fine.

Heather: So, this was 10 years ago, right?

And so, I was saying it hurts me to hear that your practice did not have an office manager, because please, for the love of God, if you are a dentist, you need an office manager, you need a practice administrator, it’s not a want. It’s a need. You need someone to manage the business of your practice because it is a business, so that you are freed up to go do dentistry.

And you don’t want someone who, Melissa, would you call her the go-to girl? You  don’t want a go to girl. You want a practice administrator. So, I beg you, if you don’t have one, get one!

So, Melissa, this consultant then says, “Okay, this practice needs an office manager and Melissa, I think you’re it.” What was your reaction? It sounded like you embraced it, right? You were up for a challenge.

Transitioning into the Office Manager’s Role

Melissa: Well, she didn’t even say that to me. She said it to the doctor and they kind of presented me with the idea. And, again, it was new, obviously, because our practice had not had 1 before. And I was an assistant.

So, coming from an assistant role, moving into an office manager role comes with its own set of challenges, as many well know, I’m sure. But, it was one of those things that I was up for the challenge and I enjoy administrative work. I enjoy seeing the problems and finding the solutions.

I’m not ever going to ask my team to do anything that I’m not willing to do. With that, it opened the door for me to be able…

I think that if you’re a leader, you’re a leader, no matter what capacity you’re in. Leadership is just influence. And so, it doesn’t matter if you’re an assistant or an office manager or a hygienist or whatever you are. I feel like if you’re a leader, you have influence and you’re going to use that no matter what position you’re in.

But, as an office manager, it also gives me even more of an opportunity to be able to see potential in people and see the value in their worth and be able to call that out and help them move to the next level and grow and not just stay stuck as well.

Heather: Well said, Melissa.

So, just a quick plug for anyone listening. At AADOM, we do have a course that is free to members. It’s called, “DA to PA,” and it’s Dental Assistants to Practice Administrator (DA to PA).

And that would be for any assistants listening who are thinking about moving into office management. It kind of helps you make that transition.

So, I have so many questions for you. Did your doctor or doctors at that time— how did they communicate your new leadership role to the team?

Announcing the New Office Manager to the Team

Melissa: “We’ve never done this before. We’ve never had this, but now we do. And here she is,” and everybody knows me as a part of the team.

And it was a rocky transition. It’s probably a little bit just because I was already pulled from the back to the front. And so, as being clinical, they would just go through the door and be like, “Hey, our patients here. See our patient.”

And so, having to set those boundaries to where I wasn’t the go-to person for if they were running behind, that I now had new responsibilities and things that I had to take care of. It wasn’t like I just didn’t have anything to do. And I was now sitting in a different room and not rolling the halls with them.

Heather: Staring at the wall. Yeah.

Melissa: Right. So, I think that that was definitely a transition for everybody, not just for me, but for everybody.

That was one of my things that I said. I was like, “I refuse to wear scrubs. I will not wear scrubs,” because if I was in scrubs, it was too easy for them to say, “Come take this X-ray, come take this impression.”

Heather: So, you actually had to get dressed for work every day.

Melissa: I did. Yes.

Heather: I’m just curious. Did you like that or not?

Melissa: I do like it. Now, don’t get me wrong. On the weekends, don’t ask me to put on real clothes.

Heather: Well, I think it’s so important that the doctors communicated your new role and your new responsibilities to the team, because we’ve seen that collapse before where the doctor hires a manager or promote someone’s manager and doesn’t really do a great job of communicating that to the team. And there’s just no way to be successful if that happens.

So, I’m glad your doctor set you up well and set you up for success.

My next question is: How the heck did you know where to start?

Taking the Bull by the Horns in Office Management

Melissa: That is a good question. There are a few people—one is a dental office manager that works just a couple buildings over at a pediatric office. And so, I kind of went and chatted with her and took a notebook and asked lots of questions.

Another good friend of one of my doctors was an office manager at an eye clinic and I went and chatted with him and I said, “Tell me what you do.”

I know it’s a different field, but it’s all the same in a sense. And I’m like, “Tell me what you do. What do you look for?”

And, then, just a lot of personal study. Once I joined AADOM in 2017, I was able to get a wealth of information, from other members and from podcasts. Well, I don’t think we were doing podcasts then in 2017, but, just articles and the educational portion of the website.

I really did a lot of research and read and search the questions. And what do people do about this?

You’re always evolving, or you should be always evolving. With the new technologies and the new staffing and the new— there’s, there’s always something new.

Heather: Looking back, though, when you first took on the role and you had no real, prior—a little bit, but no real solid prior experience. Looking back at that first year, what would you say was your first big win where you said, “Oh my gosh, I’m really having an impact on this practice as the manager?”

Also, what was your biggest mess up? What was your biggest mistake? Because you’re bound to make them and that’s how we learn. Right? So, any big aha moments kind of that you remember from the early days of learning on the job?

Learning on the Job

Melissa: I want to say that maybe the biggest thing that I remember that I was so excited about—and it seems so small now—but, we changed the companies that we were getting our oxygen and nitrogen from. That was a big contract. And, so, we changed companies and it saved us a lot of money.

And then I moved on to the utility companies. We had our phone and Internet through one company, and I moved it to another, and that was another big savings. And so, just being able to sit down and look at things like that that are everyday things that you just kind of take for granted.

It’s kind of like at your home, like your car insurance and your house insurance. You never think to shop around for those things. Um, but being able to sit down and look at those things and be like, this is an expense and save the practice money that way in those small things.

Heather: That’s great! I would guess one win, like you switched oxygen. So you get one win and it gives you the confidence to make another change. And then another change, and you just kind of build from there.

Okay, second part of the question.

Melissa: One of my biggest mess ups.

Heather: Like, did you accidentally delete the whole patient database ever?

Melissa: No, we did have a crash though. We did have a crash and that was that was awful.

I don’t know. I think that probably this is—I hope everybody’s done this, but I didn’t realize that a patient was standing right outside my door—not right outside my door, but right outside of the front desk and my door was open—and so they came in here and said, “This girl, her mom sent a check, but she needs gas money and so she wants to know if we can cash the check for and give her the difference.”

And I said, “No, I’m not a bank.”

I didn’t realize that she was right there. And so, I kind of stuck my foot in my mouth with that.

But, as far as like, a big, huge mistake, I don’t really remember.

Heather: That’s good. And of all the things you could have said, we’re good.

So, I’m curious to talk about work life balance. That’s something some of our members are really good at. Some are really not so good at. You have a family. Do you have any advice for the managers out there who are looking to double that?

Work-Life Balance

Melissa: Well, in the beginning, I will say I was the one who was always the one to stay late, especially whenever I was assisting.

For a long time, I didn’t have children. I didn’t have a child until 9 years into marriage. And so, I was always the one to stay late. I just volunteered for that.

In some senses, I wish that I wouldn’t have always been the one to do that—looking back—because that kind of carried over even after I did have my baby and my baby’s now 15. She’s not a baby anymore.

And so I wish sometimes that I would not have spent a lot of time away like that. But, I think that now, I’m still learning. As office managers, we will see one of the things in the TikTok was that we are the first ones to get here in the last ones to leave.

Just learning a lot about if I don’t take care of me, I can’t take care of everyone else. And so, just trying to take that time, even if it is just a half a day, or even if it is, one day every so often.

Don’t look at the email whenever you get home.

Heather: Yeah. It’s kind of like a theme. What I’m hearing you say is just setting boundaries, right? Like, I’m not going to wear the scrubs so they can’t call me into the back and I’m not going to stay late.

I respect that boundaries allow you to be successful and they’re very, very healthy.

So, everyone should take a pointer there and establish boundaries. Otherwise, work could consume you. It could consume all of us. So, I think that’s really great advice.

So, you’re the office manager. Were you by yourself? You said you had some other people up front, right?

Melissa: Yes, so up front, I do have—and I’ve grown my team since becoming office manager as well. I currently have 3 ladies up front. One is in charge of collections and one is in charge of—I mean, they all do a little bit of everything. They are a great team. They all work together.

But one does a lot of the hygiene scheduling and stuff like that. And then, one does the pretreatment offs. And she’s actually a dental assistant as well, came from the back and I moved her seat on the bus. And she’s so much happier.

And then I hired an insurance coordinator. And so, I was doing all of that for about 2 years and talk about—with 4 doctors, and doing all of the insurance and all of my stuff too.

I had a just permanent stack of files on my desk whenever. I’d clean and take a picture of it and be like, “Okay, for 5 seconds, the spot is empty.” You have to celebrate everything, right?

Heather: Yeah, that’s funny.

So, when you hire the insurance coordinator, what did that look like? Did you go to the doctors and say, “I need help?” Or was that something they came to you and said, “We think we’re going to hire insurance coordinator.” What was that like?

Hiring an Insurance Coordinator

Melissa: No, it was definitely a plea for help.

At the beginning of the year and, any medical field, I’m sure, is hairy with all the insurance changes and things. But it was one of those things where I had tons of stuff that I needed to take care of and I couldn’t get to what I needed to take care of because I was doing insurance.

But if I didn’t do insurance, and we didn’t get paid. It was one of those snowball things. And it was a cry for help.

I was like, “Listen, I really think that we have the need for a person who can fill this role and really benefit us.”

And it really has, as far as with the aging report. Things like that, just her being able to stay on top of the things that need to be cleaned up and things that aren’t getting paid by insurance. It’s definitely a blessing.

Heather: So, what would your advice be for a member who feels like they’re ready for another team member and they have to present it to the doctors? What advice would you give them?

Asking the Dentist to Hire a New Team Member

Melissa: Definitely show them where you’re spending your time and, basically, you have to show them the money. Show them on paper how it’s going to benefit them. Show them what difference it can make.

I know that, like I said, our insurance aging report, went from say two and a half, three pages, down to a half a page, which, you know, that’s a lot of dollars that are now in the practice much earlier than they would have been.

And it literally was just because I couldn’t get to it. I was doing my best and I was working the report, but, whenever you’re doing 15 other things, you’re just not able to make that big of an impact, I guess I should say.

And just good open communication. I mean, we’re all one person. We can all only do so much. Eventually, our plate gets full and something’s going to spill over.

So, what is it going to be? And what’s most important? Is it something that we can take off our plate and hand on to someone else to make the practice better? Or is it something that we need to hold on to?

I know as practice managers, it’s hard for us to delegate and to hand off things a lot of times, because we feel like if we don’t get it done, nobody’s going to do it the way we would do it.

Heather: That’s a good point, though, knowing when it makes sense to handle something as a leader, and when it makes sense to hand off and make sense to free yourself up. Absolutely.

You started, really knowing nothing, and now you are managing this successful practice. What are you doing? What are some things you’re doing now in the practice as the leader that you didn’t envision 10 years ago?

And maybe it’s because you didn’t know it was something an officer manager did or just something—it’s just such a big responsibility that you didn’t know it would be yours.

Melissa: I think that I laugh and joke and all of my girls know that I say this, but like just having as many team members as we have, it’s like herding feral cats.

Keeping up with everyone and everyone’s schedules and trying to be more about the person than the profit. When your team is taken care of, and when you care about your team, obviously it gets a whole lot further than anything else.

And so, there’s just so much going on in everyone’s personal lives, and just trying to be mindful of those things and compassionate and work with people, not against them. And I think it’s so important too, because whenever you take—again, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your team and they can’t take care of their patients.

Heather: I think that’s a great message and it’s one that we don’t say enough, so thank you for sharing that.

I want to switch gears now a little bit and talk about AADOM. So, Melissa, I don’t know if you remember in 2017, but how did you find AADOM?

Discovering AADOM

Melissa: So, Lisa Spradley, I believe was her name—she was into AADOM in Hattiesburg. I don’t remember initially how I came across it…

Heather: It looked like you first found us through our conference.

Melissa: Well, I signed up for the AADOM conference after I spoke to her and said, “Hey, is this a thing? Is this worth doing?”

And, of course, she was all the rave about it. And she’s like, “Yes, of course you have to, you have to.”

And so I did and I’m a conference junkie anyway. But that first year, I came to Scottsdale. I was completely terrified. I had only been on a plane a couple of times in my life and was flying.

I’d never been to Arizona and was flying there alone, with nobody I knew. I wasn’t even aware that there were other people in Mississippi that knew about AADOM besides Lisa, and she wasn’t going.

But walking in, I still have those acquaintances and friendships from that very first conference from that first time when people just sat down at the table and spoken said, “Hey.”

It wasn’t until the second conference that I actually met other people from Mississippi. So, I had connections all over before I even knew people that were so close to me.

Heather: That’s great. And what I love about AADOM and our conference—we do an amazing 3 day annual conference and we bring in the best speakers in dentistry.

And members seem to learn as much or if not more from the other managers that they meet because you’re so isolated in what you do. There’s no one else in your practice you can turn to who’s another office manager and ask them:

  • How do you do this?
  • How do we face this challenge?
  • What’s the answer?

So, having that network and that community is so important. And, actually, Arizona—that’s the only AADOM conference in 20 years that I missed. So, I was not there.

Other than meeting the other members, does anything stand out to you? I’m just asking because I wasn’t there.

Melissa: The excellence was—every year, it’s there. So, kudos to you and your team because it really is. The excellence is there from the classes and the extracurriculars that you do.

And, for the nonprofits that we always help out with, the heart to help others, which I believe is present in dentistry as a field, but just for AADOM as well—being present there and really showing the heart.

The facility was absolutely beautiful. And it was overwhelming in the best kind of way.

Heather: Yeah. To me, it sounds like the feeling that you found a home—,you found you found your tribe actually. So, yeah, that’s kind of what we do. So, nice to hear it in real life that it really happened for you.

Now, you are very involved with AADOM. You are a fellow. So, congratulations on that. And you are also a president of your local chapter DPLN.

So, if you could just talk to everyone a little bit about what that’s like, connecting on a local level, with other managers in your area, which I think is so, so, so important. What’s that experience been like for you?

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Connecting with AADOM on a Local Level

Melissa: I think that it’s so important as well. I know, over the last year or so, the board members have had a lot of personal struggles and just being able to be there for one another and see that camaraderie in our personal lives, and then, as well, as in our practice life.

We’re always shooting text messages saying, “Hey guys, got this going on. Tell me what you would do in this situation” or, “What code do you use for this? How have you gotten this paid?”

From the small things to the big things. But I do think it’s very important. And, as of late, with us moving into the DPLN, I’ve been talking with other managers around the area.

And so, I’m really trying to push and get more people involved because I feel like some people don’t necessarily want to take their career any further. They’re happy just showing up at the practice and leaving at 5 and moving on with their life.

But I feel like a lot of people would like to take their career further. And, being involved in AADOM is definitely the way to go whenever it comes to that next level.

And so, just giving people the opportunity and letting them know what’s available in order to do that.

Heather: And, I agree with you. Our goal is never to have every single dental office manager be a member of AADOM because we don’t want the people who see it as, “I’m going to clock in and clock out and do the bare minimum.” We don’t want you as a member.

We want rock stars like you, Melissa. So, it makes a difference. That’s how we all get better just by surrounding ourselves with other people who are passionate about what they do.

So, I’m going to have to wrap up. I just want to pick your brain a little bit. You’ve been doing this for a while. You’ve been at the same practice for a long time, which is amazing.

For someone new coming in to dental management, what advice would you give them or anyone, really? Just life advice. What would be your kind of words of wisdom?

Advice for Dental Office Management

Melissa: Let’s see. I made a note about this earlier

Heather: Don’t write it down. I know, I’m like that too.

Melissa: I think that we’ve touched on this before, about how awesome dentistry is as a field. And one of the first things that people notice about others is their smile. And so being able to help others restore their confidence in restoring their smile is just unbelievable.

I’ve had tons of those “I’m not crying” moments over the years, where literally people come in and they’re just down and out because they don’t want to smile and they leave literally just gushing tears and smiling, grinning from ear to ear.

They’re so happy that they finally got their smile back and got their confidence back. And it just really does something for people. So I think that that’s huge.

I think the advice that I would give is to put people first. I said it earlier, but put people will for profits. When you invest in your team as individuals and the individuals get better, the team gets better. The business gets better. It just triples down. And I think that that’s so important just to see people’s value and their worth, that they’re more than what they can do for you. They are who they are.

And I know I’ve given our team the Myers-Briggs test to see their personality types, because like I said earlier, it’s like herding feral cats and they’re all different, but just learning who they are.

Heather: That’s actually really good advice. And I just want to touch on the first thing you said about people’s smiles. And, what we do in dentistry really is life changing for many, many people.

A smile can change someone’s life and change their opportunities and change their confidence. And I don’t ever want us to forget how impactful what we collectively do is. And even overall health—just the oral systemic health—it’s such an important field. And we’re just lucky that we love it, but it is life changing!

The second part, and I do love that thought of putting people before profit. If you do a good job, the profit should follow.

So, it sounds like you’re an advocate of personality tests. And I don’t know how many of our members are doing that. But is that something you would recommend for managers?

The Benefits of Taking Personality Tests

Melissa: I do. I think that it just gives you insight into who they are.

The first time I ever did it, it’s been years ago through leadership, and it read my mail. I mean, it was like, “Oh my gosh! This is the reason why I am this way. I’m not broken. There’s not anything wrong with me. No, this is the way God made me.”

It explains a lot about yourself. Sometimes things that you think and feel in the way that you do things, the way that you act or react, that you’re like, “Oh, my gosh! This is why. There is a reason why.”

So, I think it’s important for people. But then, as leaders and as managers, I feel like it’s important to because it just helps us.

Sometimes, there’s just those people that there’s just a disconnect and it’s really hard to connect with them because if you’re not like someone in their core and figure out their personality and what makes them tick, then, sometimes it just makes things flow a lot easier.

So, I would 100 percent recommend that.

Heather: Well, that is great advice.

So, Melissa, thank you so much! I mean, this is AADOM. It’s really just the people who make AADOM special.

So, thank you for spending time with us today. Thank you for being one of the Faces of AADOM. And thank you for sharing your story!

Melissa: Absolutely. I am just honored that you would have me. Thanks so much!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Be sure to watch our video now to enjoy Heather and Melissa discussing how AADOM can help you thrive as a dental office manager!

 

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