AADOM LIVEcast – Effective Communication to Enhance Practice Performance

Approved for 1 CE towards AADOM Designations when viewed in AADOM’s Learning Management System.

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Video Description:

Facilitating effective communication between dental team members is a primary role of the Office Manager. Practices with strong communication standards typically have higher production, lower stress, and increased staff longevity. This 1-hour LIVEcast will explain how the Office Manager can support the practice through excellent communication. This starts with defining and implementing a vision, mission, and culture to help the team understand expectations and how to align with practice leadership.

Dr. Levin will then provide office managers with a highly understandable and easy-to-implement process for creating an environment of trust within the dental team that will benefit the practice and increase everyone’s professional satisfaction. Superior teams are built on a foundation of trust and transparent communication.

With a clearly defined vision and a culture that includes trust and open communication, practices can then take advantage of the power of delegation. Webinar attendees will learn what to delegate, how to do it with the most benefit, and the positive impact it has on dental practice success.

Dr. Levin will also teach Office Managers how to run an effective Daily Business Meeting to improve communication between all practice team members. The Daily Business Meeting helps every team member to properly organize the day, understand what needs to be accomplished, and what result is expected. He will also describe an ideal process for conducting performance reviews that actually works to motivate and empower members of the team.

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the critical role of vision, mission, and culture in practice success, and how to properly develop each
  • Learn how to build a foundation of trust where team members work more independently, accept delegation, and contribute to practice success
  • Learn to run an effective daily business meeting to increase efficiency and practice production

Effective Communication to Enhance Practice Performance

Leadership that creates effective performance is critical for the success of any business, including dental practices. Office Managers should strive to master five areas of practice management that rely heavily on excellent communication skills.

1. Vision, mission, and culture

You may have heard the words vision, mission and culture so many times that they are now falling on deaf ears. However, these concepts are essential to the success of the practice and yet often get ignored by most Office Managers.

A great Office Manager looks beyond day-to-day logistics and is just as committed to understanding how the practice goes forward as a business, maintains high performance and generates long-term success.

Vision is first. There is no purpose in having a growing business if there is no vision for its future. Vision answers the question, “Where will you be in five years?”

The truth is that very few team leaders can answer this question.

When they do, there are often long pauses as they try to conjure up an answer. This is indicative that the practice does not have a real vision.

When the practice has a vision all team members can articulate it quickly. It shouldn’t be complicated. It shouldn’t be long. But it should outline the future and where the practice is going.

Next is mission. Mission is more critical than ever before because mission is all about purpose. Many practices have mission statements that are relatively useless. When the practice has a real mission, people have a sense of purpose. They believe in it and know why they come to work – to achieve the mission every day.

Third is culture. Culture is everything! Culture is the environment of the practice – how the team members behave and think and “live out” the mission. There are many diverse types of cultures in different dental practices, but all should include a strong element of positivity. Positive environments attract new team members and increase overall team longevity.

2. Trust

Trust is an essential component of the Office Manager’s role. If team members don’t trust you then your ability to truly help them, grow them, expand their skills, and motivate them is limited. Trust is strengthened in several ways.

  • Transparent communication – honest answers to direct questions.
  • No tolerance for gossip – treat everyone with respect.
  • Consistency – nobody likes an inconsistent manager.
  • Positivity
  • Follow through – do what you say you will

Perhaps one of the most important traits of a strong Office Manager is to do what you say you’re going to do. If you can’t accomplish it in the time that you told someone you would, then let them know, but don’t leave them hanging.

Trust is one of those principles that when you don’t have it, everything else begins to break down. This is when you get complaining, gossiping, criticism, negativity, and conflict on the team. All of these can be avoided if you understand how to properly build trust.

3. Delegation

At some point every office manager will run out of time. We all have 24 hours per day, but that’s it. Office Managers need to focus on doing the most important things and not doing things other people can do.

Delegation means assigning to people those things that they can do. But delegate properly. Make sure you explain what you were delegating, how to do it and what result is expected. Give people a chance to ask questions. Check in and give feedback for the final result. Once they have completed the task a few times they will be able to do it all on their own. This is the way to delegate.

4. Daily business meetings

Meetings are important. Without them, there’s a lack of communication which can lead to chaos, breakdown, fatigue and other bad things.

The key is to communicate often and clearly and one of the best ways to do this is to have a daily meeting every morning for 10 minutes with a set agenda.

You go item by item and focus only on that day: where the open appointments are, what cases are being presented, what unusual things are happening, where emergencies can go, which patients are up to date on their x-rays and fluoride, etc. Everyone knows what’s going on and it saves a tremendous amount of time and many mistakes.

The daily business meeting organizes the day, saves tremendous time and acts to propel the team forward. Don’t skip it just because it’s inconvenient or you’re not sure how to work it out.

5. Performance reviews

Let me be clear. Staff members hate performance reviews. They view them as criticism sessions where they find out what they didn’t do well and they generally only care about knowing what the raise in compensation will be.

Why not turn it into a positive event by answering these questions with the employee:

  • What has gone right?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What can we do to improve our practice?

Turn the performance review into a conversation. Make it two-way. View the team member as an advisor and listen to what they have to say. You will inevitably find great ideas.


Today, staff members want to know what’s going on, feel like they’re part of the practice, and know why they are doing their job.

By having a vision, mission and culture you have started the process. Creating trust is essential as team members who do not trust an Office Manager or doctor will eventually leave. Communication is enhanced during daily meetings in order to organize the day. And performance reviews should be turned into conversations with honest communication rather than negative experiences frequently created.

Putting these five steps in place will help any office manager to improve the performance of the practice and ensure a phenomenally successful future. And best of all, you have the satisfaction of helping people grow in their jobs and their lives.

Learn about the presenter:

Dr. Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 clients. Dr. Levin is one of the most sought-after educators in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth.

Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored over 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. Dr. Levin has served on the editorial board of prominent dental publications and has been named one of the “Leaders in Dentistry” by Dentistry Today magazine for the last 16 years. He was recently named one of the “32 Most Influential People in Dentistry” by Incisal Edge magazine and voted Best Dental Consultant by the readers of Drbicuspid.com. He has been interviewed for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day which reaches over 30,000 dental professionals.


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