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6 Ways to Transform Mundane Meetings into Meaningful Moments

Communication is one of the biggest challenges that dental teams face, but it’s such a critical component to a great practice. A team that communicates well will outperform one that doesn’t, every single time. But great communication doesn’t just happen—it takes intention. You as the leader must guide the way, and the best way to do so is to create effective and consistent team meetings by following this roadmap:

  1. Structure

By creating a rhythm for your meetings, you’re going to make them more effective. One of your most powerful tools to do so and keep yourself on track is to use an agenda or action planner. Additionally, I recommend holding them at the same day and time each week, and morning is typically what works best. That way you can start and end on time without interfering with patient care, while ensuring that the team is fresh from the start. 

  1. Create Vulnerability-based Trust

Your team must be open and honest with one another, and it’s not going to happen by accident—it requires intention. When everyone feels confident enough in their teammates to voice their opinions, concerns, or questions, it’s incredibly powerful. This is different from predictive trust, which many teams are used to, where something is supposed to happen and you trust that it’s going to happen. Remember, it starts with you, so be the model and show vulnerability yourself.

  1. Mine for Healthy Conflict

Conflict is something that most teams intentionally avoid, but there’s a difference between conflict and confrontation. Conflict can be productive, because it lets you address and resolve issues. When you just ignore conflict, it only makes things worse, because like Kirk says, “unresolved conflict always becomes a crisis.” And when you get that vulnerability-based trust in play, it’s going to enable you to have some incredible conversations. In your meetings, encourage your team to express varying ideas and perspectives—only then will you reach true progress in your meetings.

  1. Encourage Buy-in, Not Consensus

The more teams weigh in, the more they’ll buy in, which is different from consensus. If you’re waiting for everyone to agree on something, it’s going to delay your progress. As the leader, your job must be to make sure every team member is heard, but you also have to be the one who ultimately makes the decision and breaks any ties. When they buy into your vision, they’ll know that you’re going to make the right decision.

  1. Hold People (and yourself!) Accountable

Accountability can be scary for a lot of people, but just like conflict, it doesn’t have to be negative. It just means that we know what’s expected and that we want to create a predictable outcome. When you’re clear about what you’re being held accountable to, it makes everything easier for the whole team. Just like with vulnerability, accountability starts with you, so be the model and do what you say you’ll do!

  1. Create a Culture of “Having one another’s back”

At the end of the day, the team needs to understand that they’re all there to support one another. You’re all working toward the same goal, and that requires a team that trusts each other. If they know that you have their back, they’re going to have yours. 

It’s crucial to remember the role of leadership in team meetings: as goes the leader, so goes the team. All eyes are on you, so you have to provide vision and direction while being a positive example of the behavior you want your team to exhibit. In order to create the structure and safety that enables your team to build alignment and trust, the responsibility lies with you. 

Remember, the journey toward a Better Practice and a Better Life isn’t one you have to take alone. Join the Best Practices Association today and watch as it transforms your business! For more information about ACT, reach out to Gina and see all that we have to offer you on your journey.

Tune in next time and learn how to maximize your collections!

Robyn Theisen

Robyn Theisen brings an entire life and legacy of dental experience to the team and every team with which she works as the daughter and sister of dentists. With almost 20 years of experience in dentistry, her roles ranged from practice management, to Operations at Patterson Dental to coaching teams. Robyn’s passion is empowering teams to realize that they can dramatically impact the lives of the people they serve by implementing skills and systems to remove barriers to life-changing dental treatment. She has done it for decades and does it every day with dental teams. Outside of coaching, she enjoys time with her husband, Rob, and two daughters, Emerson and Ruby. She loves traveling, music, fitness and cheering on the Michigan State Spartans.