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Know Yourself, Know Your Team


Communication core values gratitude knowledge leadership mindset practice management productivity teamwork Sep 17, 2022

It’s frustrating when your team isn’t getting the results you want, and you may feel it’s time to shake things up. Before you decide to make drastic changes, however, remember what Kirk says: “As goes the leadership, so goes the practice.” Think about your own abilities as a leader, because you are the one that informs how well your team functions. Your team needs great leadership if it’s going to reach its potential, so think about how you can improve yourself, and in doing so, improve your team. 

Be Humble

As leaders, we don’t want others to see us as weak, so there’s pressure to adopt a “my way or the highway” mentality as if we have it all figured out. However, it’s far more effective for leaders to be humble. Humility is one of my core values, and it really helps take leadership to the next level. A humble leader knows they can become better, and they understand they can’t do it alone. They constantly seek out new knowledge through books and CE courses, and they share that knowledge with their team. They recognize the need for other people and the need to be vulnerable to those people, because they don’t have it all figured out. 

You must be willing to openly apologize when you make a mistake, because then you show to your team that it’s okay to not have all the answers. When you go first and show your vulnerability, the rest of the team will follow and be willing to help you. Keep in mind that humility does not equal weakness. As Amer Kaissi describes in Humbitious, true humility requires ambition and drive. 

Look Inward

To become great, you must know yourself. For a leader, this means learning your strengths and weaknesses, so you can determine what you do well. Identifying your weaknesses is a challenge because no one enjoys seeing themselves in a negative light. You can involve what I call a “loving critic” to provide specific feedback, but you must have an open mindset and avoid being defensive. At the end, thank them for their feedback—it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do, but also one of the most powerful. 

When you know your weaknesses, it helps you lean into your strengths. Everyone has a few unique abilities they’re inherently good at. 

These will be abilities you:

  • Get joy from
  • Excel at
  • Never tire of improving
  • Regularly receive positive feedback about

These are the things you should focus on instead of the abilities you’re not good at. When your whole team learns what their strengths and weaknesses are, you can start to delegate and elevate your practice. Instead of trying to get better at certain things, delegate them to the team members who are already good at them. You can find the right seats for the right people, and it will elevate your practice. 

Create a User Manual

Learning your strengths and weaknesses goes beyond your abilities—it’s also about your personality. When it comes to learning about yourself, we’re big fans at ACT of the DiSC profile assessment. It aids in learning about ourselves, and then we can use that information to improve interactions in the practice. An exercise we recently tried was answering a series of questions about the best methods to communicate and support us, and then creating a “user manual” for ourselves that we can give to others. It allows the team to communicate better and start being vulnerable with one another. Communication is such a vital aspect of the practice, and by learning how best to approach your team, you’ll be able to solve problems and motivate them to be their best selves.


As Kirk says, “The better you get to be as a leader, the better things get for you.” It may feel like you have the wrong people in the wrong seats in your practice, but when you can communicate with them, share your vulnerabilities, and learn about your strengths and weaknesses, you’re going to find exactly where they fit best. It’s okay to admit that you don’t have it all figured out, so schedule a call with the ACT team today, and let us work together to find the answers to bring you a Better Practice, and a Better Life!

Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.