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Practice Management and Coaching

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⦁ We used an analytical problem solving 6-step process he and his whole staff had learned through our consulting. (1) This included brainstorming alternative solutions which moved Dr. Lee beyond the sole solution he originally had – to leave this partnership and take his portion of the practice with him.
⦁ We practiced “I” messages he had also learned through our consulting so he was comfortable confronting Dr. Ted (“I feel when——- because________.”)
⦁ We scripted his planned confrontation and practiced different reactions we anticipated his brother might have.
Armed with all this preparation, Dr. Lee scheduled a lunch meeting (purposefully planned over a meal in a public setting) and confronted his partner. The end result was they broke a 10 year pattern of relating to each other in persecutor-victim­-rescuer mode. They reached an equitable solution that permits them to continue their partnership but with new methods for communicating with each other and less emotional ways to solve problems.

Dr. Lee kept stating “This stuff really works!” He felt so empowered by our thorough preparation for his confrontation that he requested individual, monthly executive coaching sessions in addition to the on-going practice management consulting. Dr. Ted was so impressed with his brother’s more effective approach to problem solving (rather than the usual verbal bludgeoning done in the past) that he too requested individual coaching. To keep boundaries clear, we referred him and he has regular monthly one-on-one sessions with his own executive coach.

Modified 360 Performance Feedback

You might think 360 performance feedback systems won’t work with the CEO’s of small businesses like dental practices. With some slight modifications, 360’s can provide powerful feedback these business owners might never receive. Most companies this size do not have Boards of Directors to whom they are accountable so those types of questions need to be culled. They do have a customer base with whom they have close personal relationships. Patient or client surveys are often conducted in the dental world, so it would not be too much of a stretch to engage the customers in this feedback process. Employees of dentists are eager to provide pooled feedback that may positively impact their working environments. The benefit of using 360 performance feedback systems allows employees to see how others perceive them in their organization with different perspectives. This type of feedback is crucial for a professional and her employees to make the necessary changes to improve performances, .

Two partners, with whom one of us had consulted for three years in the northeast US, were seeking to enhance their employee annual performance review system. This dental practice employed 35 people who supported the two partner-owners and two additional dentist associates. We discussed the advantages and risks involved in them completing a 360 performance feedback process. In addition, we stressed the need to combine coaching with a 360 (having observed many negative instances when a 360 was administered and feedback was given with absolutely no followup). They were eager to engage in this type of rich feedback process.

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