Do you really need a coach to help you to run your dental practice?
I know that most dentists or dental practice owners have wondered if they need a coach at one time or other. The cliché comparative is that most professional athletes and business people have had a coach at some point in their career, so why shouldn’t you. We are all learning every day and should never get to the point of not learning and developing in some way.
So how do you know if you need a coach?
Every dentist I know who owns a dental practice, have had to learn business quick and they all say it was not easy in the beginning mainly because business is not covered at dental school. Business can be learned, and of course, you can employ people to run and manage your practice, but you still have to have control.
Every practice is run differently, from NHS to fully private and everything in between. Regardless of what type of practice you have, you have to manage and control the bottom line; and you have to enjoy your business and of course, love your dentistry.
The best well-run dental practices have well-designed systems and great people who are trusted to run and self-manage the systems. Great teams are created and supported by a great leader. Without a strong motivational leader, the team are not going to be led and empowered. Without well-designed systems, there will be flaws that typically cascade into issues. When this happens it is easy for dental practices to get into fixing and patch up mode, trying to hold everything together! This is what causes BURNOUT!
Burn out carries a very high risk for all dentists who own and work in their own practice. Your in-tray is always full from a never-ending cycle of paperwork, signatures, invoices, holidays forms etc. etc. Your schedule is full, you work over lunch times, and you finish late OR you have gaps and financial stress.
You won’t need me to tell you this but when you get burn out you are no use to anyone, so in order for you to always be your best self in business, with your patients and with your family you need a super charged structure.
You are doing better than most if you:
• Have total control of finances
• Have a handle on your team and have great people
• Know what you need to do in marketing
• Have clearly defined business processes
• Have clearly defined clinical processes and people
• Are able to effectively delegate
If you struggle in a particular area, you should consider a coach because the longer you struggle with something it will inevitably negatively affect other areas in both your business and personal life. By getting assistance or coaching you are saving yourself lots of unnecessary time focusing on the wrong thing.
As you read this, areas in your business, career, and personal life will be jumping out at you, unless of course, you have got it all mastered and have total balance. If you have been thinking about a coach to help you in your business you will need to have a bit of an understanding about what type of coach you will need.
So what are the different types of coaches?
Are you needing someone to help you put everything into place and help you organise and plan? Someone, to help you take a step away from all of the goings on and help you to reconnect with your vision and create actions? If this is ringing true then a strategic coach is what you should be looking for.
Is it chaotic? Is there no clear system in the clinical and business areas? Are the clinical and business areas pulling against each other? You may need a dental business coach who understands the dynamics of running a dental practice who would be able to support you and your team develop. This is best done with the whole team, although some strategies and planning would likely be with the owner and manager.
Do you need help in being more effective with people and/or having more effective outcomes across a spectrum? If you are looking at being your optimum best self then a performance coach may be suited to your needs. This is on a 1-1 basis.
Do you need help with you? Are you overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated and definitely not your best self? If this is the case personal 1-1 coaching, life coaching or NLP coaching could be ideal.
Some people have an ability to reflect, a resilience to keep going and are capable of taking stock and bouncing back to what they were once focused on. Not very many people can do this well and fewer people can do it repeatedly. If you have never had a coach, don’t fear it.
If you are looking for a coach, the first thing I would recommend you to do is think about positive outcomes. State what you want instead of stating what you don’t want. If you want a better team, be more specific about what you want them to be. If you get clarity on what you want, you will be better placed to choose the right type of coach for you. If you don’t and are comfortable asking friends and colleagues, ask around, a personal recommendation is always a validation of a good coach.