How to cultivate an environment of authenticity in your practice [VIDEO]

Issue 6

Many of the dental leaders I speak to say that they are one person at work, and when they get home they become themselves.    Sound familiar? 

Many of the dental leaders I speak to say that they are one person at work, and when they get home they become themselves.   

Sound familiar? 

What if there are several people on your team doing the exact same thing? If that’s the case, who are they being at work? Being someone you’re not for a full work day, multiplied times the number of days in your work week, multiplied by the number of work weeks in a year, means for an average of 1,600 hours a year, people aren’t being authentic. 

That just sounds like a whole lot of time spent being someone you’re not. This incompatibility with self over time can lead to internal stress at work and at home. Not to mention, if your team isn’t being genuine and real at work it will affect not only the interoffice relationships, but their relationships with your patients. 

How can you foster and cultivate an environment of authenticity in your practice? You can start by becoming aware of these three areas as individuals, and as a team:

What are your values?  I don’t mean what they value most at work. I mean what they value. Period. This is a great discussion to have as a team and I guarantee that you’ll learn things about one another that you never knew. Valuable things about the very core of those beautiful human beings who work with you.

Making a list is a great way to start. Some may have long lists, while others have it narrowed down to three or four. This is a great pathway to self – awareness and the list could change from time to time. 

Tip: if someone has trouble coming up with things for their list, try asking them what makes them angry. The opposite of the anger point is most likely a value. 

For example:  if you find yourself getting angry or agitated when someone takes too long to tell a story, or explain a problem, you most likely have a value of efficiency, time, or facts.

Trust your intuition. Those gut feelings of “something isn’t right” or feeling out of balance, agitated or even angry most likely means you’re not operating with alignment of your values. When that happens, stop and notice how you’re feeling, what you were doing, and what would make it better. That conscious noticing act will cultivate self- awareness.  

It’s also a great area of discussion with your team. Talk about it. Learn from it. 

Keep an open mind.  It’s hard to stifle authenticity when you try to see people, things, and life from different perspectives. The key is to do that without judgment. When we are trapped in judgment of ourselves and others we establish limitations that are hard to break through. We’re not at our best. We shut down that vulnerable, authentic, wonderful person we are.

This is not too touchy feely or woo woo voo doo. This is what is at the very core of every human being we meet. 

Strengthening our authenticity muscle will lead to deeper connections with the people we come in contact with every day-our family, our co-workers, our patients … the sky is the limit. 

Mindy Altermatt, FAADOM, is a professional coach, speaker, and leadership champion to dental leaders. She’s a veteran of the dental industry with experience in insurance processing on all levels, practice management, and team development. During her years as a practice administrator she achieved fellowship distinction with the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM), and in 2007 was named their Office Manager of the Year.  Connect with Mindy on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn, & Google+.  Contact her at or visit her on the web at


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