Top 7 ways to keep dental team meetings on track

May 6, 2014

Do you find yourself avoiding team meetings? Is it the least productive hour of your week? Check out these tips to help make your meetings productive, energizing, even . . . FUN!

Do you find yourself avoiding team meetings? Is it the least productive hour of your week? Check out these tips to help make your meetings productive, energizing, even . . . FUN!

1. Choose a facilitator. Doctors, you’ll get a better result if you participate in, not legislate, your meeting. Choose someone who is organized, firm, and can keep others on track . . .and on time.

2. Set goals. Short-track, attainable goals make the difference between highly successful teams and groups of people who happen to work in the same building each day.

3. Re-define “accountability.” Chances are, your employees look at being accountable as meaning they may be in trouble soon. Give “accountable” a new definition at your office. It simply means, “You can count on me.” In the future, when your staff says, “Yes, I will be accountable for this task,” the emotion attached to being accountable feels different, better and more worthwhile than avoiding future chastisements. And that, friends, feels good!

4. Create team leader positions. The difference in employee buy-in and results with defined leadership roles is incredible! Set a team leader for: operative, hygiene, front desk, new patients, and recare/reactivation. The role of the leader is to act as the mouthpiece for issues in their area, and come up with possible solutions so the team can decide what will work best to solve the problem.

5. Create action steps, accountability, and “by-whens” for each task created during your meeting. Action steps are imperative, but without a person designated to do each step they mean nothing. Write down the necessary action, who is responsible for following through, and by when the item must be accomplished. Follow up at your next meeting.

6. Recommit. Ok, so you didn’t get something finished. At your next meeting, clarify who is responsible for the next step, recommit to the action item, reset the by-when and go on. The fact that you revisited something important takes you 100% closer to the result you’re looking for. And isn’t that the reason for your meeting in the first place?

7. Remember the little details. Finally, a few little things that will help you apply these principles smoothly: Make sure your meeting facilitator creates an agenda and sticks to it during the allotted time. Recommended meeting time is one hour per week.

Remember, meetings are only as dry as you make them. Change your next meeting structure to include these strategies and finally get everything done as you intended.

Penny Reed is the owner of the Penny Reed and Associates.