Are You Micromanaging The Life Out of Your Dental Practice

One of the things I’ve been most guilty of in my dental practice is micromanaging.

You see I’m a control freak I want things done a certain way and I hate it if anyone deviates from the system or the plan. I set the standards and that is how it needs to be.

However, what this really highlights is two things – one I think I know best and can do everything better than my team and two that I have a trust issue – that I can’t trust my people, my systems, the training or myself to let go and allow my team to do the job I’ve employed them for.

So this got me to thinking why did I hire so and so to answer the phone if deep down I don’t think they are up to the task – answer they are good at it and they like doing it! So why then am I not trusting that I’ve made a good hire, that that person is more than capable and can get the job done.

Why We Micromanage

Well I’ve been burnt in the past, let down, disappointed and mistakes have been made. Now not only am I a control freak, I’m also a perfectionist –aaarggh this is a terrible combination!!

Sorry to everyone who has worked with me over the years for being an overbearing, egotistical maniac.

Like anything in life there are lessons to learn so I made a inner shift to let go and let my team flow – I learnt to trust that my systems are solid, the team are well trained and they are doing their best – yes mistakes will happen but they will not be the end of the world.

We can learn from mistakes, improve, tweak the system and give more training to make sure we don’t make the same error again.

I also see that other people are not me and they are not going to do things exactly like I do and hell you know what they often do them better than me!!

How To Stop Micromanaging

So when I started working with my new businesses coaches early last year I made the promise to only do two things in my practice – work on patients and the strategy for the business. Everything else my team were to manage and take care of.

To support me in this I have scorecards and reports so I can just flick open a document and take the pulse of the business.

I also asked the team to help me stop micromanaging and to call me out when I was slipping back into bad habits.

The outcome and the upshot is the team has grown and are tapping into their skills and really owning their roles. They hold each other accountable and they keep me focused on my role too. This has freed up my headspace, reduced my stress and allowed the business to flourish.

It’s not been easy but it has been worth it and so my dentist friend I have one thing to say to you…

Please stop micromanaging!!!

How To Support Your Team

There are 100’s of different ways you can do things to produce the same result and there are two ways you can support your team to excel at their jobs. Imagine your teaching them to ride a bike for example.

  1. You could do it by showing them, have them watch videos and telling them about the concept of bike riding… Or
  2.  You could put them on the bike and help them try it.

Like me, too many managers and dentists think that trust has to be earned, rather than giving it from day one and then guiding or support their people to do well.

What happens is we let our egos get in the way, and we micromanage our employees. We think no one can do it as well as we do!

There are issues and things wrong with that mindset:

It makes you go slower, it’s like having the handbrakes on in a space where getting the job done is far more important than perfection.

It holds your business back and caps you – empowering your people to make decisions is the only way to scale and see growth.

You are sold on the lie of everyone has to give 100% of what you set the bar as. There are times when someone doing 80%” compared to your idealistic 100% is better than not doing it at all. And there are times when your team will surpass and blow your 100% out of the water.

There’s no way to know whether someone’s capable without giving them a chance. And there is no way of knowing how much they are capable of if you keep getting in their way like some crazy helicopter parent.

Eventually… you have to face it, you have to let your kid ride the bike without you holding on to the saddle because you think they are going to fall.

Manage From Trust Not From Fear

Too many dentists lead from a place of fear or insecurity, so they don’t give their team enough leeway to do their job.

And as harsh as this may sound, most dentists are used to being the smart one, the one everyone comes to for the answers – it was like that at school and college/university and so they micromanage because they don’t want their team to be better at something than they are.

If you want a high performing team who love their work you need to understand that giving trust easily is the quickest way to scale in business!

Without the freedom to fly and develop, to think for themselves your team will be stifled, unhappy and underperforming and you will be burning yourself out, driving yourself nuts, distracted and highly stressed trying to control and micromanage it all.

So get systems in place, train your team, trust the process and have them give you reports and scorecards so you know the pulse of your practice. Trust me this will set you and your team free to focus on great customer care and providing quality dentistry.

And if your goal is to have a turnkey practice that can run without you – you will never achieve this while you hover over every aspect and try to control it in a strangle hold grip.

So please stop micromanaging, trust your team and trust yourself that you can do this.