DEBRA MILLER, Director of Coaching


As a coach and consultant in dentistry for many years, I can truly say I have never met a hopeless team. I have met teams with individuals that are holding them back, but dental teams are pretty good for the most part. Sometimes they can be disorganized or lack the leadership they need to really work together well. These things are easily addressed as part of practice coaching. Every team has its own culture, and sometimes that culture makes growth easier, and sometimes it makes it (a little) harder.

Teams, where growth seems easier, are usually those with a culture that is accustomed to responding to challenges and new information. The doctor may place a high value on regular continuing education, and they may be continually bringing ideas back to the practice for discussion and implementation. Similarly, the doctor is often deeply interested as a matter of personal priority in the results of the practice and each team member. That’s more than just looking at daily revenues. It includes things like understanding collections dynamics, scheduling challenges, and examining the referral dynamics of individual GPs.

In short, doctors in practices that easily shift to a growth culture have already placed an emphasis on results, innovation, and daily efforts to improve for the entire team.

By contrast, practices that have a greater challenge becoming growth-focused are often those with well-entrenched systems and strategies that have not changed in years. The team has become very accustomed to doing everything the same way it has always been done. On the one hand, they know every detail of their jobs extremely well (and that’s good for the practice), but sometimes the security of knowing your job so well makes you resistant to changes when they are introduced.

That combination of a low priority on growth for a long time, plus a change-resistant team culture is the number one reason why practices stagnate and hit a brick wall. But there is good news because practices like these usually have a huge opportunity to grow. The stability of the practice for a long time has created a reservoir of untapped growth potential. There’s nothing our coaches love more than helping a team fearful of change suddenly experience the rush and excitement of fantastic growth, and to feel reinvigorated in their daily energy.

So, what kind of culture do you have in your team, and does it match your vision for growth and the future of your practice? Do you even know what is possible in your practice, since team culture affects the doctor too? Sometimes you stop looking for the horizon if you feel resistance or you become concerned about introducing uncertainty to the team and their well-established routines.

If you would like to know more about the possibilities for your team and practice, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss options for you. Call me today at 1-800-482-7563 or email


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