I teach this process to my dentists everyday. The infamous rule of thumb ” You can teach any skill, you cannot teach Attitude.” Therefore, the dynamics that form the Dental Team and entire practice create a challenge involving attitude. The challenge is that while the concept of “think win-win” seems simple, its location is the challenge. The concept lies in our mind in our unconscious paradigm, in the way we view the world. Therefore, a vast majority will not think win-win. While understanding the concept might challenge you or the Dental Team at times, the biggest challenge is living by it.
To keep this simple yet comprehensive, let’s define the paradigms.
When relationships are paramount, Win/Win is the only viable alternative. If on the other hand relationship building is not as imperative, Win/Lose might be the appropriate attitude. There are five angles to see when understanding the Win/Win model: Character, Relationships, Agreements, Supportive Systems and Processes. I will describe it as detailed as possible.
Let’s begin with Character. You must display Integrity. This is a necessary in the development of trust amongst You, the Team, and your Patients. It also goes beyond your Dental Practice. There are colleagues and referrals that will be introduced to your practice. The Integrity of you and the Dental Office will define a win in terms of personal values.
Next, we build the Relationships with our Team and Patients. This must be the focus on developing that Win/Win Attitude within your Dental Practice. Those relationships are pertinent to the Success of the Practice. Fostering those relationships despite with whom will be pertinent keys in turning any situation around.
Agreements are the functional ground that provides direction. Whether it is a Team Member or Patient this drives the direction of the win/win Attitude. For example, if it is a Team Member, a performance agreement will set those expectations for a healthy employee relationship. On the other hand, a written expectation of office policies, cancellations, and or no-shows provides a great patient relationship. Both shift the paradigm of production. The view of Leadership to Team. These agreements in any form should include fundamentals that will create a standard by which the Team and Patients can measure their own success.
Supportive Systems – Once expectations are developed, a varying Reward System should be established. The Reward System for your Dental Practice will be a key element in the Win/Win model. It is imperative that you do not Talk Win/Win and reward Win/Lose. This behavior results in negating the Win/Win paradigm. The appropriate step will be to set achievable individual goals and team objectives that can be rewarded.
The process consists of understanding the other person’s point of view, identifying their key concerns, understanding acceptable results and lastly, what new options might satisfy all interests.
Manage what you are capable of managing. Competition is everywhere. The competitive attitude must be accompanied by cooperation within the dental office. This goes back to my phrase, “You can teach skills, but you cannot Teach Attitude.” The passion of Win/Win cannot thrive in an environment of competition. Overall, the entire Team should try diligently to Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude. The foundation of your Dental Practice should be based on the principle of Win/Win. I recommend that you learn to identify and build relationships from the key principles in developing the right attitude. Whether it is seeing the problem from the others point of view, understanding concerns related to the problem, achieving a positive outcome, or finding an acceptable solution. You are the beginning of the right attitude. Each Team Member must reflect upon themselves in order to strategically plan moving forward.
Therefore, encourage that WIN/WIN attitude and turn it around if the result becomes a WIN/LOSE situation.