"You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus, 55 AD
This habit serves us well at all stages of life, and throughout all stages of a dental practice. Understanding comes from asking gentle probing questions, and resisting all temptation to evaluate, interpret, advise, or judge. This helps us to develop empathy for others. Empathy comes from truly understanding the perspective and concerns of another. You will find that when others feel their concerns are understood, a mutually beneficial opportunity for positive change naturally appears.
Understanding your new practice
The dentist who just bought a practice has acquired a collection of elements — the systems, the equipment, the staff, the patient base and the facilities — that together create the value which justifies the agreed-upon price. To retain the value in place at purchase, make no changes for the first year. Seek first to understand how the elements work together (or perhaps, how they don’t work). Abrupt changes without understanding can destroy the value the practice had when you bought it, leaving you with a chaotic, worthless mess.
Growing your understanding as your practice grows
As your practice matures, changes to improve profits, patient and staff satisfaction are always most successful when everyone feels that they’ve been heard and that their point of view has been considered. The true causes of conflict and discord are rarely what we see at first, but can only be teased out with patient empathic questioning and listening to find the root cause. From this foundation of understanding, getting buy-in for any changes will be much easier.
Understanding what your retirement means for everyone
As you approach retirement, the habit of first understanding others will direct you to ask probing questions of all parties involved in this transition. Your family may want to be assured that they will be taken care of. Your staff may be worried about what the transition means for them. Patients may wonder about the continuity of their care. You may be concerned whether the new owner will accommodate everyone’s needs. Everyone’s true fears will likely be deeper than these superficial notions. Your task is to understand all points of view as the foundation of your successful succession plan.
Whatever stage your practice is, the Hindley Burgmaier Group is always ready to help you deepen your understanding of your business and make it the best it can be. We do that by first seeking to understand your business. And since we work with so many dentists, we have a head start in that understanding. Call our office today and we'll guide you to deeper understanding.