Dentaltown June 2019 - 102

There's something to be said about
learning to work with varying
personalities, and probably something
worth taking back to your practice.

"With the business side,
I didn't even know
what I didn't know-
that's actually
the scary thing.
I knew that I didn't
know everything about
running a business,
even though I had
a finance background.
I didn't know how to run
a small business."

Before I even went to DBI, they had
us take a Drake assessment (an online
talent management and assessment
system designed to help companies hire
and manage people who will perform
well in their jobs1). And the minute I
finished the Drake assessment, I went to
my Henry Schein rep and said, "I need to
do this for my entire office." Because as
my office got bigger and bigger, we had
more personality conflicts. So even before
I'd started DBI, I'd already used one
of the HR components of the institute
and we had Drake assessments for all of
the employees at the practice. That was
something very unique and something I
utilized right away.

Safe to say you feel more
comfortable with the HR side
of your practice now?
Yeah. When I used to hire, I just
hired people because I liked them: "This
person looks like she's a hard worker."
After going to DBI, I understand the
process of doing much more, including
the strategy and art behind a good phone
interview and the other steps, all the way
to the point of deciding to hire.
I also learned how important it
was to have a valid and legal employee
handbook for the practice. It also protects
us and makes sure that we're up-to-date
with all the employment laws. Before
then, I never really knew what you could
do and what you're not allowed to do,
and the questions that you can ask during
an interview and the questions that you're
not allowed to ask.

Sometimes a change in mindset
or how you approach the business
has more weight and value than a
new service you can buy. What's
another practical step you took
that helped your practice?

102

JUNE 2019 // dentaltown.com

One of the most important things
that I took home was how I envision my
office, including my mission statement.
I rewrote that after I went to the first
session at DBI-I not only rewrote it,
I refocused it and had a staff meeting
talking about the personality conflicts
in the office. I gathered every employee
together and let them know: "This is
what we're heading toward, this is what
the new vision is, and these are the
redefined values of the practice. If we
don't see the same vision and values,
maybe this isn't the right fit."
I learned that it's OK to part ways
when you don't share the same vision
and values. And it gave me the tools to
separate myself from people who didn't
share my vision and values, be it an
employee or a patient. That alone was a
tremendous help.

"Soft skills" such as handling
personalities and reshaping values can
be an important but overlooked part
of business acumen. What about some
mainstay business principles?
I'd always prided myself on being a
pretty good negotiator, and I thought
that I'd signed a pretty decent lease for
my current office. When it came to the
second location, I hired a consultant
to help with the lease and when I went
through that process, I started to realize
that I didn't even know what I didn't
know-that there had been a lot of
things I negotiated that I didn't even
think of asking about the first time.
For the second time around, they
pointed out to me the "doomsday"
scenarios that I'd never thought of, so
that was actually very helpful. DBI was
instrumental throughout the class in
pointing things out from the landlord's
point of view. Real estate is a complicated
world and you really have to be an expert
sometimes to make sure that you get the
deal that you need.


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Dentaltown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2019

Dentaltown June 2019 - Intro
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Dentaltown June 2019 - 1
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