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Dental Tribune Middle East & Africa No. 4, 2016

Dental Tribune Middle East & Africa Edition | 4/2016 37 practice management Dr.EhabHeikal BDS, FICD, MBA, DBA. PracticeManagement consultant. He can be contactedat: Clinic Values ByDr.EhabHeikal,Egypt Values are a difficult quantifiable business topic to write about be- cause they can be hard -as a busi- ness technique- to develop; and use to make better decisions and build high-poweredteams. What AreValues? Values are what you believe in. Most people have a sense of what they be- lieve.Eveniftheydon’trealizeit,they have a set of values that they live by. These can be referred to as personal values. Most chief executive officers (and dentists are CEOs as discussed before) also have a separate set of personal and business values that allows them to make business deci- sions. This section will focus on busi- nessvalues. In most cases, dentists have not defined their business values. Even though values influence behavior, dentists may not have consciously identified the key values that they bring to their clinic. By not identify- ingvalues,theyoftenmakedecisions concerning the clinic in general, and hiring in particular that eventually conflictwiththedentist’svalues. Certain people may be good em- ployees but not right for a particular clinic if their values conflict with those of the dentist’s. That conflict can lead to tension and discontent— aproblemforanybusiness. For example, suppose a dentist’s key values are integrity, excellence, quality, innovation, profit and rec- ognition. This is not a dental clinic in which the dentist is happy to have a below-averageproductionandprofit and little change in services offered. Thisisadentistwhowantstoprovide outstandingcare,butwhoalsowants to be well-compensated and respect- ed for the excellence in quality his clinic provides. Another dentist may find the quest for profit and recogni- tion less important. He or she may be more than satisfied to have the same income every year, live mod- erately and enjoy a reputation as an everyday dentist in the community. Clearly, values take these two clinics inverydifferentdirections. Identifying values helps in the hiring process as well. Many dentists finditchallengingtoworkwithteam members who have conflicting val- ues. For example, a dentist who plac- es value on hard work and believes in a strong work ethic hires a person who does not value punctuality and who wants a 9-to-5 job with as much freetimeandvacationaspossible. If the dentist has not identified his or her hard-work values, this team member’s behavior will be the source of tremendous conflict. Each will view the other as inflexible, rigid andunreasonable. IdentifyingClinicValues To identify clinic values, make a list of what you feel are the core of your clinicvaluesorbeliefs.Thislistmight include such terms as integrity, balance, profit, growth, challenge, caring, excellence, quality, trust, ap- preciation, self motivation, and en- thusiasm. After you have created a list, the key is to spend the next few days paring it down to no more than six to ten words. The rule is that you can add a word to the list, but only if you take one off. You can combine words that have similar meaning, such as integrity and honesty or ex- cellence and quality. You ultimately will have to eliminate less important words. At the end of this exercise, you will finalize your business values list.Donotjudgeyourvaluesagainst someone else’s. A dentist seeking recognition from peers and com- munity is no better or worse than a dentistwhohasnodesiretobeinthe spotlight. WhatToDoWithTheValues Now comes the practical part. A staff meeting in which you identify and discuss the values and explain to your team how they will guide the practice is a powerful meeting. This helps your team understand you. It helps your team understand the values that you bring to the clinic and how the clinic will use them to achievesuccess. Values also are helpful in decision making. If your team members un- derstandthecorevaluesoftheclinic, they will be able to make better de- cisions in all situations. More often than not, a decision taking into ac- count business values will be a good one.Thisholdstrueeveninmanage- ment of worst-case scenarios. If a clinic value is integrity, a staff mem- ber holding true to clinic values may tell a patient that a patient’s crown didnotcomebackfromthelaborato- ry on time and that he or she is very sorry. This is infinitely better than givingpatientstransparentexcuses. Finally, values are a powerful in- terviewing and hiring tool. If you simply ask candidates for a list of their values, they will be unlikely to provide them quickly or easily (re- member that they have not done the exercise). After you explain your values and give specific examples, askcandidatestoreflectontheirabil- ity to operate within the confines of these values. The answers you re- ceive will give you a good indication ofthemostappropriatecandidateto work in your clinic. Discussing your valueshelpsyouhirepeoplewhoare the least likely to conflict with the values of the dentist and members oftheteam. Once you know your main busi- nessvalues,youcanstrengthenyour clinic and build a high-powered team. High-poweredteamssharesimi- lar values. Their values are no better or worse than any other team. How- ever, a similar set of values allows people to work and grow together in harmony and with mutual respect andsupport. Values(Photograph:Pixabay/geralt) "Onceyouknowyour mainbusinessvalues,you canstrengthenyour clinicandbuild ahigh-poweredteam." Dental Tribune Middle East & Africa Edition | 4/201637

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