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Dental Entrepreneur Woman header

Great things happen when creative minds and dedication to dentistry take flight. Anne Duffy has put together a wonderful magazine for Women in Dentistry, DeW.
It’s easy to subscribe and enjoy both the digital and the print content.
Linda's Secret SauceLook for the Autumn 2017 issue with an article from me on Emotional Intelligence: Leadership’s Secret Sauce.

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Posted in News by Linda Drevenstedt.

How’s Your Practice Health?

Healthy Dental Practice(From my article, “How’s Your Practice Health?” recently published in the member magazine of AADOMThe Observer ©)
Office managers often run their practice with little managerial information, using instead “management by putting out fires”.
Today’s dental environment demands sophisticated managerial data-gathering, interpretation and decision-making. Dental software and accounting reports provide raw data only. The report data does not tell if the dental practice is thriving or heading for trouble. Raw data is virtually meaningless without benchmarks. Benchmarking is a management tool or system to compare your practice statistics with known best practices. Practice management experts use benchmarks to determine the health of a dental practice.
Benchmarks comprise critical managerial information for each practice to use as a guide for decision-making and for practice success planning. Know your practice health to stay out of trouble and keep your staff accountable…
Continue reading the article by Linda: How’s Your Practice Health?

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Posted in Dental Practice Management by Linda Drevenstedt.

Ramp Up Your Treatment Acceptance

(An excerpt from my article, “Six Powerful Ideas to Ramp Up Your Treatment Acceptance” in the online edition of Dentistry Today ©)
Six Powerful Ideas to Ramp Up Your Treatment AcceptanceYears ago, my first boss, a Pankey Institute instructor, taught me that to win a patient’s trust and acceptance of his extensive treatment plan, he needed to use an approach that involved the whole person: body, mind, and emotions. Psychology Today says these decisions are 80% driven by emotion.
Three other factors also influence how your patients process information:
  • Visual-they need to see information.
  • Auditory-they must hear information in clear vocabulary.
  • Kinesthetic-they need to touch or experience the information.
According to a Lake Superior University study, visual information drives 65 percent of the decision-making process, with auditory at 30 percent, followed by kinesthetic.
All of these influences together contribute to better connections with your patients. Keeping all six factors in mind can ramp up your treatment acceptance.
Read the rest of my article in Dentistry Today

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Posted in Uncategorized by Linda Drevenstedt.

Leadership Insights from Santa Claus

santatreeHow can Santa Claus get all those gifts delivered to boys and girls around the globe?


Here’s Five Quick (not necessarily easy) Leadership Delegation Steps:

  1. Choose wisely.
    Not all people can handle delegation. Your leadership job is to choose the person who can most likely succeed at the task you are delegating. Remember delegation is not abdication. You are not giving a task to someone and leaving the person on their own.
  2. Define the results you want.
    Delegation works best when you have an objective job or task measurement. For example, when I took over managing a dental practice, the Insurance Receivables were outrageous. I met with the best person to tackle the task. I gave her the clear result of “No Insurance Receivables Outstanding over 90 Days within the next 90 days”. Be clear with the results you expect: timeline, specific numbers (less than one open hygiene appointment per day), etc.
  3. Define the task and the task purpose.
    Delegation works best when you define the task specifically with your practice standards coupled with the purpose of the task.
    Millennials especially need to know why the task is important and how it fits the overall purpose of the practice. Millennials do not like rote tasks.
    Make a task checklist of the steps in an outline format. Think airline pilot checklist – short and to the point beginning with an action verb. If this is a computer based task, capture step-by-step screen shots of the task. OR, if your software has a tutorial for this task, ask the person to take the tutorial before you get together for the training.

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Posted in Dental Practice Management, eSSENTIALS™ Newsletter by Linda Drevenstedt.

Change Up

One of my favorite speakers and authors, Zig Ziglar said, “You are either green and growing OR you are ripe and rotting.” I choose green and growing. As you may have noticed, I took a break from writing for six months. There are times when you need to pull back, reassess and re-group. That is what I have been doing.
Here’s the deal – There will be a shift in focus from practice management consulting topics to Leadership and Management Coaching topics. My vision is to serve you in your personal journey, (both professional and practice), through coaching, speaking and writing.
Starting NOW.
What is the difference between consulting and coaching?
As a consultant, I served as an expert in my field who came into many of your practices. After an analysis of the practice’s systems and staff, I made recommendations about improvements to the practice which were in line with the practice values and goals. As a consultant. I brought useful systems into the practice and trained the staff and dentist. Such systems are tried and true methods to help the practice make improvements and changes to accomplish the practice goals. Consulting can be three days to a full year or more depending on the list of improvements to be made. I used practice monitors as objective measurements of how well the practice is progressing toward its goals.
Coaching, on the other hand is about a relationship between the coach and the client. The client can be a dentist, an office manager, or a key staff member. Coaching sessions are often by telephone, or they can be in person if distance allows. The sessions focus on actions that assist the client in breaking down his/her barriers to success. The coaching relationship is more collaborative. As a coach, I am there to support the changes needed and to hold you, the client, accountable for taking actions toward your goals.
Assessments help you and me discover insights into behavior, values and emotional intelligence patterns that can be considered strengths as well as areas that, if improved, can create a more productive and fulfilled individual. Assessments are not always a part of coaching but can be a valuable tool.
How Can Leadership and Management Coaching Help You?
Leadership is a journey. A true leader is ever evolving. Your leadership skills can always expand. As an expanded leader, you lead your team to expand their skills. Leadership development lets you target specific areas you want to improve.
See infographic below.
Leadership coaching can help you…
  • reduce stress

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Posted in Uncategorized by Linda Drevenstedt.

The Double Edged Sword of Gossip

Gossip the two edged swordGossip is not innocent. The Urban Dictionary defines it as, “Exaggeration or fabrication of a story regarding somebody other than the tale-bearer in the absence of this person who is being discussed for the malicious purpose of demeaning, slandering or tarnishing this person’s reputation.”   Wikipedia says, “Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.”

Gossip happens. Team members share opinions about what other team members did or failed to do. Team members are all prone to indulge in their own judgment about what others are up to. Gossip between dental team members is pandemic.

Gossip’s double edged sword effects both the speaker and the receiver. When you share gossip, you give your opinion about another’s actions. You tell what you saw being done or not done and why that was wrong. In that sharing, you set yourself up as better than the other person, as an expert that can judge another’s actions as “OK” or “not OK.” The gossiper puts herself in a superior position to the one gossiped about. You, of course, would NEVER do something that way!

Gossipers share “the dirt” so that the listener will think better of them than the other person. (PS – no one likes to admit this about gossip.) The sword actually cuts deep because most people know that gossip is not good. Gossip is an attempt to “one up” another. The truth is that no amount of putting another person down can fill up your own empty cup of self-esteem.

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Posted in Dental Practice Management, eSSENTIALS™ Newsletter, Leadership by Linda Drevenstedt.

Are You a Dental Super Leader?

Dental Super LeaderThe economy is shaky again. The millennials are now your employees. Regulations are expanding their reach into your practice. How does a leader in today’s dental practice sift through to become a Super Leader.

Here are 7 focal points for Dental Super Leaders:

  1. Personal self-mastery. To lead others you must first understand yourself with all of your strengths and your foibles. Leaders are not perfect, you are not perfect. Super leaders know how to use their strengths and minimize the impact of their weak areas. Study your own behavior style and the ways in which you can turn people off. Study emotional intelligence so that you understand how your moods and attitude can influence your team and your patients. (Suggested reading: Travis Bradberry’s Emotional Intelligence 2.0), Email me if you are interested in a profile:
  2. Focus on the main purpose for the practice. Leaders need to keep the team headed in the direction of your mission and values. Be sure EVERYONE on the team knows where you are going and why. This brings in the millennials. They, above all other team members, want to know the big WHY. They are particularly interested in making a difference. Think Toms’ shoes and Zappos as examples.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Linda Drevenstedt.

Clinical Efficiency Focus

Focus on Clinical EfficiencyEarly in my career, my boss, a pediatric dentist, taught me a profound truth.  He said, “Linda, every child who comes here has one thought in mind when they sit in our dental chair, ‘When can I go home to Mommy?’ “   As a dental assistant, a dental hygienist and as a practice consultant, I have learned that this is true of ALL patients no matter their age.  You may have good relations with your patients, however, the bottom line is that they would rather be out of your office as quickly as possible. Improving your clinical efficiency IS good customer service.

Here are four paradigm shifts which will improve your clinical efficiency:

  1. Organize, set up and keep to the plan.  Angela Clayton, EDDA, is our team’s clinical efficiency expert. Her recommendation is: “Use preset procedure setups. Use sterilization bags or cassettes to create procedure-specific set ups. Be sure to include bur blocks for each procedure set up with the specific burs or diamonds for the procedure.”  Bring in a tub with the items for the procedure such as cement or impression materials. Keep very little of your supplies in the treatment room. Set up the sterilization area with dedicated spaces for hygiene, composites, crown preps, etc. Stick to the plan without breaking into other setups to grab this or that. Be sure the tray setup has what your dentist needs.

Action Step: Take time to clean out drawers in operatories and store items in the sterilization area. Set up tubs with essentials for each procedure. Keep instrument sets complete.

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Posted in Dental Practice Management, eSSENTIALS™ Newsletter by Linda Drevenstedt.

It’s such an honor to be recognized as a Leader in Dental Consulting by Dentistry Today!



Leaders 2016 personalized


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Posted in Leadership by Linda Drevenstedt.

Practice Prosperity

Practice Prosperity as it relates to thankfulness

Let those two words settle a bit. Look at them in reverse, prosperity practice. As we embrace the season of giving and open hearts, think about your practice prosperity.

First, how would you and your team define practice prosperity? It is not all about the money. I have seen practice’s that made a lot of money still be stressed, frustrated and unhappy. Here is an idea that I got from Dr. Joseph Murphy:

Murphy Quote

Attract Prosperity

Practice prosperity means the “practice” of prosperity in your work. The way in which you enter your work space and how you interact with those in that space can be practice prosperity. Loving thoughts and actions attract prosperity. If you enter the space where you work with the thought “This person is doing the best job they currently know how to do,” your day will go better. Yes, this even applies to the patient with the grunge mouth and dragon breath. If you accept that you may not know their whole story (maybe you don’t want to, but that is another issue.), you can be there to serve them without the green cloud of judgment.

Measure Prosperity

How do you measure prosperity? Prosperity includes the ability to do good work, the love of family and friends, the honor to beof being in a health care service profession where your work makes a difference in the lives of your patients; and the health to practice your profession. Too often we take things for granted and nitpick small stuff so much that we make ourselves miserable in our own blessed life.

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Posted in eSSENTIALS™ Newsletter by Linda Drevenstedt.