What Questions Should I Ask?

I recently participated in a panel discussion with two lecturing dentists, in front of an audience of about 300 dentists. The vast majority of the questions from the audience were directed to the other two panelists, as they all had to do with clinical dentistry.

Have you ever felt like a third wheel? I did!

Later, a dentist approached me and said, “Steve, I felt bad for you up there. We did not have any good questions for you. The problem is, when it comes to the management of our practice, we don’t even know the questions we should be asking in the first place!

Point well taken.

total patient service institute, steven j. anderson, topsHere are a few management questions every dentist should be asking:

1. What are the most essential leadership skills that will make the biggest difference in my practice?

2. What are the key factors that create more motivated team members?

3. How can I get my team members to take as good of care of my patients as I do?

4. How do I create more team harmony in the office so patients come into a great office environment?

5. What can I do to make it easier for a patient to move forward with needed treatment?

That is just the start. In short, it is not the answers we don’t know that create the biggest problems, but the questions we haven’t even thought to ask!

The best leaders aren’t the ones who have all the answers, but the ones who are asking the questions. Eighty percent of effective leadership is getting the entire team thinking about the right things in the first place. You get people thinking by the questions you ask, not the answers you give.

Get started today by asking your team some of the following questions:

1. What are the most effective things we do to create a great patient experience?

2. What else could we be doing to improve the excellence of our clinical service?

3. How could we make it even easier for our patients to move ahead with treatment that they really want and need?

4. What would cause our patients to talk about us to everyone they know?

5. What do patients like least about going to the dentist and what do we do instead to make it a great experience?

Being a great leader-dentist is more about asking the right questions than always having the right answers. Start being the one with all the questions and you’ll find that you will have a team that will:

• Think more.
• Be more creative.
• Focus more on patient care.
• Be on the same page with you, your goals and vision for the practice.

So…start asking!

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