What Type of Leader Are You?

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

When it comes to management and leadership styles within a dental office, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Certain leadership styles lend themselves better to smaller offices, for example, while a top-down approach may work better for others.

When examining which leadership style works best for your clinic, it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of several of the more prevalent options.  

Types of Leadership Styles

The Authoritarian Leader

Collaboration isn’t high on an authoritarian manager’s agenda. These micromanagers tend to prefer strict, hierarchical chains of command. They also tend to dislike questioning. When there’s a crisis, this model can be highly effective, though. But over the long term, authoritarian leaders tend to sow discontent and resentment among colleagues.  

The Strategic Leader

Strategic managers are goal-oriented. They focus on the big picture and communicate that vision to others. Any long-term vision requires buy-in from workers, so these visionaries then to seek honest feedback from cohorts and empowers workers to effect change that is in line with the dental office’s strategic vision. If your clinic needs to make substantial changes over the course of a year or more, this leadership style can serve that goal well.

Transformational Leaders

These leaders are agile. They understand that running any business, dental clinic or otherwise, requires flexibility and a willingness to adopt new ideas and technologies. This leadership style may work well in medicine, where innovation and change is an omnipresent reality. Transformational leaders may cause resentment with workers who are set in their ways, though.

Collaborative Leaders

Advocates of collaborative leadership understand that no one person is right 100 percent of the time. Teamwork is another hallmark of collaborative-minded managers. A dentist or senior nurse needs to know when to make an executive decision for this leadership approach to work best.

Administrative-Minded Leaders

Type A personalities are prevalent among these process-driven individuals. Following rules can be great when insurance forms need to be filed, but this leadership style doesn’t allow for much creativity or flexibility.

Good Parent Management Style

Dental clinics often boast about their “family-friendly” approach to oral health care. And with good reason. To maintain a successful business, dental offices need to serve children, teens, adults, and the elderly. That family-friendly ethos can also be used within a dental office’s work culture. Good parent-styled managers treat hygienists and other staffers like family. When workers feel genuinely cared about, they tend to feel loyal to a company.

Which Leadership Style Works Best For Your Clinic?

It is important to remember that no member of a dental team has to be any one type of leader all the time. In fact, the best leaders know when to adapt their behavior to best fit the situation or task at hand.

If there is a disciplinary action that needs to be taken (to address a chronically late employee, for example) an authoritarian approach may achieve the best results. When a clinic is preparing to grow a customer base in order to be able to afford a larger office, strategic leadership may be called for. Most management professionals agree that collaboration is a good thing for any business.

Seek Expert Consulting Help

If you are looking to explore new leadership styles, we can provide expert advice. Jennifer Pearce has more than 24 years of experience as a dental office administrator. She has also co-owned multiple dental practices. Her dental consulting services can help your dental practice become less stressful and more profitable.

You’re reading this blog, you care about your business. For expert help, call Prosperity Dental Solutions at 817-975-4576 or email jennifer@prosperitydentalsolutions.com.


Coaching for Each Stage of the Dental Practice “Life Cycle”

Practice Management, Team Building and Clinical Coaching

Dental practices may have their own unique business model, but the classic principles of business still apply. One that we often refer to is a business “life cycle.” The development of your practice is never a straight line; cycles of growth, maturity, decline, and renewal are common for every business—dental practices included. Depending on the stage your practice is in, Prosperity Dental Solutions can offer tailored services that address certain risks or weaknesses you may be experiencing at a particular point in the life cycle. Sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to shed some light on where your practice is, and how it can maximize its operations today for tomorrow’s benefit.

Let’s start from the beginning!

Just Starting Out

Those early practices which may be just a few years old are still very much in the beginning stages of their life cycle. Practices which may have recently changed ownership could also be in this early start-up stage. Most likely, their employees wear a lot of hats. They may still be trying to create a name for themselves in their community, and likely haven’t yet filled a niche in their market. Since operations are still so new, this is a great time to seek out practice management coaching to set up systems that can facilitate long-term success.

Our team can help establish the systems your practice needs to ensure patient accounts and insurance claims processes are handled efficiently, and the front office is organized and primed for future growth and increases in patient numbers. Clear job roles and employee expectations can prevent burn-out from employees juggling too many tasks. In addition, we can help management discover the tools they need to make smarter hiring decisions as revenue picks up and workloads increase. It’s an exciting time in a business life cycle and the key is preparation for the future!

Growing Steadily

Practices that have established foundational operations are in this next stage of the business life cycle. They are most likely developing longer-term patient relationships, experiencing less turnover, and increasing visibility and recognition within their local market. Revenue streams and income are becoming more and more consistent, and for the most part, increasing year over year.

One of the most important things practice managers can do at this stage is to hire the right team members who can set the practice up for efficiency and growth in the future. By utilizing the Predictive Index, as part of our Practice Management Coaching program, we can help managers understand their current team’s strengths and weaknesses. This not only allows managers to understand each employee on a deeper level, but creates a strategic plan for hiring that ensures the right personalities are added to the team. Investments in the work environment and culture at this critical stage can mean a brighter future for your practice.

Coaching for each stage of the dental practice “life cycle”

Reaching Maturity

A mature dental practice has been in practice for years, has long-term employees, steady

revenue streams, and loyal patients. There may even be multiple locations or high brand recognition in the community. The environment is stable and secure, and the practice is financially successful. Predictability is the daily norm. While this is a comfortable stage to be in, it is easy to settle for complacency when things are relatively “good.”

During this stage, quality checks of existing systems can help to correct issues that could be preventing further growth or impeding greater system efficiency. Additionally, our placeholder services can help immensely during this stage to prevent dips in steady revenue or increased employee turnover when experienced managers leave.

Renewal or Decline

This crucial stage of a business can bring either a new life to business operations after a long period of maturity, or a decline in operations. It often just depends on the foresight of management and ownership, as well as the success of existing systems as to whether this will be a positive or negative stage.

Businesses who are reinventing after a dip in revenues or after a long period of stability may need our help cleaning up and reorganizing front office systems to shake up lapsed operational standards. We focus on overhauling internal systems, fostering positive team dynamics, hiring the right new people, and correcting dysfunctional systems to revive practices looking for a fresh start.

Customized Practice Management Coaching

No matter what stage your practice might fall into, we have experience helping a similar practice take stock of their current operations and improve the day to day work that can make work more enjoyable and the practice more profitable! Whether you’re just starting out, or seem to be stuck from progressing forward, we can help. Contact Jennifer Pearce, Founder, Owner, and Lead Executive Prosperity Coach for information on setting up your consultation.

Take your first step towards achieving a prosperous dental practice.

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Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems



Practice Management, Implementation and Mentoring of Systems

"I highly recommend Jennifer as a dental coach and as a person who understands what it takes to drive improvement. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes her an invaluable tool in strengthening a practice. My practice has been successful, however, I knew that I wanted to take it to another level. Jennifer has a keen understanding of the ins and outs of running a practice, and what it takes to elevate all aspects of the practice. Whether it's a desire to improve treatment case acceptance, create more harmony and positive energy at the office, or implement the vision of the practice, Jennifer has the know how to make it happen. She says it as it is, and is down to earth and honest. I have already seen improvements across the board in my practice since we have been working together. I'm excited about the growth opportunity and confident that I have chosen a partner who understands the practice needs, and the intricacies needed to achieve the change I'm seeking. My team loves her and she has been a huge component in the success of my practice."

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