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@1h2.3ae.myftpupload.com.


Published On: April 27th, 2019 / Categories: Dental Consulting, Dentist Life / Tags: , , /

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