Read on for Dr. Eric Farmer’s amazing tips on placing commitment and leadership at the center of team meetings to ensure maximum effectiveness. 

This is a continuation of Dr. Farmer’s post on Gold Dust Dental Lab’s blog, where he described the structure of his team meetings and how he helps his team ‘dance differently to the same music.’

Dr. Eric Farmer's gives his advice on placing commitment and leadership at the center of team meetings.Working Out the Kinks

If you’re struggling to improve communication during team meetings in your practice, I have some advice. Set a specific time well ahead of the meeting. Also, ask your team to submit agenda items they would like to discuss and then have the courage and leadership to address those issues.

I do not always ask for agenda items if I have things that need to be discussed, but I try to involve the team as much as possible in making them. In essence, you have to see them as shareholders in the business. They need to feel valued and have an opportunity to be heard.

Your team is a valuable resource for ideas and brainstorming. Listen to them. They really want their doctors to be successful and sometimes we lose sight of that.

Emphasizing Commitment and Leadership

Team meetings take commitment and leadership to pull off effectively.

I am constantly challenged by what to include in them and how to deal with conflict when it arises. In terms of conflict resolution, I have discovered a new trick. Rather than calling people out, I go to them individually or in a group and tell them, “I need you to help me with (whatever I need to accomplish).” Making the request for them to help me has proven very effective in lessening team members taking criticism personally.

One of the things that has been tremendously popular is going over clinical cases that I project to our flat screen and basically teaching the staff diagnostic information. The hygiene team and the front office team really get engaged in this, as they very rarely see the nuts and bolts of operative dentistry.

What factors do you think influence the commitment levels necessary to enact successful team meetings? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!