Find the Joy in Your Everyday Practice Life : Part III
The Critical Elements
Critical element: Loving your patients and your patients’ parents
As your practice begins changing (because YOU are changing), you will find it easier and easier to love your patients. They will love you more. You will have created a love-fest.
And, by the way, you can learn to choose your patients. You will sense a patient who does not fit your GREAT practice, and help them with referral out. It’s amazing how easy it gets to say to a patient, “I do not believe I can meet your needs. I am not the right dentist for you.” And, less and less, do you need to say anything, because your patient population will begin to mirror and fit your joy, your great practice. It’s part of the magic of greatness and gratitude.
Your love and your great practice’s love will transform everything. You will be amazed how nice patients come “out of the woodwork.” They will flock to your practice because you and your staff are loving - kind, gracious, caring.
While you work on loving everyone, your practice is transforming before your eyes, and you need less (or no) marketing, practice management gurus, techniques, and formulas. You do need mutual support and love between yourself and your staff, patients, and yes, practice enhancers, those energetic, loving, caring people who help you and your staff in the transition, and beyond.
Critical element: Curiosity
It’s a new curiosity. Not the old gossipy-what’s-happening-around-town type of curiosity. This is a new curiosity about each person - staff, patient, visitor, and neighbor. This is a what-in-your-life-is-good sort of curiosity. It’s a magic curiosity.
All of a sudden you care. Why do you care about your assistant’s pregnancy? Because you love her and she is so happy. Your curiosity is more about how she is seeing this exciting change, and less about what are her symptoms, concerns, progress, and so on.
You care about a patient who shares with you that she is working to change her nutrition, and you care that that will reduce her oral illnesses as well.
You care about your neighbor dentist who wants to come talk and talk and talk, fussing about all his travails. You care and so you ask him, “What’s good in your day today?” And when, after his stunned silence, he answers, “Good patients coming today,” you respond, “Me too! Isn’t it wonderful?” And he grumps less and less.
You care. And somehow life turns in your favor. Not everything is perfect, but even the things that are not perfect, you see as opportunities to learn, to get strong. You know all is the way it is supposed to be. You feel it in your bones! It’s a new curiosity!
Critical element: Your "slight edge"
Author Jeff Olson named it “The Slight Edge”. It’s NOT a self-help gimmick or motivational tool. The Slight Edge is actually what you are doing every minute of every day. Your moment-to-moment actions are either the slight edge going to GREAT, or going to NOT-GREAT.
Your simple daily activities in your life are powerful. They may be powerful GREAT or powerful NOT-GREAT.
The ability to change the slight edge to positive and powerful, is already in you. If your actions are taking you down to NOT-GREAT, you can become aware of that and change your trajectory! As you realize how important it is to arrive for your day in gratitude, choose a healthy bite of food, hang out with people who support love and greatness, your beliefs and attitude will give you strength to make these positive powerful choices. Your tiny actions will build to GREAT results.
And this creates YOUR LIFE! which will never be the same again.
Read about Jeff Olson’s "Night of Despair" and "Day of Disgust" that brought him to realize he was on the slight edge going the wrong way, instead of toward a powerful, joyous life! It's in his book, "The Slight Edge."
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
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© 2019 Dr Chris Baker