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Trojan Today Classic: “To Give is To Gain: Annual Planning. A Team Experience.” by Phyllis Waite

Originally published February 2010 in Trojan Today.

A written plan is essential to growth and securing motivation. Planning is a GIFT to everyone and team building at its best. The objective is to be prepared and reach agreement to shape consequences by your own planning and actions. A quality of leading-edge team members is they see clearly what they must do and how they must BE to contribute to the PLAN. They understand the purpose and desire to be part of a team with like minds.

GIVE to your team by planning a team meeting to emerge with a shared vision of five critical questions: Where are we today? What did each person contribute to getting here? Where are we going? What do we want to give? How are we going to get there? – Leaving anyone out of the process TAKES from the plan, as your meeting will 

not include shared goals for professional growth or skills development. 

Specific Purpose of Plan:

  • Create clarity and focus. (Where are we? 2009 statistics, challenges we overcame, existing challenges, and, most important, accomplishments! What do we want for our patients? What do each of us want for ourselves?)
  • Provide a framework leading to agreements.
  • Invigorate staff as they GIVE what they agree to contribute to the plan.
  • Motivate staff to be accountable for the outcome of their performance.
  • Ensure the team is confident the plan is realistic.
  • Identify projects, elect project managers, and set timelines.
  • Provide management the ability to measure success and give win/win feedback to the team.

Planning during these challenging times is essential, and although a plan will not guarantee success, a lack of planning will almost certainly ensure staff are working without clear intention. GIVE to the team by reserving time to plan. To begin a fresh new year without providing this shared experience is TAKING from everyone’s success!! I encourage you to invite a trusted facilitator to enhance the process.

Phyllis Waite is a Management/Leadership Coach committed to building successful dental practices. FMI about on-site and tele-coaching: 714-563-0603 or


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