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Trojan Today Classic: “To Give is to Gain: The Gift of Intention” by Phyllis Waite

Leading a team with deliberate, goal-oriented intention GIVES motivation and a feeling of accomplishment. Intention is performing in a way specifically to achieve the purpose, action, and the end result you want to accomplish. Successful communication centers on discovering patients’ intentions. What level of dental health do they desire? When will they be ready to begin and ideally complete treatment? Finally, do they feel safe in your hands?

Tasks performed unintentionally or purely out of habit or routine often lead to inconsistency and omissions. Job satisfaction is low when staff members feel they are merely doing versus GIVING.

The opportunity to perform with intention touches every area of your practice. Each time the phone rings provides an opportunity to intentionally tell patients they have met the dental team of their dreams. Set your intention to listen, then give feedback. Promise you have created an appointment expressly around their concerns. “Mrs. Linder, we make your concerns our concerns.”

Financial arrangements begin with the intention of discovering the patient’s personal life situation and financial challenges. Discussing timelines, options, and payment choices that meet their needs is GIVING. Conversely, financial communication with itemized fees and dental insurance details TAKE from the purpose of the doctor/patient relationship. As patients experience your intention of helping achieve their treatment objectives, they will be open to dealing with payment details.

For example: “Mrs. Simon, once I understand what you want, and your financial challenges, we can discuss options. Doctor always prioritizes recommendations based on your conditions, so we have everything we need to develop a plan, over time, to recover your dental health. Next, we review your choices to begin taking care of the highest priority areas, which are (point to the$2,500 procedure). “If you want to take care of everything you and doctor discovered during your exam that is an additional (point to the $3,500 procedure.) Our intention is to lead patients to begin treatment versus shocking them into indecision by giving them a list of figures totaling $6,000. Leading your team to surround primary duties with intention can change your environment more than any other motivation. I hope you will contact your practice consultant and begin mastering the level of purpose and TEAM SPIRIT that is yours for the asking

Phyllis Waite is a Management/Leadership Coach committed to building successful dental practices.

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