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Episode 464: Break That Negative Morale!

Listeners, stop sticking your head in the sand about the negative morale in your practice! Kiera gets real in this episode and encourages fellow Dental A-Team members to recognize, know their role, and do something about negativity. She even shares DAT’s own struggles with such low morale lately and how she’s been able to climb out of it.

Episode resources:

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Listen to episode 455, How to Boost Team Morale

Listen to episode 234, Creating Smiles — LITERALLY

Listen to episode 148, Step by Step to Having Uncomfortable Conversations

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Transcript:

0:00:05.6 Speaker 1: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives, I've been in dental treatment coordinator, schedule, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling resultants, where we have traveled over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A team podcast.

0:00:50.8 S1: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera. Guys, I hope today is great, I really do love you guys on the podcast, I truly do, it's a funny thing to not know you, to not know a lot of you. I talked to somebody the other day, they called in, interested in consulting with us, which gosh, guys, you better believe if you wanna make my day, do that. I love, love, love hearing from podcast fans that are deciding to take that jump in and become fully immersed in us to go to the next level, it's one thing to listen and to glean, it's another thing to actively be engaged in having somebody hold you accountable. So it just makes my day. And I have these new people that will say, "Oh my gosh, Kiera, you sound just like you do on the podcast." And I just giggle every single time and I'm like, "Well, it's because it's actually me sitting in my room under a nice cozy blanket right now, podcast on my lap, you guys, I look like a news anchor or, "Coming to you live... " I hold it in my hand. I do have one at the office that's not hand held, but I feel weird, it feels very intimate, I can get close to the microphone.

0:01:56.7 S1: Yes, the microphone definitely touches my lips, I learned that I had to do that, so it definitely tickle my lips often, and that's how I work guys. I'm just sitting in my office right now, backpack on one side of me, water bottle on the other side of me, I'm looking at my laundry, if you wanna know, it's not Gilliam studio status over here. We put my laundry in here, 'cause right now we live in a small apartment, we're building our house, and it's kind of funny because my office often times is the laundry room, so when I'm on Zoom calls, I have to shift my camera so you can't see that laundry back there, but that's me guys, I love chatting with you. I love being a real person, I love to be just Kiera Dent from the block. I'm not somebody special or magical, I'm just like you. I've gone through a lot of the struggles that you guys have gone through, I love, love, love helping offices expand what they believe is possible in themselves and their businesses, I love it. I love watching you guys have breakthroughs, I love going into a practice and seeing how we can make massive changes and teaching you guys how to do it. I love finding blind spots for you. I love learning from you and taking the things that you do really well in your practice and sharing them with other people.

0:03:07.8 S1: I love that we're able to be a resource and an advocate for you, and in doing so, I believe that we're positively impacting dentistry, which is my favorite profession, it's the best one, in my opinion, in the biggest and best way possible. So thank you guys, thanks for having this podcast be a success. When I first shared it, I was worried to know anybody would listen and I was like, "Oh no, what if nobody is listening?" So thank you guys, thank you for making this a reality and for giving back to our dental community as well. So please, please do me a favor today and share this podcast with somebody, you can post it on social media, you can tag us but that's a great way for you to blast us out to more people within your network that could really benefit, so share us on social media groups, it's a great way, guys. Massive thank you to all of you. We do see you guys posting about us, and I'm just grateful, but don't think that everybody else is doing it, sometimes in a large crowd, we can often think that our impact doesn't matter, and I will tell you, if I would have thought that, Dental A Team wouldn't exist. We never know the impact that we have, we never know.

0:04:06.8 S1: You guys, I had a really hard time in my life, and there were people that did small things, I'm sure they thought, "Oh, telling this girl she looks great today is really silly, my impact doesn't matter." Those things kept me alive. And I don't say that metaphorically, things like that, we never know the impact we have, so share this podcast with somebody, guys, share it with somebody who we can help them. And let's move into a topic that I think you guys will love, and that is negative morale. I went from a high to a low right there. How many of you are dealing with this COVID suck? Yes, I said that. My mom like, don't listen, mom, I wasn't supposed to say that word when I was growing up. It sucks, guys, I'm sick of it, you're sick of it, we're all sick of it, right? Double the flavor, double the fund with double mint gum, I feel like double this COVID, double the nastiness. Get out of here. It's annoying, and I think it's just creating negative morale. And so I wanna give you guys some tips and things to do to break this negative. First of all, recognize it. Second of all, look at yourself. Third of all, do something about it.

0:05:12.0 S1: Alright, that's like if you don't wanna listen to anymore of the podcast, do those three things, we gotta identify that it's real, I've gotta see that it's been a tricky year, I think hiding and putting our head in the sand is not the way to go about it. Admitting that we've been going through this for quite a while is annoying, but also change your filter, we can say, "We've had a drudge through this and it's been so hard." Or, "Hey, it's definitely grown me as a human. It has changed me and it has changed all of us. And yeah, sometimes it's annoying, but it has changed me." Again, I know Polly positive over here today, guys, but I found the way you say things, language is powerful. It creates a world for you, it makes you think in different ways, so really look at it, identify what are you saying about this. Number two on negative morale, usually when I walk into an office, negative morale comes from negative leaders.

0:06:03.3 S1: Oh gosh, guys. I don't know why you listen sometimes I'm so honest. I really hope it comes across with love. If you met me in real life, you would know that I would put my arms around you, and I don't care what kind of a leader you are. I have no judgment for you, all I ask is that you are just trying to be the best version of yourself. I don't feel like I was a super great leader, guys, when I owned my practices in Colorado. I was new to the game, I thought I was really young and I was managing people that were much older than me. And I was intimidated, and so I came in with more of an iron fist mentality, I wore really, really, really tall heels. I think it was my intimidating factor, so instead of being 5'8", I became like 6'1". Really, really, really tall girl walking down the hall and then talking to you. That's a little intimidating. But for me, it was 'cause I was insecure. I don't think I was a great leader. I didn't have the best morale. I definitely worked on it, I changed a lot, but I just wanna come to you and let you... Some people are like, "Kiera, you're just naturally good at this."

0:07:03.4 S1: No, I'm not. I'm just naturally determined, and I'm not willing to settle, I'm not willing to just accept, this is who I am, BS. When did you decide you were that way? That's not just who you are, you get to decide who you are every single day. Guys, I'm getting on a soapbox here, get ready. So a negative morale, I think a lot of us are like, "This is just who I am." No, it's not. No, it's not, you chose to decide to become that one day. Guys, I am a female by genetics or by my DNA. Wow, that got exciting. I am a red head by genetics, I have freckles by genetics, I am 5'8" by genetics. That's about it. The rest of it, I got to decide, my weight, I get to decide that, I get to choose what I eat and put into my body, what I listen to gets to shape my mind and help me create who I am. I literally believe that I'm a make-up of a lot of the things around me and a lot of the people I have around me, and a lot of the shows that I watch.

0:08:04.3 S1: You guys, I assess the shows of music, the things I'm listening to pretty regularly, the books I'm reading to say, "Is this taking me and morphing me into who I wanna be." I look at my circle of friends often to see, "Are these people elevating me or not." And I've had a make some wicked hard decisions. Sometimes I feel like I don't have friends. It's okay, guys, don't feel sorry for me. I really don't know. Sometimes I have a lot of acquaintances, but I don't let people in often times. I have a few really, really, really close friends that I would... I appreciate. My family's super close to me as well, but a lot of that is due to the people around us, it's us choosing those people. Proximity is power guys. So when we look at our practice and we look at this negative morale, please, please, please, please, save yourself the heartache and the facade that we can't change this, this is just who they are.

0:08:56.3 S1: No, that is a story, it is not a fact, and if you choose to believe that story, you will make it into your own personal fact, you could always change it. So I want you to... That's why I said, look at yourself, what are you doing to impact this, how are you feeding your mind, how are you changing? This goes for team members and not just leaders, team members, who are you showing up as in the practice? I have some team members that I have worked with in the past that I'm like, "What on earth." Like, "Leave your life at the door." My job is not to be your therapist at work, yes, I can be a mentor and a support, but at the same time, we're here to do a job, we're here to serve our patients, so let's all put that on and focus on that versus focusing on ourselves, and again, guys, you can shut this podcast off, that's fine, today, I'm going to the real raw dirt, like deep deep stuff that people don't wanna talk about. People don't wanna hear this, people want me to say like, "Oh, fix negative morale." Just like, "Have a really great warning huddle."

0:09:57.8 S1: As you guys look back on 2021, how was it? Was it your best year? Was it a year you could have done a little better? And as you're looking forward to 2022, what type of a practice and a person do you wanna be? Well, guys, now is the time to take massive action and to have the life and the practice you've always wanted. Dental A Team Platinum is where it's at, guys. We focus on system development, that's right top to bottom. Team development, growing leaders, growing you as a person, making sure you are balanced, that we have happier teams, and we also ensure that your practice is profitable, teaching you how to be business savvy, so if you're looking to enhance your practice, take it to the next level, you yourself wanna grow, now is the time. Dental A Team Platinum, we fly to your practice, most of our offices see a 10% to 30% increase in revenue, reduction of stress, happier teams, better patient experiences. So if you know you wanna rocket launch yourself into 2022 don't wait, guys. We are only taking on so many platinum practices because we physically fly to you. So email us today [email protected] And you better believe we have something special for you end of year offices. So be sure to reach out, [email protected] Remember you are only one decision away from a completely different life.

0:11:07.3 S1: It's not gonna be that way. If you don't get to the root cause of this and you don't identify that it's about you, we can't change it, guys, and again, I say this with massive love, my arms out stretched to you giving you the biggest hug. I teach a class at church, sometimes I worry, but what I found is, if I can speak the honest truth, if I can tell you guys what's really gonna change that person out there listening today needed to hear this podcast, it might not be for everybody, but that person who was ready, they heard this and they're taking an opportunity and they're gonna have a massive breakthrough, because breakthroughs come every so often, and you're either gonna walk right through that and take that opportunity or you're gonna let it pass by and it's gonna hopefully, who knows? Come back some day.

0:11:48.2 S1: Today is a break-through day, guys, today it can be a break-through day, if you'll look at yourself, I have some doctors and some office managers that roll with an iron fist, and I just think, "Why." Dig deep and find that insecurity that's making you do this. For me I was super insecure that I didn't know what the heck I was doing, and I was trying to mask that, that's why I was a jerk of a leader, guys. If I would have accepted that, "Hey, Patrice... " If Patrice listening, I apologize, I apologize, I didn't listen to you. If I would have been who I am today, I definitely would have gone to Patrice who knew way more than me, and I asked her like, "Teach me. Teach me how to do this." Just because I'm a manager, does not mean I'm better or I need to know everything, being a manager means I'm watching all the pieces of the ship, and my job is to make sure it's flowing well for the people and the patients. That's my job. It's not to know how to do everything.

0:12:36.9 S1: As a leader of the practice, I'm supposed to lead and guide and make hard decisions that are going to be in the best interest of the practice, it's not to know everything, so oftentimes this negative realm, comes because we don't take ownership of ourselves, we don't say, "I need to show up to work and be a little bit better." Where can I serve somebody today?" Instead we're looking at ourselves, what are we not getting? And I think when we can pivot that and have a practice where we serve one another, and the way you do that, this is where I get tactical, is we have a serve board, everybody chooses a name and we serve that person that week, you can also have ways where we go and serve in the community and give back and find people have less in us. Guys, I don't know if you've heard, Dental A Team is putting on a coat drive and it makes me emotional, 'cause I realized we're super, super, super blessed as a company. And I again, give Tiffany a massive shout out.

0:13:30.0 S1: We were talking in our quarterly meeting and asking people like, What do we want for our one, three, 10-year goals, and we had them all listed out and Tiff said, "Hey, what happened to us? We used to be a company that gave back. What happened to us? Where did that go? And it was a good slap across the face of realizing last year we were donating meals, that company ended up not being a non-profit, so we were looking for something else, but she was right, that had slipped, that had gone away from me, and so we decided quickly like what could we quickly do for a massive impact that we could actually get our offices and the podcast community and all of us on board and do a massive impact. And we decided to do a coat drive. And we decided to start focusing on those people. Guys, I look at people a lot differently while I'm driving right now. I look at my community a lot differently, I start to see people I wasn't seeing before, and guys, if you want to, please go on our social page, there is a link on there to donate a coat, it will ship to us HQ in Reno, and we're donating these coats, we have found some people that really are in absolutely need this year. That has changed our morale of our team.

0:14:39.1 S1: We were starting to have a little bit of negative morale, I'll tell you one of the fastest ways to change a negative team is to go serve, to go give back, to help people in need, maybe you identify a family that you guys serve in your practice, maybe somebody in your practice needs help, I don't know, but this is something that you can do. So guys, if you wanna help us out to make the biggest impact and to serve and help so many people who don't have some awesome jobs and lives like we do, that we're so blessed, I mean, it's a luxury to be listening to this podcast, it's a luxury for me to make this podcast. It's a luxury for me to own Dental A Team. So if you guys wanna help us, please email [email protected], we can get you that link really easily, it would be amazing, we're trying really hard to donate at least 100 coats this year, so please guys, help us out. But service like that, that changes a negative morale. Looking at ourselves where could be our 1% better, and I want you just to take a quick assessment of yourself, where can you grow, where can you change, where are you maybe bringing in a negative attitude? Guys, I've been downright angry, you guys don't know, some of my life, we've been trying to get pregnant for a year, we can't get pregnant, I haven't been able to get pregnant for 10 years.

0:15:51.5 S1: That's kind of like, yack. I felt like I was bringing that negativity to our office to our teams. I was selfish, I was thinking about, "Why aren't my team members doing this for me?" And I realized, "I just was bringing my own personal baggage here, I can do something about that, there are great doctors out there, I just need to take massive action on it and solve that versus taking it out on my team." That was me having a personal dive on myself, looking to see, where am I coming? And each team member if you can do this, guys, you can listen to this podcast as a team and talk about it, where are we each bringing maybe that negative morale? Also really tangible that you can do is we have a cool forum that's a one-on-one interview, if you will, called PDP, it came from actually Ryan in Colorado, that's all I'll say about him, he's a rockstar, I love him. He's super rad, one of the greatest people out there, and you use this thing based on your core values and you have people determine what their emotional expense is on the practice. It's a really, really, really good eye-opener to see what negative morale are we bringing in.

0:16:51.9 S1: So guys, you can try that, that's a tangible you can do, but I will say, look at yourselves first. Look to see where could you improve today, how can you fix this and then have it be your standard, I do not for one second, tolerate drama. I do not tolerate people talking bad about each other, if you're gonna bring up something negative, you better be talking about it to find a solution and solve it forever, otherwise do not say it. And my team knows for a fact, I will not tolerate it, so have that be your standard. Elevate yourself. You guys, I used to be gossips queen central over here, and sometimes I still get gossipy and I have to watch myself and I have to check myself and I have to realize, this does not serve anybody. Talking about people is the lowest... Like, what do they say? I don't have the perfect quote, but they said talking about people is for simple minds, and I'm like. Good night. That is really brilliant.

0:17:46.3 S1: I don't wanna have a simple pathetic mind where I talk about people and I'm negative about other people, I wanna elevate beyond that, I wanna talk about solutions and problems and serving people and living life elevated versus living below that, so check yourselves, guys. It's one of the best ways you can fix that negative role, it's a lot of personal work, but also have it as a standard of your practice, you can have signs on the door, No negativity allowed, take a no complaining challenge as a practice. No joke, that will change you guys real quick, see who can go the most amount of days with no complaints, tally it up, have a final reward about it. Do something fun. Read a book together, Ego is the Enemy is a real fantastic one to start with. Extreme Ownership, another great one, it does that like board between the eyes like, "Oh, snap, this is me." It's a really, really, really fantastic one. But check yourself first. Are you micromanaging? Are you nit-picky? Are you not taking responsibility of who you are, look at that and commit to yourself to making it better. If you need help guys or you want some ideas, email us, [email protected]

0:18:53.5 S1: I'd love to help you out. Something I'm passionate about because guess what I didn't feel like I had the best culture. I know I did not have the best culture had two Beta fish in a tank one time that was a hygienist and a dental assistant and I was like, "Oh gosh, what have I done?" I just didn't have any tools, I didn't know how to do it better, I didn't know how to fix it, I didn't know what was wrong internally. I needed a coach, I needed somebody to help me. So if that's you, gosh, I'm here guys, I would be happy to help you. Email us [email protected] and as always, take this, implement it, don't brush it under the rug. Whoever this podcast is for, I definitely made this specifically for you today, and I know you can change it if you want, it's a slow turn to turn around, negative morale, it's a slow turn, but it's worth every single second. Alright guys, thanks so much for listening, catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

[music]

0:19:42.3 S1: And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.

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