452: Why Role-Playing Actually Works

Episode 452: Why Role-Playing Actually Works

Role-playing can definitely have an awkward pang to it, but Kiera’s here to sell you on why role-playing actually works and how it provides a consistent experience for your patients. She even gives tips on what to say to people who are nervous about acting things out in front of others.

Already a believe of role-playing and/or interested in incorporating it into your practice regularly? Consider folding role-playing into the Dental A-Team’s 12 Systems Comprehensive Success Cycle!

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I had 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 a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to 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.




0:00:50.7 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera and you guys, hey, happy day to you. I hope you're having an incredible day, I hope you guys are just so thrilled. It's great, it's great seasons right now, I love this time of year. I feel like the world's about to go to sleep, we're falling into hibernation for those of you who are hanging out with us over here in North America, but we also have people listening in all different countries across the world. So I know North America is starting to cozy up for a holiday, it's the end of the year. I know our friends in Australia, New Zealand, they're getting ready for summer time, our friends in Hawaii have a perfect weather all year long, and at the end of the day, I just hope wherever you are, number one, it's really fun, think of us all connected all across the world. Look at that massive impact we're able to have as a community across the globe, so thank you, and bring on another friend, guys, bring somebody else over to the Dental A Team podcast. I would love you guys to go reach out your hand to one other friend, because as you do, it's a ripple domino effect, and we're able to then complete our mission of positively impacting the world in the greatest way possible.


0:01:58.6 KD: So guys, today I wanted to kinda go on to a topic that I know most of you hate. [chuckle] No, it's not insurance. I know that was the first guess, instead, it's role-playing. [laughter] Which is worse, let's take a poll. Please email me. Please, please, please. You guys, I literally say email me, I love to have pen pals, I really do look forward to these emails, so email [email protected]. I see all these messages. Our team is incredible. So what do you think is worse? Do you think, I'm gonna put it out there, insurance or role-playing? Which would you rather? Dealing with an insurance company or role-playing? That's even tricky for me. I actually think I'd take role-playing over insurance, that's my vote. You guys can also text me, 801-885-5351. Yep, I literally just gave you my number. Use it. Yeah, absolutely. Text me, I'd love to hear from you. So with that said, tell me, insurance or role-playing? But today it's gonna be on role-playing, and the reality is a lot of people think role-playing is stupid, why? Because we feel like an idiot, we're scared people are going to laugh at us, we're scared people are going to make fun of us, so we actually don't really want to do role-playing, we don't want to do it, we're terrified, and who wants to put themselves up for rejection? Anybody? Anybody? That's what it feels like when we're doing a role-play. Are people gonna think I'm dumb? Am I going to say this wrong? Am I going to fumble over my words?


0:03:23.4 KD: Now, I did, there was a time, and all of us probably have a time where we remember being made fun of because as children, we didn't really know when it was silly or ridiculous. My little niece is two, and she is so stinking cute, I actually have a bajillion nieces and nephews. You guys, coming from a family of seven, dang, they all had a lot of kids. I, on the other hand, do not have any yet, we'll put the yet out there, but the reality is, they all have so many, but my little niece, she's two, and my brother, he speaks French, and so he speaks French to her every so often, and he told me, the other day that she's starting to speak French, which is so adorable, but even if she says it wrong, she doesn't feel embarrassed, if she dances silly, she doesn't feel embarrassed, she just loves life and she'll repeat things and she'll sound silly and goofy and she loves it. So my question is, at what point did you get made fun of that you remember, because usually that's why we don't wanna role-play because somebody made fun of us and we realized we sounded like an idiot, and we were like, "I'm never doing that again."


0:04:31.1 KD: So I'm sure there were more, but I remember the most vivid one was when I was in college, I was in a public speaking class, and we had to introduce somebody. You guys, I was not super well-cultured growing up, which is probably why I have a love for travel, 'cause I feel like I missed out on it for so much of my life, but I remember introducing this kid and he spoke Vietnamese. I had never heard of Vietnamese before. I knew where Vietnam was-ish, but I didn't know Vietnamese. So I remember going up in front of the class, we're talking, I think I'm on day two of this class in college, and I said, "Hey, this is so and so, he speaks Vietnamese." You guys, the whole class busted up laughing. I wanted to die. My best friend from high school actually was visiting me at college and was in that class, and I remember walking out of that class mortified, crying, I legit cried. It traumatized me and I'm like, I'm dropping this class, I'm never showing my face in that class again. So I don't want to downplay how much role-playing can really cause anxiety.


0:05:37.2 KD: People hate public speaking. I feel very fortunate, I was raised LDS, Mormon, whatever you wanna call it. And they actually have us speak a lot in church, so once a month you can go and you can share your testimony, every single... You get to speak at church, there's not a preacher, it's the audience that actually speaks and teaches, which I actually think is kind of cool, but I feel like from a very young age, I learned how to speak in front of other people, which I'm very, very, very thankful for, and I feel like so many people didn't get that opportunity. You guys, from the time I was teeny-tiny, like five, littles get to go speak in front of other littles and they can give a talk or presentation, if you will, of course, on a very junior scale, so I just feel like part of my nature was speaking. Yes, it still scares me guys, my dad is a teacher for a profession, so I feel like I have an unfair advantage just a little bit, so I don't mean to downplay this whatsoever. If you guys want to see me in that public speaking class, which I did not quit.


0:06:44.1 KD: You guys if you wanna have a real funny video, go on YouTube, you can see baby Kiera. This video is gonna get so many more views. I think it was on, type in "Keira Staples," that was my maiden name and put in like "Teeth whitening." It should be in 2007, 2008. I did a whole public speaking course, I'm wearing a black shirt, cream skirt and I did a whole public speaking, I was in the Sloan speech show down for public speaking. I actually was nominated by my class for it, and I actually spoke on teeth whitening. [laughter] So if you guys wanna go check it out, I did not drop the class, but I think to that point, it is about the fact that it can be very, very, very terrifying to roleplay. So just understand that your team is that way. Also, if you wanna do a DiSC personality profiling, guess what, the personality type that is the most popular is the S as in Steady, S personality and those people do not like change. They don't like being put on the spot. Well, guess what, role-playing is gonna make all those people feel highly uncomfortable. So I've just gone through why role-playing is so dumb and why we should never do it, I just have yet to tell you why it's actually so valuable.


0:07:55.8 KD: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business, sometimes I just think there's got to be a better way to do this. And so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well. Like I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seemed like the perfect fit. So you guys right now, we have a few spaces open in our Platinum consulting. That is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice. We help you get systems implemented. We don't just tell you what systems to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. You guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made, is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it, and that's what we in the Dental A Team do. We literally physically fly to you. So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our Platinum. I'd love to have you. I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard. So join us in the Platinum, we'd love to have you.


0:09:15.7 KD: The reality is, you get to practice in front of people who love you, people that will actually give you honest advice, people that aren't judging you constantly and saying if they're going to come back or not. These are team members, these are people just like you. And if we can practice and get really good in front of people that we're comfortable with, we're going to get a lot better in front of the patient. Now people are like, "Keira, it's so much different, 'cause when I'm with a patient, it's not the same as right now." I get it, but practice also makes permanent, so believe it or not, you can sit there with me and you can say it to my face, and then I go, "Here are your new operatory and you go back to what you've been practicing for years." So practice doesn't necessarily make perfect, it does make permanent. So that's what role-playing is, it's just practicing. That's all it is. We're practicing. You guys, you didn't get your fingers chopped off when you were terrible on piano, at least I didn't, and I was horrible at piano, but I had to practice and practice and practice.


0:10:05.5 KD: Singing, oh my gosh, my poor mother hearing me sing guys, rough, rough, go. There's a reason I podcast and not sing, but all these things we practice. Right now, I'm practicing learning calligraphy. Why? Because I've always wanted to do calligraphy and that's just that weird thing that I decided to do, but it's not like I beat myself up if I don't know how to do it perfectly on the first time, I practice to get better, I practice to make a new perfect thing. So maybe instead of calling it role-playing, what if we call it practicing? So we're gonna practice how to answer the phone the way our office does it. All of us are going to practice that, we're going to practice it until it becomes permanent the way we want it answered, we're going to practice a new patient experience, we're going to practice how to do hand-offs. That could take the stress and the fear out of role-playing, 'cause role-playing is like, "Oh gosh, here I go. What if I look like an idiot?" Whereas practice, we've been trained throughout life, that practice is okay, that we can make mistakes, so maybe instead of calling it role-playing, let's call it practicing, let's practice these items.


0:11:08.5 KD: Now, things that I really love to role-play or practice are just like I listed off, how do we answer for new patient phone calls? What do we do when we have somebody ask about out-of-network insurance? What do we do if somebody wants to cancel their appointment? What do we do for a new patient experience when they come to our practice? What about hand-offs between assistants and hygienists to doctors and back? What about from clinical team to front office team? What do we do for fluoride? How do we talk about fluoride? How do we schedule for treatment and present treatment plans? All of those things are fantastic role-play or practicing topics. Now you have to be willing to give honest feedback and you have to be willing to take it. If you're answering the phone and I don't see a big cheesy smile, I'm gonna say, "Hey, I liked this verbiage, I want next time you to have a big cheesy smile, you're gonna feel like an idiot," do it 'cause you're gonna sound a lot happier when you answer that phone. So we all have to get to the point of realizing, this is practicing.


0:12:02.0 KD: Dentists, do you remember being in dental school, guess what, you practice those darn preps, how many times? You did that box, how many times? How many times did you do a crown prep? I know about a bajillion, 'cause I handed out those teeth to you guys. [chuckle] So many times. So thinking about that, that is what we're looking for, guys, it's just practicing. We all think that we should be perfect at answering the phones, that's not true. You can answer the phone to your friends much differently than you can answer to a potential person that come to your practice. It's completely different. I don't always answer the phone the exact same way that I would when somebody's calling the Dental A-Team, there's a different phone number for a reason, because I'm going to answer it differently, and I need to practice that. A lot of times our words, the words we say or how we say them, create our reality, it's actually not anything else. Women be like, "Oh, Kiera, nobody wants to actually accept treatment," that's actually not true.


0:13:00.6 KD: It might just be the way you're saying it, believe it or not, and if you change it up and said it a little bit differently, I bet you $200. I was gonna do 20 bucks, 200 I'll up my ante, that that person would actually say yes, if you said it differently. But we don't know these things unless we've practiced them, so we have to practice. We have to get better at it. We have to role play. And you have to be comfortable with it. So role-playing, it's gonna be awkward for your first probably like seven times, then after that, it becomes very consistent. Sales people, sales people role play all the time. And you get into "character". People wrote... You guys, I had to practice when I was in theater and drama. Do you know how many times I had to go through that over and over and over again until we got it perfect? It was so many dress rehearsals, so I don't understand why we expect, or why we don't think that we would need to practice this in our dental office? Guess what? It's a new practice, it's a new office, it's a new dentist, it's a different way to say things because we're looking for different results, practice makes permanent. So practice guys.


0:14:07.1 KD: So that's a new spin on role-playing, if you will, a different way to take this. Lots of topics for you guys. And what I suggest you do is I like to have cadences, so maybe it's the first week we're going to practice this type of it, the next one we're gonna do this, the next one we're gonna do this, or if you wanna rotate this on a monthly, go for it. The Dental A Team has 12 systems, guys, we made it pretty simple for you, so feel free on our website or you guys can email us, [email protected]. We have our 12 systems, so you could actually use our 12 systems, they go January, February, March, April, all the way to December. That way you always have a topic and you could throw on role-playing topics on every single one of those, then it's simple, then it's consistent, then every single year you actually get through all those different topics to role play on or practice.


0:14:54.0 KD: Practice makes permanent, guys. Practice is what gives us that amazing experience. I promise you, anywhere you go, anywhere, if they've got a consistent experience, they're practicing. They're practicing often. Because we fall into other habits, we aren't all consistent. It's not one and done, guys, this is a forever journey, and when your team can see that and you guys can all have that, guess what, it then becomes that much easier. And so I encourage each of you to incorporate this on a consistent cadence. Use our 12 systems guys, find ways that you can make it very simple for your team and then practice, practice, practice. Guys, if we can ever help you out, this is something we do really, really, really well, we role-play in practices. We get people to get out of their comfort zones, we help them overcome their hurdles, if you will, so that way they can get better results.


0:15:40.9 KD: If we can help you in any way, please email us, [email protected]. We'd love to help you. You can always just ask. Ask any questions, even if you're like, "Oh, I don't know." Guys, guess what, I'm just Kiera Dent from the block and I'm happy to help you. We customize everything, so we can make things very custom to you and your practice. It's not a one-size-fits-all in the Dental A Team, it's always customized. We'd love to help you out and try it out, guys, let us know your successes, let us know the areas that didn't quite go well. It's okay, say Vietnamese, it's totally fine, we all have them, and the more we can get comfortable in the uncomfortable, the better it will be for all of us, the better our practice will be, the better our patient experience will be, so don't sell yourself short by choosing not to role-play. Alright guys, as always, thank you so much for listening, if you found value in today's podcast, please leave us a review, share it with a friend, I would super appreciate that, and as always, have a fantastic day and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.





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