Monday, 8 February 2021

What is your off switch?


What is your off switch?

Do you use it? 


 During the pandemic, many dentists have been reporting anxiety, loneliness, panic, wanting to leave, or just give up.


I have been working as a therapeutic coach for over 15 years and not surprisingly extremely busy since March 2020.   Through the hundreds of conversations, I have noticed several patterns of behaviour and thought in the people who are struggling.

Responding to the pandemic as a threat with either a freeze, flight or fight response.

Distorting reality using one of the following five disempowering strategies.

Catastrophising – making every mole hill into a mountain. In their self-talk using words like, always, never, every-time.

Me, Me, Me – making everything your fault and your responsibility.

Them, Them, Them Interpretation every situation as the fault or the responsibility of someone else, eliminating any possible control, influence or power for themselves.

Mind reading. Deciding what is or isn’t in the thoughts of someone else without any evidence to support it. invariably, the manifested thoughts are negative, and unsupportive.

Helpless, Hopeless, Worthless. Using internal self-talk that results in the feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness.


And yet many people are surviving and event thriving physically, psychologically, emotionally, even financially, in the pandemic.

I have noticed in conversations with people who are doing well psychologically since March there are patterns in how they are thinking, believing and behaving.

Common patterns of those who are thriving include,

o   Control / influence. – noticing where they have control and influence and where they don’t and focus on where they do.

o   Forward focused and optimistic

o   Physically active

o   Spend time outside.

o   Aware – notice things in their environment, their thoughts, their feelings, changes in others.

o   Have a sense of purpose.

o   Use gratitude, meditation, or prayer.

o   Creative writing or journaling

o   Spend little time looking at a screen.

o   Have a creative hobby.


In the past few week, the importance of having a creative hobby is what has really stood out for me as an important tool for mental well being. I have noticed how few people have either never had or have given up hobbies that don’t rely on a screen. It seems, for many, that hobbies have been squeezed out, given up, cast aside during university, not to be picked up again. Those that have retained their hobbies, re-engaged with them, or found new ones, them tell me how valuable their hobbies are, giving them time to turn off, and recharge. For some they have found lockdown an opportunity to try new skills, maybe out of boredom, to discover pleasure and a sense of achievement.


If you are struggling with boredom, anxiety, insomnia, especially in the dark evenings of lockdown, I would invite you to, turn off the screen, experiment and try a creative hobby. Popular hobbies seem to include;

  • baking,
  • knitting,
  • crocheting,
  • dress making and other needlecrafts,
  • painting, including painting by numbers,
  • card making,
  • playing a musical instrument
  • creative writing and journaling
  • jigsaws

You may think the list of hobbies sounds old fashioned, boring, or uncool, please don’t knock it until you have tried it, they seem to be a very common strategies for those people who are coping well.


What are your hobbies how have they helped you in the pandemic?

If you don’t have a hobby, what interests you and what will you take up?


Please share your thoughts and your pictures.



Stay safe, Stay healthy, Stay happy


We work with aspirational, Dentists who are stressed, having difficulties, want to take their practice to the next level. 

We create a personalised step by step programme so that you can have the career, the practice, the life you have always wanted.

Conventional to exceptional

You have worked hard now reap the rewards.

Become the dentist everyone loves to recommend.



Friday, 4 December 2020

Are your exam fees too low?


Have you set your exam fees too low that you can’t cover your costs?


Over the last couple of months, I have had lots of conversations with associates and principals who are concerned that they have not been covering their costs.

Covid has made the situation very difficult, and in most cases it has served to highlight pre-existing problems.


One of the most common insights clients have had, during our discussions, is that their exam fees are too low.

 Let’s describe a very common scenario.

 Practice  A is a long established, stable practice with a significant proportion of well-maintained patients, who require little treatment beyond examinations and hygiene.  The associates have been told they must achieve an hourly rate of £240 / hour and the exam fee is set at £30, and are scheduled for 20 minutes. The associates are prevented from making any variations to time or costings of examinations. 

Now the maths.

In one hour, 3 exams can be completed generating an hourly rate of £90, with surgery sunnig costs of £240 / hour, thats a loss of £150 per hour: £50 per examination.

In a patient population where each patient attending for an examination  requires treatment, it may possible to recoup the losses by increasing the  treatment fees to cover the £50 loss per exam.

In a well-maintained patient base, where very little treatment is indicated, how do you propose to cover your losses?

 Set the exam fee  correctly, Practice A must have an examination fee of £80 to achieve their hourly rate.

 “My patients won’t pay that!!!” I hear you cry. In my experience , with practices all over the country in wealthy and deprived areas, is yes, they definitely will,  provided everyone in the team knows and communicates the value of the examination. As soon as you focus on value not cost, everything changes.  To achieve this effectively you may wish your team to join us at The Ultimate Examination workshop, or Patient Centred -BEST CHOICES.

Others of you will say, the practice down the road is only charging £25.00 I can't compete. when your only distinguishing feature is cheaper than your competitiors it is a fast race to bankrupcy. 

Do you really want to join in?

If others haven't done thier calculations, and are plucking numbers from the air, going broke through ignorance, or are very cheap because they are cutting corners, do you want to be the same or different?

Be like Stella Artois - Reassuringly expensive


Questions I would like you to answer today.


What is your hourly rate?

What is your exam fee?

How long are your exams?

What hourly rate are you achieving on your exams?

What should your exam fee be?

Where is the value, how do we communicate it?

How are you communicating this information with everyone?

Should I just move on to a membership / maintenance plan that is easier isn't it??

 Great idea.

What long-term impact will it have on your practice if you set up your plan based on the wrong hygiene and exam  fees that prevent you from covering your hourly rate?

I actively encourage you to move on to a payment plan, only after you have set your hourly rates, exam and hygiene fees correctly.


Need help setting fees?


I work with aspirational, Dentists and Practice  Managers who are stressed, having financial difficulties, who want to make their practice profitable.


We create a personalised step by step programme so that you can have the career, the practice, the life you have always wanted.


You have worked hard now reap the rewards.


Become the dentist everyone loves to recommend.



  • Book a  free 30-minute Discovery call and find out  how we can help you and your practice. 07989 757 884 call today


Thursday, 29 October 2020

The quest to save money can be costly


The quest to save money can be costly


I have recently started coaching a dentist in wales who bought their practice 2 years ago.

As they transitioned from an associate to a principal the figures were overwhelming.

Against sound advice, they cut costs as much as possible, refused to invest in a specialist dental accountant, used a high street solicitor and chose not to work with an experienced Dental Business Coach and trainer.


Two years on, he contacted me in a panic, he realised that the in-house capitation plan was flawed, there was significant supervised neglect, he had been paying his associates and hygienists incorrectly and he needed help. The first analysis showed that he had been losing at least 5k a month on how the plan was being operated, at over £120,000 over the last two years. By his own admission, the young principal thinks his losses are probably much larger because he had not been looking at the numbers.


If this dentist had paid for professional advice these errors would have been predicted, prevented, the practice would have been profitable.


Unfortunately, having ignored the situation, what would have been simple has become more complex, because other threads from the practice are intertwined.


By his own admission, the dentist told me that he didn’t know what he was doing, running a practice was much more difficult than he thought and rather than ask for help, he put his head down and worked harder. He told me that his quest to save money was a costly mistake.

Over a couple of coaching calls we have redesigned the membership plan, got the team on board and are looking at the remuneration packages so they are fair and equitable. “The coaching and training I am doing with Jane is the best investment I have ever made, no one should ever become a principal without the support of a business coach. Since working with Jane I have saved myself so much, money, time, and stress. I can now sleep at night. Thank you  Jane for getting me out of my dark hole.”


Transitioning from an associate to a principal is in exciting adventure, where you are in control of your career, the care and treatment you provide. You get to choose your equipment, materials, and team. Being a principal is very different from being and associate and your blind spots can destroy your dream.


There are 4 stages to mastery

1.     Unconscious incompetence (UC-IC) – blind spots you don’t know what you don’t know.

2.     Conscious incompetence(C-IC) You must become aware of what you don’t know. This can be scary admitting that you have knowledge, skills and attitude gaps. Unless you know what the 12-facets of a successful practice are you can’t master them. Conscious incompetence often occurs through a crisis, financial breakdown, staff leaving, patient complaints etc. Alternatively, working with an experienced specialist Dental Business Coach and Trainer, they can supportively and encouragingly shine a light on your blind spots.

3.     Conscious competence (C-C)– with training you learn what to do and how to do it. You will be able to answer questions such as why, what, how, what is. At this stage, your skills are growing require you to consciously think and implement. This stage of learning how to run a successful practice can feel slow and hard work and some get frustrated and disillusioned. It is essential you learn what you need to learn, practice, home and embed your new skills as a practice owner.

4.     Unconscious competence  (UC-C)– Before long you will find what was previously impossible or difficult as effortless. You have built the structure, systems, processes, physical and mental muscle memory. You will have structured your days and your mindset so that success is inevitable. Your coach keeps you on track and enables you to hone your skills.


Before you get complacent and undermine all your great efforts, the next step if to become aware of your residual blind spot(s) and start the process again.


Being principal of a successful practice is not a destination, it is a continuous journey.

Invest your time, and money wisely.


In the words of Benjamin Franklin

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”


If you would like to know more about how we can assist you in making you and your practice more successfulful, saving you time, money and stress e mail

Balance Wheel – Dental Practice


This exercise is about the balance in your practice. For each segment, ask yourself, “How satisfied am I in this area of my practice right now?”   The centre of each segment represents 0 and the outer edge 10 give each segment a number from zero to ten and indicating that by creating a new outer.



0              Failure                                     Ignorant

1              Unacceptable                          Beginner                     

2              Incompetent                            Novices

3              Ineffective                               Apprentice

4              Inadequate                              Probationer

5              Complacent                            Intern

6              Satisfactory                              Experienced

7              Competent                              Practiced

8              Commendable                        Proficient

9              High quality                             Specialist

10           Excellent                                 Master


Notice two distinctions in the questions.

How satisfied am I…” This is a subjective assessment.  It is not about how your family colleagues or friends see you; it is not about success; it is about personal satisfaction.


Also notice right now”.  This wheel is a snapshot.  Scores will change weekly, daily – even hourly as circumstances change.  Do not look for ultimate truth; just check in with how you feel in this moment

Monday, 24 August 2020

Before you start bonding you need to bond

 Before you start bonding you need to bond


Adhesive dentistry and minimally invasive techniques have changed the way we do dentistry.

35 years ago, when I was a dental student the only composite that we had was occlusion, and it really did not look that great, and didn’t bond that well either.

Minimally invasive techniques combined with modern day composites look incredible, they have the potential to be practice builders, little if any drilling, fabulous aesthetics, and function restored in one visit what is there not for your patients to love?

Before you get a chance to do modern day bonding you will need to do old fashioned bonding to build rapport with your patients. Experience shows that until your patients know you, like you, and trust you, they are unlikely to invest their precious time or money with you.

The great news is that old fashioned bonding, or as we call it rapport takes very little time it can be done using a video platform, over the telephone as well as face to face. In the current way of working you can create deep trust and rapport with your patients irrespective of the PPE or social distancing.


Our goal in building patient relationships is rapport, a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well.

When you have this, you will understand your patients and they will understand you. Other benefits of establishing rapport, include less stress, less conflict, fewer complaints, patients experience less discomfort or post op problems, happier patients, treatment is easier to deliver.

Think about it for a moment, If you are in an area where there are people gathered, you intuitively know who gets on and who does not, don’t you? What is it that you are unconsciously aware of to be so accurate? The psychologists have demonstrated that it is a result of how closely with match another person. Those people that get along well, walk in step, are in harmony and see things from the same viewpoint, that is people are really connected and bonded, naturally become an echo or mirror of one another.

Accepted wisdom is that 55% of our communication is through body language, gestures, and posture, 38% is through vocal tonality, volume, rhythm, harmony and 7% the words we use.

If we assume that this is true, what is our most powerful modality of communication?

That is correct, your body language.


It therefore follows, when we decide that we want to establish rapport, we actively choose to do what people who get along do naturally, we become as much like our patients as possible, because people like people like them.

I am going to invite you to match and mirror as closely as possible

1)   Body language including

      i.        Head position

     ii.        Part-body postures

    iii.        Half-body postures

    iv.        Limb position and movement

     v.        Hand position and movement

    vi.        Gestures

  vii.        Facial expressions

 viii.        Eye movements, eye contact, blink rates

   ix.        Habits and ticks

    x.        Energy

   xi.        Breathing, location, rate                                                                                                        

2)   Non-verbal vocal qualities: including

      i.        Speed of speech

     ii.        Volume

    iii.        Timbre

    iv.        Tempo                                                                                                                                                                

3)   Verbal qualities

      i.        Words

     ii.        Verbal syntax

    iii.        Representational systems

    iv.        Meta programmes

What we discover in our workshops that when delegates match one another more closely, they become more engaged, more interested, remember the conversation, feel more connected and listened to. What impact would it have on your patient relationships if your patients felt that way too?

Your patients are unlikely to remember what you do, they are unlikely to remember what you say and they will always remember how you made them feel.


Mirroring has been tested and proved to be effective in lab research and please don’t believe what I say, try it out for yourself, match and mirror people and notice what happens to your connection, depth of communication and trust as a result.

Here are some examples of people matching, do you think it is natural or active, with the intent to build rapport? Does it matter? does the ends justify the means?

Examples of mis matching that breaks rapport and that you can sense that lack of rapport, lack of engagement, lack of trus, and even dislike.


By way of a comparison

Notice the smiles with the matching and the frowns with the mis matching.

What do you want for your patients, team, family and friends?

Let me know what happens when you experiement with bonding techniques.




Thursday, 30 July 2020

4 EASY steps to better

4 EASY steps to better


There are only 4 steps to better. - So much easier than you may thought.

Think for a moment about your personal and professional life, where would you like them to be better?

Are there areas that have been affected by covid and lock down that you would like to restore and make better, maybe even better than they were pre-covid?

The balance wheel below may help you  identify areas in your personal or business life that you would like to make better.







Once you have identified what you what to make better, now for the



Unconscious Incompetence

You don’t know what you don’t know. Ignorance is bliss, or not as the case may be. This is a place that often involves, frustration, disappointment, stress, anger, self-doubt. Now is the perfect time to move on, and make the change, because doing the same as you have always done will only yield the same results.



Conscious Incompetence

This step is essential. You must identify the truth about your current situation, not overdramatise and make it worse than it is, or gloss it up making it seem better, the honest truth about your situation. Unless and until you take this step, you cannot improve those areas that frustrate you, stress you or make you unhappy. This is where the balance wheel above and talking through them with a coach will be really useful. This step of revelation is often associated with mixed emotions, excitement, anticipation, frustration, sadness, notice them and progress to stage 3

 C C

Conscious Competence

This is a stage of learning., developing new skills, discovering new and better ways to achieve what you want. You achieve conscious competence by working with trainers, attending seminars, reading books, working with a coach therapist or mentor, and putting what you learn into practice. Conscious competencies a period of action and reflection Thinking about what your outcomes, designing, implementing strategies, reflection on the results and changing your approach until you see the results.



Unconscious Competence (Better)

With focused thought and practice, new habits become embedded, practice makes permanent, new approaches become part of your muscle memory and you are now achieving what you set out to without thinking about it, better is your new way of being. Until you move the goal posts and start the process again. This quadrant is a time when you feel peace, sense of achievement, seeing results and new and better comfort zone. Just as the seasons must change, we need winter just as much as spring, summer and autumn, so to will you change and you will begin the cycle again so you are in a eternal process of tweaking, constantly learning growing, practicing and feeling fulfilled.


I would love to hear your comments and reflections on this article, how do you feel about the concepts, what do you see and sense from your balance wheels?

If you would like to talk anything through, e mail me to set up a call.

What is coaching?

Jane Lelean

International Business Coach, 
Trainer, Mentor and Speaker

Therapeutic Coach

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

words matter

When someone says

“I’m doing ok it can sometimes be slightly daunting, but I think I’m keeping it together.”
You (and they) may think they are in a good place mentally and not needing any support.

However, I believe, it is a statement that indicate that the person concerned needs support, and does not know how to ask for it or accept it if offered.
As a therapeutic coach, I recognise the words we use are not accidental. The phraseology above indicates that the speaker (or writer) would really value from (needs) a listening ear, professional support, and strategies that are more supportive than the ones they are currently using.

The words you speak or write matter. Your unconscious will select words that accurately convey what is underlying your mental state and blow your cover. Your conscious mind may think that you are covering up well, protecting your vulnerabilities and pride, keep up appearances and deflect the need for support.

An experienced therapeutic coach, therapist, or skilled listener will pay attention to the words and immediately notice the flashing warning lights recognising all is not well. What seems held together on the surface is masking denial and an unacknowledged acceptance that all is not well.

To me the person who wrote this, is not doing well; and here is why.

The use of “OK” does not describe the best version of themselves and indicates they are hanging on by their fingertips, just holding it together.

“Sometimes slightly daunting”, indicates moments of overwhelm, without an approach that makes it manageable.

“I think I am keeping it together”, is a statement of uncertainty, and the writer does not really know how they are doing, and thinks they probably could be in a better state of mind

Listen closely, pay attention to what you and other are saying. Just because others are stressed and struggling at this time, does not give you permission to struggle necessarily. Help is at hand from many sources to support you with fears concerns and worries whether they be tiny, small or big.

Your mind matters.

I have been offering free 1-2-1 therapeutic and business coaching calls throughout lock down and if you would like to speak to a qualified coach for solutions not signposts, please call me on 07989 757 884 or e mail to schedule your complimentary session.