Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Are you listening?

Are you listening?

Studies show we forget 50 % of what we hear immediately, 80 % within a day, and 97 % within a week.
“Problems can only be present in the absence of a truth-full conversation.”

Research is informing us that dentists, other dental clinicians and DCPs  are becoming more fearful of mistakes, complaints, and the GDC. The indemnity providers inform us that a complaint is more likely to be the result of a failure in communication skills than as a result of clinical skills. Most fears can be allayed, and problems prevented with effective listening.

People forget what you say
People forget what you do
People always remember how you made them feel.

Great leaders are great listeners.

To be a great listener you will want to use your EARS.

E          Eliminate distractions. Put down your phone, turn away from your computer, give the person you are communicating with your undivided attention. Make your intention, understanding. relationship building and generating fresh ideas.

A          Ape the other person’s body language. Psychologists also call this matching and mirroring. Notice the other person’s physiology and match it. We facilitate listening exercises in several of our workshops and delegates are always amazed how much easier it is to listen well when they adopt the other persons body posture and gestures. Things you can pay attention to include, upper body position, head position, arm and leg posture, breathing, eye positions.

R          Respond only when the other person has finished speaking. Interrupting is the death of listening and understanding.   Suspend your judgement, excitement and interruptions, be patient about sharing your perspective, knowledge and experience, your goal is understanding not to impress. Listen to the whole story, lest you miss the most important thing the speaker has to say. A great tip to avoid interrupting is to position the tip of your tongue so that you imagine that you are balancing an imaginary drop of oil between the tip of your tongue and your incisive papilla.

S          Schedule time to listen. We live in a busy world and conversations often happen on the hoof, in a rushed and unplanned manner. When conversations are quick, reactive and ‘’squeezed in’ trust, understanding, relationships and productivity are the casualties. Prevent misunderstandings, mistakes and misfortune by scheduling and prioritising time for conversations, listening and understanding. You can use morning huddles, end of day debriefs, weekly meetings, monthly RCT (review, celebrations and target setting) quarterly APR (Achievement and planning reviews) and annual visioneering.

What will be the benefits be for you and yours when you become a more skilled listener?

Remember you have two ears and one moth and use them in this ratio.

E = Eliminate distractions
A = Ape body language
R = Respond only when the other person has finished talking
S = Schedule time to listen.

Monday, 28 January 2019

How to make your DREAMS come true

 We are towards the end of January and what has happened to your new year resolutions?

If you are off track, here are six steps to bring you back on course to make your DREAMS come true.

Here is a simple mnemonic to help you

Define – What do you want and why do you want it?
State what you want in the positive, be clear what you and others will see hear, think and feel when you have achieved it. Be clear, very clear about your criteria of success.
Discover what is your motivation for achieving your goal.
Ask yourself,
What are the benefits to you and others when you do achieve it?
What will the suffering be to you and others if you don’t achieve it?

= Reality check
Where are you now? What is the truth of your current situation? What are the potential obstacles to you achieving your goal? To achieve your dream, what do you need to overcome, what are the potential barriers to your success. What must you access in terms of time, money, motivation, collaboration, accountability, coaching, mentoring and training?
You may wish to use our Brilliant Practice Evaluation (BPE) tool

E = Encouragement
To achieve your dream what encouragement do you need? Can you access encouragement you will need from your internal resources, friends, family, coaches, mentors?

A = Accountability
What are your time frames? When are a you going to achieve your dream by, and how are you going to allocate your time to insure it becomes a reality? How are you going to hold yourself accountable for doing what your need to, or who do you need alongside to hold you accountable when things get tough?

= Milestones
What is your big picture overview? What are the small chunks that this must your dream must broken down into make it achievable? What are the milesstones and the step by step process that you will follow to achieve your dream?
How and when are you going to track your progress, so you know when you are on course or off course?

S = Selebration (Celebration)
What are the celebrations that you will build in to mark your progress? When you have achieved your goal and successfully turned your dream into reality how and with whom will you celebrate success?

D= Define
R = Reality check
E = Encouragement
A = Accountability
M = Milestones
S = Selebration (Celebration)

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes 
sweat, determination and hard work."
Colin Powell

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Are you looking for better interview questions?


Recently, I have been approached by several practice owners and practice managers asking if I can suggest some “good” interview questions.  The practice owners and managers tell me similar stories about how they have recruited team members who have performed well in interview and when they join the team it is a very different matter. One principal has told me that they will never recruit another associate because of their experiences. Recruitment processes are supposed to ensure that you filter out the wrong applicants and identify the right ones, so why is this process failing dental practices so often?

A common saying is,
“If you want a better result you must learn how to ask a better question.”

Would you agree that being able to find better members of the team, more quickly, would save you much time, money, and stress? You could get on with the business of delivering dentistry and running your practice. Instead, you could call a halt to endless interviews, new staff inductions, training, never ending expenses and change, and embrace the feeling of certainty recuriting the ideal team member first time.

Experience shows, it is not the questions that are being asked that are failing dentists and practice mangers; it is that you have not been taught how to listen to the applicant’s unconscious drivers, which tell you way more the conscious answer to the question. Just as every individual has a unique fingerprint, they also have a unique personal behaviour profile that is always identifiable through their language patterns. We call this their language and behaviour profile. What difference would it make to you, if you could identify and decode your applicant’s language and behaviour patterns?

Recruiting the right team member is less about the questions you ask; it is much more about listening to the answers that are provided. I invite you to consider an interview selection process as a game of snap. You have, in your ‘hand’, the desired criteria and ARSE* that you are looking for in your perfect new team member. They have in their hand their unique language and behaviour profile. When the applicant’s unconscious answers reveal a match between your criteria and their language and behaviour profile, BOOM you have found the right person.

For example, are you looking for your new recruit to your team to be more comfortable:
a)     Working alone, undisturbed and are responsible for setting their own tasks and priorities? – Independent worker
b)    In control and like to work with others around with defined roles? Proximity worker
c)     As part of a team, shared responsibility, able to discuss and considers situations from another’s perspective, yet will prefer not to do tasks alone. Collaborative worker
d)    A mixture

The following questions will give you the information you are looking for when you know what to listen for

·      Tell me about a situation at work where something made you unhappy/violated a criterion you require. What didn’t you like about it?

·      Tell me about a situation at work when something made you happy/honoured a criterion you are looking for. What did you like about it?

·      Tell me about something new that you introduced at work.

Listen carefully for the pronouns, adverbs frequency and order they are used and what is not said.

Independent workers will tend to use I, me, my, alone no mention of others
E.g. I introduced a membership plan into the practice.

Proximity workers will use I, and suggest the presence of others, group, they
E.g. I designed the membership plan, trained the team, and they discussed it with patients.

Collaborative worker will say, we us, our, together, will make the presence of others explicit.
E.g. We decided that we should have a membership plan, we discussed it, decided on what each of us needed to do, together we designed it and then offered it to our patients.

 “If you want a better result you must learn how to listen for a better answer.”

Once you have mastered decoding language and behaviour patterns in interviews where else would you use it?

To recap

Define your team member by their ARSE* and criteria
Craft questions that will identify a match or mismatch
Listen carefully to the answers

If you would like to know more about how to recruit the perfect team member or how to integrate language and behaviour profiles into your practice call me on 07989 757 994 to discuss how to do this or e mail Jane@IODB.co.uk


A = Attitudes
R= Results and resources
S= Skills
E = Education and experience