Thursday, 24 February 2022

Whose Job Is It, Anyway? (and Swiss cheese)


This week I have been working with a client who has high and exacting standards. They boldly put excellence on their website and marketing materials as one of their values.


However, under the surface, in some areas, there is little in common between their values and what happens in practice.

Standards are slipping, the team is beginning so signs of a high turnover of staff, management structure is resorting to a dictatorial approach, and the is a creeping feeling of despondency.

Some of the team are superb, great communicators, going above and beyond, always anticipating, planning, looking to make things better for everyone else not least the patients. Others are very different.


As I spend time in the practice listening, I was reminded of this little story


“Whose Job Is It, Anyway?”

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry, because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, and Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


Does this sound familiar, do you notice any similarities to your place of work?

 Remember, a problem can only be present in absence of a truth-full conversation.


I invited the practice to define the journey their patients through the practice. Each step of the way clarifying, leaving no element of guesswork, who is responsible for each function and who is the back up?

We also discussed the Swiss cheese model of risk management.

A receptionist told us how they had had an angry patient call, incensed that a dentist had not returned the requested call.

When we unpacked the events, we realised that the dentist had tried to call and the number on the computer was incorrect. It transpired that the patient had been in several times and the number had not been updated.

The team recognised they needed to add more layers of cheese to stop the hazard. These included.

  • Very clear and specific request for patients to check their personal details and medical history, rather than a casual “can you check this.” The reception team amend the details.
  • The clinician asks the patient to confirm their personal details.
  • The nurse is at the computer updating as the clinician is speaking with the patient, confidently asking for clarification where needed.
  • When telephone calls come in the receptionist, confirms the number they want to be called back on.

This may seem like duplication, and we all have experienced busy practices and things being missed without malintent.  Multiple layers of systems and processes prevent the hazards getting through.

Where in your practice would these concepts be useful?

Thursday, 6 January 2022

We can’t change events, together we can change your response.


The words that many of our callers are using are include

  • Angry
  • Worried
  • Scared
  • Bullied
  • Confused
  • Alone
  • Overwhelmed
  • Can’t cope
  • Afraid



What words are you using?


Therapeutic coaching can help you change your response to your situation, so you feel stronger and in control.


We can’t change events, together we can change your response.


Visit use the BOOK NOW button and make your appointment selection from


  • Speak with Jane - discover the services she offers
  • Free Call Friday
  • Bespoke Therapeutic coaching
  • Coaching in a Crisis
  • Taster Coaching Session
  • Discovery Call
  • Strategy Development
  • Success springboard coaching session
  • Bespoke Business Coaching
  • Bespoke personal Coaching
  • Career and Transition Coaching
  • Career and Transition Coaching - Taster
  • Discover Hypnodontics

Some of these sessions we offer pro-bono others are chargeable services.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Less detail, more clarity


I have had an interesting week with coaching clients and as often happens there is a pattern in the client calls.

This week I had several clients who had been unsuccessful in finding solutions to problems, on their own, even though they had been trying hard, often, for months.


What I noticed was that the common strategy, that was failing, was they had been zoning in closer and closer getting in to more and more detail. This is a strategy that we as scientists are taught from a young age, to look down the microscope at ever increasing magnification.

Whilst in many instances magnification and detail provides the answers you need, it does not work all of the time.


If what you are doing is not delivering the outcomes you want, you have to use a different approach.


During the coaching sessions, I asked questions that enabled my clients to step back, to see the situation in a larger context. Curiously, when they had less detail and the bigger picture they found their answers.




Where would it be useful that you took a step back and saw things in the broader context so that you could grasp your solutions?


If you would like to experience how coaching enables you to find the answers you are looking for

visit use the BOOK NOW button and select the appointment of your choice from the drop down list.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Better questions mean. . . .


If you want a better outcome you need to ask better questions.

Many of us get stuck in a problem and cannot find a way out. Often this is because we are asking ourselves and our team problem orientated questions that keep us stuck in the past events.


If you want to move on into a brighter future that grasps your passion learn to ask future oriented outcome orientated questions

Examples of problem questions are;

  • What is your problem?
  • How long have you had it for?
  • Whose fault is it?
  • Who / what is to blame?
  • What is the worst / most recent example of this problem?
  • Why haven’t you solved it yet?


Examples of outcome questions are;

  • What do you want?
  • How will you know when you have achieved it?
  • What else will improve when you get it?
  • What resources do you already have which can help you reach your outcome?
  • What is something similar which you achieved the result you wanted?
  • What is your next step?

Next time you are in practice meeting and a problem needs solving, ask outcome orientated questions of the team. Notice what changes and the amazing things are possible as a result.


If you would like to know more about how I support dental practices in solving problems and resolving conflict, book a Speak With Jane call.

Visit use the BOOK NOW button and choose Speak With Jane from the drop down list.


I look forward to speaking with your soon.

In the meantime play with outcome questions and let us know your results.

07989 757 884

Tuesday, 2 November 2021


Stop choosing confusion


Do you have a decision that you are finding difficult to make?


Examples of decisions dentists find difficult to make,

  • *  Reprimanding or dismissing a staff member
  • *  Leaving a toxic practice
  • *  Attending non-clinical training over clinical training
  • *  Focusing on private over NHS

I have worked with many dentists who bring to the coaching call decisions that they are finding difficult to make, they want the certainty they are making the right decision.


They have done the research, collected facts and figures, canvassed opinions, discussed options in many meetings and yet still are unable to make the decision they know they must make.

In every case the dentist instinctively knows the decision and action they must make, yet they procrastinate, and choosing confusion rather than clarity.

Once the decision has been made everyone reports how much lighter they feel and how much clearer their head is. Decision making is liberating.

 Rather than making things easier, avoiding making decisions creates burdens, people carry around baggage of unmade decisions which weigh you down until they become over-bearing and you crack.

When you do make difficult decisions you grow as a leader, your team respects you more, not least because they are desperate for you to take the difficult decision, more often than not, they agree with your instinctive, unspoken, unmade decision.

Tips to make decision making easier

  • *  Define your vision and culture, evaluate your options through the lens of your values and culture.
  • *  Work with a trusted coach who gives you time to time and keeps your thinking focused as you bounce ideas.
  • *  Acknowledge you are making the best decision you can right now.
  • *  Practice making decisions
  • *  Follow up a decision with an irreversible action.

Reasons why people, like you, avoid making decisions and choose to be confused.

  • *  People pleasing. You are never going to please 100% of people 100% of the time, and you do need to make decisions for the benefit of the practice, team, patients. and yourself.
  • *  Worried what stranger will say. Other people’s ,especially stranger’s, opinions don’t matter. Those who are close to you love and respect you will support you when you make tough decisions.
  • *  Fear of making the wrong decision. Acknowledge you are making the best decision that you can right now with the information you have available. Situations may change and with hindsight there may have been other options, that at the time aren’t available now. You may handle the conversation less than perfectly, you can learn and move on.

Not making a decision is actually making a decision; the question is does this serve you or sabotage you?

Make your decisions conscious and make ones that serve you

Make decisions frequently, collect only enough data and trust your instinct.

  • *  If you think a staff member needs remanding or dismissing, do it, lawfully
  • *  If you think you need to leave toxic practice, leave, find, or create a healthy one.
  • *  If you think you need to develop the non-clinical skill of dentistry, join a course
  • *  If you want to focus on private over NHS, up-skill your communication, customer service and clinical skills and do it

What is the decision that you have been putting off and must make?

What decision can you take before the end of the day?


If you would like to discuss anything that has been raised in this article, please contact Jane

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Coaching, 1,2,3



These are the stages of coaching expect to see them in each session and throughout your coaching programme


Awareness                   Discover more about yourself, your strengths, beliefs, identity, where you want to go and why. Gain clarity on your goals, culture, mission, and purpose.

Growth                        Implement of new insights, understandings, and approaches, you can develop personally and professionally to reach your goals and dreams.

Reflection                     Consolidation and integration of the growth phase enables you to evaluate your progress, plan your future steps, ensuring that you make time to celebrate and plan your next steps.

If you would like to start creating awareness, use our practice and personal balance wheels.




Balance Wheels

This exercise is about the balance in your life and practice. For each segment, ask yourself, “How satisfied am I in this area of my life 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 edge as shown in the Example below


Examples the range of evaluations you may choose to use.


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 or colleagues or neighbours 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.

Dental Practice  Balance Wheel

Life Balance Wheel


  • If the new perimeter of the circles represents your experience, how accurate is the representation?

  •  How bumpy is the ride?

  • Where would you like to start?


At the institute of dental business we know you want to be a successful dentist.

In order to do that you need a personalised step by step plan. The problem is you are too busy which makes you feel overwhelmed.


We believe you have worked hard and deserve to reap the rewards.


I understand the challenges you are experiencing, as a dentist I have been there too, and over the last 15 years we have worked with hundreds of dentists world-wide, supporting them in improving their practices and career.


Here is how we do it


Let’s talk. Tell me what your challenges are, and we’ll work out a clear plan 

to make dentistry work for you.


   Get the support you need to overcome your challenges. We’ll get to the core 

of the issues so together we can resolve them.


        Enjoy dentistry again, feeling back in control, with a clear vision and confidence

for your future.


So, book a call with Jane, use the BOOK NOW Button at

In the meantime, you can  create more awareness by evaluating your practice using our Brilliant Practice Evaluation (BPE) tool


Now you can stop stressing and instead become the dentist everyone loves to recommend.


Thursday, 16 September 2021


I have recently had several conversations with dentists worried about their clinical notes some of them are staying many hours after surgery to write their notes, causing mental stress and anguish not to mention the damage it causes to family relationships and physical heath.

Your notes need to be CLEAR
C = Contemporaneous
L = Legible
E =Easy to understand
A = Accurate
R = Respectful

This means occurring at the same time. For many young dentists this they find the most difficult because of time pressures. It is essential that your notes are written at the same time as the patient’s appointment, not at the end of the day. For an unbreakable habit that your next patient is not brought in until you have fully written the notes.
Using templates can be useful and they must be edited for each patient
Your nurse is also vital. Spend time with them designing your consultations, what you want them to writ, as you are speaking with the patient.
Don’t rely on your memory. If it is easier to use an ipad or pen and paper to record notes, as you are sitting along side your patient, please do. Never turn you back to a patient or sit at a computer terminal behind them, our research show that your patient will divulge less information when you do.
If you feel you don’t have enough time in your consultations do some self-reflection, get a mentor / coach to come and spend time with you in the surgery, together come up with new solutions and never compromise your standards.

This is easier now most of us use computers. Remember to write in English if you are practicing in UK and not an overseas native tongue.

Easy to understand,
At some point someone else may read your notes and they need to make sense.
Whilst you don’t need to use full sentences and paragraphs, they do need to make sense.
If you are using abbreviations, make sure they are commonly used, and you have a glossary of meanings to refer to.

It goes without saying that your notes need to be a true reflection of a clinical situation, or conversation. Whilst it is not encouraged for clinicians to record consultations, remember your patients probably are.
A picture paints a thousand words, so although hey use a lot of computer memory, photos are a really useful adjunct to your notes.
Spending time training your nurse, so you have shared understanding about what should be recorded is essential. Your nurse can be recording conversations in the notes, making notes of exact phases used.

Because someone else may read your notes in the future, please use respectful language. Your patient, may have used foul language, been a bully, or a racist record that accurately and never use defamatory language in your notes, keep them fact based free of emotive opinion or insult.
If you would like to discuss anything about CLEAR note taking, you can book a FREE CALL FRIDAY or TASTER coaching session at