A healthy team is a productive, high-functioning group. It leads to more growth for your practice, more profits made by your practice, and more lives being changed by your practice. In other words, a healthy team is what makes a practice successful. So, what makes a team healthy?
Josey Sewell, the Team Health, Culture, and Leadership coach for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program, loves to use the Lencioni Team Health Pyramid to describe what makes a team healthy in five simple elements.
Trusting in your team and trusting that they have the ability to take care of the practice without you feeling like you need to be there to manage everything is important. But that’s not what vulnerability-based trust means. When we can count on someone to get something done, that’s not trust. That’s predictability.
Vulnerability-based trust means not showing your team your highlight reel but instead showing them the behind-the-scenes operations. It means you take off any mask you’ve put on and just be yourself. You admit when you fail, you ask for help, and you take ownership when you make mistakes. If your team member has an idea that’s better than yours, having vulnerability-based trust means you recognize that and praise them. Your team has to get past the whole “doctor persona” and really understand you as a person. Be open, honest, and—this can’t be stressed enough—vulnerable. In other words, be transparent. This can be emotional transparency or even financial transparency.
Vulnerability-based trust provides the foundation of the entire pyramid. Without it, you can’t achieve the other elements of the pyramid.
A lot of practice leaders shrink away from conflict because it means confrontation and can destroy relationships within a team. Constructive conflict, however, is conflict around ideas rather than confrontation. Conflict around ideas makes ideas better as they are tweaked according to everyone’s opinions.
If you present an idea to your team during your morning huddle, but nobody participates and tries to make the idea better, the idea will never reach its full potential. If people weigh in and try to improve the idea, then the idea will only get better. A healthy team works together. One person doesn’t come up with all the ideas, expecting the team to just go with it with veiled discussions and guarded comments. If the team is healthy, members will all work on an idea together, regardless of who proposed it. They’ll be willing to debate the idea and even disagree with it if they want to.
Once an idea has been agreed upon after some constructive conflict, your team needs to take action and be committed to making the idea productive.
After an open debate of ideas, your team will be more willing to commit to an idea. If you don’t have that constructive conflict, however, and the idea was yours and yours alone, your team won’t feel thrilled about committing to your idea because they had no say in it.
The doctors can be held accountable by the team too. Accountability isn’t strictly from the top down. Everyone has to be accountable to each other, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, if you want your team to be healthy.
“Results” doesn’t necessarily mean profitability, productivity, or collections. One of the best results you can get is having a team that gets up in the morning excited to work with you. When your team members are happy to come to work, they’ll treat your patients with enthusiasm, and they’ll be happy to help you grow your practice.
Does Your Team Have all Five Elements of a Healthy Team?
All of these elements work in harmony with one another to create a healthy team, and a healthy team means a successful practice. How many of these do you have with your team?
If you need help building these five elements into your team, sign up for our Dental Platinum Coaching Program. In there, you’ll have access to leading experts on all parts of running a practice!