Ask anyone how they feel about honesty and integrity, and they would agree that both are important attributes to have. Almost everyone would also claim that they possess both of these traits. However, in this new era of business and leadership, we are seeing honesty and integrity break down every day.
Simply scroll the latest online news feed or watch the evening news. America’s top companies, executives, and politicians are being investigated, indicted, and fined at unprecedented rates. It’s a stark reminder that honesty and integrity are still crucial to success, and it’s critical for dentists to uphold these values within their practices. Practice leaders are constantly being observed by their staff. If your staff takes notice of conduct that’s lacking in values, it can lead to undesirable attitudes, actions, and behaviors.
Imagine an office where the dentist touts personal and professional growth, but when it comes to bringing in software trainers, decides it is way too expensive. Or picture a dentist who holds the team accountable for the highest levels of customer service, but constantly belittles patients or talks badly about them.
In my more than 30 years of working with dental practices, I’ve seen both of these types of leadership breakdowns. Both scenarios always result in a team that lacks trust and commitment to both the dentist and the practice. Want to create a culture of integrity and honesty that helps build a successful practice? Follow these three tips:
- Be transparent: Leaders have to be willing to reveal certain things about themselves. Part of that revelation is what they stand for. Dentists should go out of their way to share their purpose, mission, and values with the dental team. This doesn’t have to be a three-day retreat. They just have to be honest about what they stand for and how they want their patients to be treated.
- Do what you say you’re going to do: If you tell your team you want outstanding customer service, live it. If you’re committed to team development, invest in training.
- Be consistent: If a leader makes a claim one day, violates it the next, and restates it the third day, people begin to feel like the leader lacks integrity, and they lose trust.
By displaying traits of honesty and integrity, doing what you say you’re going to do, and talking to your team about your values on a regular basis, you can have a happy team and an amazing practice.
Dr. Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and CEO of Levin Group Inc, a leading dental management and marketing consulting firm. To learn more about the company’s training and consulting services, visit levingroup.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.