Raise Your Team’s Self-Esteem

Roger P. Levin, DDS



Read on for the expert advice of Roger P. Levin, DDS, which details four simple things you can do consistently to raise your team’s self-esteem.

In a book called Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End, written many years ago by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the former editor of the Harvard Business Review, she talked about how organizations made up of confident people perform better. The message is simple. If your team has more confidence, your practice will perform at a higher level.

Understanding this concept intellectually is the easy part. The harder part is consistently increasing your team’s individual and collective self-esteem. Here are four ways to do that.

  1. Compliment every team member, every day.

People respond to positivity, mainly because negativity is so much more abundant and available. Positive feedback stands out. Dr. Michael Ray, a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, points out in one of his many behavioral science studies that people tend to have four negative thoughts for every one positive thought.

A compliment is a positive thought, and it gets right through to the recipient. It feels good to hear. Compliments that are delivered on a consistent basis, day after day, create a synergy and make people feel better about themselves.

  1. Let team members know you appreciate them.

All too often we appreciate our team, but don’t show it or verbalize it. As I have often mentioned in live seminars and webinars, “If you want someone to know something, you have to tell them.”

Go out of your way to find reasons to tell team members how much you appreciate them. And don’t overestimate the power of little things. It can be as simple as a front desk person taking the time to update a doctor or clinical team member on a situation, patient or phone call.

When that happens, let the front desk person know that you appreciate their effort. You may think this is a natural part of the job and ignore it, but it’s really an opportunity to demonstrate appreciation.

  1. Celebrate big and small wins.

Some practices don’t celebrate anything. Others celebrate only the big wins (like hitting a production goal) by giving a bonus or taking the team out to dinner or even on a trip. But the real opportunity to build self-esteem lies in the day-to-day small wins.

A patient who accepts treatment.

Receiving a long overdue payment from a patient.

Filling in a last-minute cancellation with another patient.

These are the small wins that are often overlooked, or worse, taken for granted.

Celebrate the small wins, and make sure the recipient know it’s a win. Buy lunch, bring donuts, deliver flowers, have a champagne toast at the end of the day, or let someone go home an hour early. There are 100 ways to celebrate big and small wins so ask yourself every day, “Was there anything to celebrate today?” Don’t celebrate every day, as you risk the celebrations becoming routine or unimportant.

But you should periodically celebrate the big and small wins.

  1. Say “Thank You”

Thanking people is a form of appreciation, but it is also a form of recognition. Taking the time to personally thank people for doing a great job will raise self-esteem of one team member and eventually all team members.

Don’t forget to thank the person who always does a good job, even though it’s expected. Go out of your way to thank the person who did something well for the first or second time and display gratitude. The more you say thank you and show gratitude, the more self-esteem you will build.

Could it really be that easy? Just do these four things on a consistent basis and team self-esteem will rise, confidence will grow, and everyone will perform at a higher level? It is. The easy part is understanding it. The hard part is doing it. Good luck!


Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.

To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com.

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