Empowering Dental Teams: How To Inspire & Develop Leadership In Your Practice

By: Dawn Patrick

In today’s shrinking workforce, many practice owners either struggle with high team turnover or haven’t recovered from practicing in a post-COVID world where many dental professionals did not return to the field.

Practice owners and managers often ask themselves how to build a cohesive, long-term team of leaders. 

Team members need to feel a sense of ownership and engagement. As a dental practice owner, you have the power to shape the culture of your practice and inspire your team to be leaders.

7 Tips to Inspire & Develop Leadership in Your Dental Practice

Foster a leadership culture within your practices by following these tips:

  1. Lead by Example
  2. Empower Your Team
  3. Set Clear Goals & Expectations
  4. Encourage Ongoing Education
  5. Foster Open Communication
  6. Create a Sense of Community
  7. Celebrate Your Wins

1. Lead by Example

One of the most important things you can do is to model the behavior you want to see in your team members.

Be passionate, hardworking, and dedicated to providing excellent care, and your team will follow your lead.

Be the type of leader you would want to follow. 

Related Reading: How to Lead an Old Team as a New Dentist

2. Empower Your Team

Give your team the freedom to make decisions and the grace to learn from mistakes.

Allow your team to take ownership of their work, and they will feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments and will be more motivated to go above and beyond. 

3. Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Communicating your expectations and goals is essential for motivating your team to be leaders.

When your team understands what you want to achieve, they will be more likely to work towards those objectives.

Create a roadmap for success with clear performance metrics and targets. 

Related Reading: How to Build Your Reputation as a New Dentist

4. Encourage Ongoing Education

Encourage your team to pursue ongoing education and professional development opportunities.

Invest in education for your team and show them that you care about their growth and development as professionals. 

5. Foster Open Communication

Encouraging open communication fosters trust and allows for greater collaboration, enhanced teamwork, and a sense of belonging.

Encourage your team to ask questions, voice concerns, and share their ideas. By doing this, you reinforce the idea that each team member has the opportunity to lead.

6. Create a Sense of Community

Foster a sense of community with your team and encourage them to build relationships outside of work.

Find ways to facilitate bonding with team members, including:

  • Team-building events
  • Community service projects
  • Social outings

When team members experience each other’s personality outside of work, it fosters a sense of trust and better communication. 

7. Celebrate Your Wins

Celebrate your team’s successes and accomplishments, big and small.

Celebrating successes enhances team morale and fosters positivity among team members.

It’s a great way to acknowledge team members who demonstrate leadership and encourage others to become leaders. 

Up Next: Providing Value to Your Patients

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Dawn Patrick

Dawn Patrick

Dawn has 30+ years of dental experience spanning all facets of dentistry including pediatric, cosmetic, complete health, and sleep. During her career, Dawn enjoyed 25 years in practice management including marketing, team training, and consulting. She joined IgniteDDS in June 2022 as Director of Operations. Dawn enjoys working directly with teams and customers to create a win-win. She is passionate about creating systems and processes that allow teams to excel. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys time with family, her two Goldendoodles, and traveling with her husband, Jon.