Leadership sometimes sounds more complicated than it needs to be, with the proverbial thought that you need to be constantly vocal and demanding to be successful at it. Truth be told, leadership is best exemplified in simplicity. When you examine leadership skills, you realize that it’s how you implement your leadership style and relate to other people that make the difference, whether you’re a vocal leader or let your actions speak for you. 

That last part is key as staff members are more likely to take advice and suggestions from you when they know your words and actions match up. You have to be willing to inspire your staff constantly to perform at their best while also being the model of consistency that everyone around you emulates. Recognizing these elements builds confidence in leaders and inspires more diversity at the top of the dental profession, including more women in the workforce transitioning to dental leadership roles. When you break down the core elements of dental leadership, you realize that it doesn’t take much to learn how to become a strong leader. 

Setting the Example and Being Conscious 

Dental leaders should always be conscious of their leadership style

As the dental practice leader, you must be the source of reinforcement and guidance employees are always willing to follow. You have to set a winning example that people see value in and emulate in their actions on the job. Anytime the leader fails to set the right tone or practice what they preach, people will immediately lose faith in that leader. The last thing that a dental leader can afford is to show is a lack of commitment. Otherwise, any new project or initiative a leader introduces will lose interest and fail to get off the ground because they don’t show full confidence in the project; why should their staff? 

Dental leaders must be on top of daily processes, including clinical care applications and patient communications, understanding the best work practices while knowing how to best cater to unique patient needs. You won’t always handle things perfectly as the concept of perfect leadership doesn’t exist. However, showing a constant willingness to take the initiative and lead from the front generates the best reactions from staff members. 

Additionally, as a leader, showing conscious awareness is another winning attribute that helps you to better identify your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding those strengths and weaknesses requires handling different points of view from your staff, learning the things you’re doing right, as well as what you can do to optimize your leadership approach. Learning how your leadership style affects your practice provides valuable insights translating to better staff relations and patient care. Never assume what staff and/or patient wants. Find out what your staff and patients want and what they’re comfortable with, then react accordingly. 

Being a Compassionate Leader Who Encourages Collaboration

Dental leadership should always be centered around collaboration

Close to 80% of employees will leave their jobs if they don’t feel appreciated enough by leadership. Employees need to feel valued. From the hygienists and assistants who regularly work with patients, to administrative staff taking calls and confirming appointments—they all deserve recognition. When people are changing jobs at an unprecedented pace, compassionate leadership is an important trait to have to improve job retention at your dental practice. 

Compassion motivates your team through connection. Dental leaders need to encourage strong team chemistry by enhancing relationship-building skills throughout the practice. While you don’t always have to be vocal in your leadership, you need your staff to constantly communicate. As a leader, it’s important to understand employees’ strengths and weaknesses to develop greater cohesion. Improved relationship-building fosters a more positive, inclusive work environment. A healthy work environment encourages collaboration. Dental teams feel more comfortable suggesting ideas that increase productivity in the business. 

Compassionate dental leaders also don’t micromanage their employees. Rather, they help guide their employees through the critical thinking process, consistently encouraging collaboration and putting people first. Compassionate leaders show empathy. This doesn’t mean they always agree with their staff. Instead,  it means they make an effort to understand the points of view of employees. Whether dental staffers have had bad patient experiences or are simply having bad days on the job, compassion is the health approach. Dental leaders should provide an open space for workers to voice their concerns without fearing any backlash. 

Celebrating Wins on the Job 

Boosting team morale improves the work culture and develops a happier environment where people are valued for their achievements. Every employee should be celebrated for their contributions. Regardless of how big or small these contributions are, they still help lead to a more productive work environment. Few things make employees feel more valued than encouraging feedback. Once dental staff knows they are providing something of value, they will feel more motivated at work.

Boosting employees’ self-esteem encourages them to achieve more and move up the proverbial ladder in their dental practice. Not all feedback needs to be positive, however, as long as it’s constructive. Constructive criticism encourages staff to do better and refine their approaches towards their roles to deliver better job performances.

Courageous Dental Leadership Inspires Change 

A leader who isn’t afraid to take risks wins respect and admiration from their peers. Authenticity helps staffers to understand your daily objectives while nurturing confidence in your team.

Dental leaders must recognize that things and times constantly change in dentistry. Dental leaders should communicate the ‘why’ behind their initiatives. Such an act can lead to changing initiatives, giving everyone a true purpose towards achieving the common goal. Leaders should communicate how the purpose benefits employees and leadership alike, leading to a more motivated workforce. 

TempStars will help you assemble the right team to lead as you take your practice to unprecedented heights. Sign up today and learn more about our wealth of dental temping services.