Archive for Work/Life/Balance Tips for Dentists and Healthcare Professionals
Early on in my practice, I found myself being the first one into the office and the last one out. All the employees were waving goodbye to go home and I was “stuck” in my office for a couple more hours – dealing with piles of charts to review, return calls to make, prescriptions to call in, unmounted casts sitting on my desk…it felt never-ending.
First thing in the morning, they’d line up asking me to “fix” this and that. I was going nuts. I felt like I was on a gerbil wheel. Near exhaustion, I realized that I was ENABLING my team members to be DEPENDENT on me and I was not encouraging them to do things for themselves or to think on their own.
- They didn’t have to be accountable for their actions.
- They didn’t have to take initiative.
- They didn’t have to think on their own.
- They didn’t have to worry about being wrong or taking risks.
- Hell, they just asked me what to do and I told them!
- BIG mistake!
To resolve this situation, I learned I needed to EMPOWER them
I had to learn to invite and train them to take the lead on decisions that directly impacted them, to assume responsibility to share suggestions and ideas about their work and how we can distribute the load. I needed to give them permission to think, behave, take action, to control their work and environment, and to do it autonomously. They needed to think on their own and not come to me for every “nit-picky” thing.
It took a lot of time and training…for me as well as them. However, when I made this commitment, my life changed. I delegated everything I could, explained expectations better with measurables, got home to my family for dinner, our practice grew, and the doctor was a much happier camper!
What can you empower, or train your dental team to do today? Please share your successes with me here, or on facebook.
Nope, you’ve got me wrong!
Just because I’m a guy, you are probably presuming I’m thinking about this…
Not so! I’m talking about the comments made to me by my cardiologist at my recent annual post-stress test visit last month. In 1988, I had a heart attack that should have killed me and yet, 26 years later, I am still here. Truly a gift from GOD! As part of that gift, I have learned the value of tracking my NUMBERS.
These numbers are very different from what you see in the photos. They are HEALTH NUMBERS. Regarding my health, they have to do with the numbers related to my blood serology, stress test results and my weight (OK, I guess you can throw in 1-10 as it relates to my good looks index).
I have discovered the world is full of “opinions,” “advice,” and “profundities”…however, the numbers tell the tale and the TRUTH! Here are some rather compelling NUMBERS as per my cardiologist’s report and discussion. I have compared my last year with this current year (worth your evaluation):
|Weight||200 lbs. (too damn fat!)||175 lbs.
|Height||5’8.5″||5’8.5″ (still short!)|
|Heart Rate||72 bpm||72 bpm|
|BMI Calculated||30 kg/m2 (too damn high…morbidly obese)||26 kg/m2
(Normal range <200)
|199 mg/dL (too high)||158 mg/dL
(Normal range >39)
|51 mg/dL (too high)||49 mg/dL
(Normal range <130)
(Normal range <150)
|182 mg/dL (way too high)||132 mg/dL
|Time on treadmill||11.5 minutes||12 minutes
Let’s cut this medical verbose crap! At nearly 68 this is Great news! This is Kick-ASS! While no guarantees I will be here tomorrow, it is encouraging that I can remain in-service to my family and YOU for the foreseeable future. Even my “pudgy” prior weight can’t camouflage the real NUMBERS…numbers don’t BS.
- My pudgy weight is down 12.5%!
- My height remains the same – thank GOD I did not shrink this year! But I think my ears have grown bigger.
- My BMI (Body Mass Index) is down 13.4%!
- My Cholesterol is down 21%!
- My Triglycerides are down 27.5%!
- I lasted longer on the treadmill.
- I “retired” and donated to Salvation Army 32 pairs of pants, 27 EXTRA large shirts, a dozen 40 inch belts, two bags of sweaters, T-Shirts, FAT-man pants & sweatshirts.
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has lost 26 pounds in 66 days!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has reduced his belt size from 40 to 35! Awh, if I suck it in…a 34!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has now found himself fitting into T-shirts he purchased 9 years ago!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has gone from a 38 inch pant to a 34 ‘ish. 4 inches is HUGE…shhhhh!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has gone from a 48 plus sports jacket to a 42 and I can button it!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron has gone from never playing a piano to playing like Billy Joel!
- Fat-man Dr. Ron is more attractive to his Bride. (I never asked her to say this.)
- Fat-man Dr. Ron receives compliments from his kids that he is not so “pudgy”.
- Fat-man Dr. Ron feels better about himself.
- Fat-man Dr. Ron will probably live longer and enjoy his family and the love in his life!
If you know of someone who would benefit from learning their numbers, please feel free to forward this along to them.
Sweetness and I have two adult daughters: my “favorite youngest”, Brianne, soon to be thirty and my “favorite oldest”, Ashley, who recently turned 32. When they were little “cherubs,” their Kindergarten Mom (that’s my Sweetness) for Easter would create a beautiful basket full of peeps, chocolate bunny’s, marshmallow eggs, and small toys, along with assorted candies and gifts. She would hide the baskets in some obtuse place and then attach multi-colored yarn to the handle and then run the yarn all over the house. She would rope me into the project and we would course this yarn under beds, in and out of the fireplace, through chairs, tiny little places where they would have to crawl through or under to follow the trail of the yarn.
They would start with the end of the twine attached to goofy bunny ears. They’d put on the ears and follow the yarn backwards until they discovered their personalized basket – ALWAYS to their joy and glee! If we had nieces and nephews with us, they too would participate and with the same outcome…lots of fun and laughter.Well, much to our surprise, Ashley asked her Mom if she would reinstate the Easter basket hunt as both girls, their husbands, and a niece and nephew from out of town were going to be celebrating the Easter weekend at our home. Even though retired, the Kindergarten teacher in Trish kicked in and she put together the most creative Easter bunny baskets. She and I had a ball running the yarn throughout the entire house…just like when the girls were our little “cherubs.” When the kids came into the house, the fun began as we watched, encouraged, gave clues, and harassed them as they followed the tortuous trails of the yarn until they found their prize.
And on Easter morning, we even had a full-blown Easter egg hunt in the backyard. Go figure that thirty-something adults would have so much fun “scampering” around the yard looking for hidden eggs!
Just when you think traditions are dead or the fun things when we were kids might seem to get lost over the years, we discover You Can Never Be Too Old to Be Young! If you want to see a short collage of the yarn-induced scavenger hunt, click on the photo and laugh.
Right after the Christmas Holiday, Trish and I took down all the decorations and the tree and stored all the Santa ‘stuff’. In the process, we decided we wanted to add some “pizzazz” to the house and start the New Year off with some positive energy. Friends and family suggested we get rid of a lot of stuff and go out and buy new stuff. What we knew was that we had been happy and comfortable with our ‘current stuff’, yet, we wanted to “turbo charge” a new look with what we currently had throughout the house.
We decided to shake up the look of several of our rooms by shopping our own home. Our friend’s first thought was what we would buy. Probably true in some instances, yet, we felt it would be more satisfying, both for our psyche and our bank account, to scour the house for pieces of furniture and knick-knack’s that may be the perfect solution to an energized living environment. We discovered that swapping just one piece of furniture for another or moving a rug from one room to another, had the ability to give the room just enough of a shake up that it could feel fresh and new without necessitating a full-fledged makeover.
Also known as “use what you have” decorating, shopping our house entailed searching our own home for forgotten treasures and looking at what we already use with fresh eyes. We did a walk through of the house, looking in every nook and cranny for forgotten items. We then took photographs of everything so we could determine what would work where. We decided we would remove, not just add items…particularly those pieces of furniture, rugs or items that just didn’t seem to fit any longer.
The end result – the house looks delightfully different – it cost us nothing other than our creativity and labor (it did take a lot of physical moving of stuff) and we were already comfortable with the ‘stuff’ we had accumulated over the years and it served us well. You may want to try this yourself…the results just might surprise you like it did us. We have a new home with relatively no effort and expense!
Two weeks ago my wife, Trish, with the support of my event concierge, Brianne Mackall, hosted my twelfth Annual Dr. Ron’s Client Appreciation Extravaganza with a Cleveland Rock-n-Roll theme. The only way to describe the event…INDESCRIBABLE!
Having been “around the block” since 1973 (40 years since graduating dental school), there is nothing in the dental coaching world that can mimic this experience!
The fun, the “comfortableness,” the new friendships, the renewing of old friendships, the laughter, the OMG’s, and the personal connections with talented and remarkable human beings was simply beyond words. There was no “one-upsmanship,” no “cooler-than-you,” no “my practice is bigger than yours,” and certainly no “look-at-me.” My clients reminded me that there are two types of people – those who come into a room and say ‘Well, here I am!‘ and those who come in and say ‘Ah, there you are.'” What I heard them say as they connected with one another was “I’m glad you are here.”
This event was unique, distinctive, and meaningful.
To my client of twelve years who pulled me to the side and said: “This event, the camaraderie, the love, and the connection didn’t happen by accident…it has been the culmination of forty years of attention to detail and a whole lotta’ love.” To that, I say “Amen” and “Thank You.”
To make the event even more memorable, each client had prepared, in advance and in their own words, what our coaching relationship has meant to them over the years. They then sat me in the middle of the group and each read or told their stories while I did all I could to hold back the tears. This display of appreciation was very moving personally and each one of their communications had a lesson for me. Because those individual messages were so powerful, I decided that, over the next few weeks, I will share those lessons with you in my blog.
To see a few photos from the event, click here.
Have you ever noticed that some days you feel like the pigeon and other days you feel like the statue?
Thanks to support from my wife, my clients, my coach, my kids, and just about everyone I come into contact with, I’m reminded that I get to choose my daily attitude. I’ve learned that “what I think about, thank about and talk about, comes about“.
As a consequence, my typical early morning routine consists of getting up before the rooster crows and doing some stretching, followed by a 3-mile power walk or 10-mile bike ride, then 20 minutes of meditation and I finish by reading a chapter from a positive book. This sets my tone for the day to be positive and encouraging to others…well, most of the time.
I also am gifted with special recipes’ like the one sent to me by a special friend, Zel Ostrow entitled, Recipe For a Happy Life. Click on the title if you’d like your own copy.
As I mentioned last week, I recently celebrated being alive for 25 fabulous years having survived a life-threatening heart attack. My heart attack and all I experienced afterwards gave me a very different view on life and how it relates to business. In 2010, with encouragement from my wife, Trish, I wrote a book to share my story so that others may benefit from my mistakes. The result was my book, Killing The Practice Before It Kills You…How Throwing Out My Business Model Saved My Life.
If you feel the challenges at your business has you feeling like the gerbil on the wheel, reading this book just may help save your life! Available in Kindle edition or hardcopy, while quantities last.
I’m Bragging…I’m Bragging…I’m Bragging!
My bride, Trish, known as my Sweetness, and I have just this past weekend celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary!
“What do we do to make this a special event?” my Sweetness asked me?
I said, “Well, it’s not our 30th…we’re past that and it’s not the milestone of the 40th, so lets do something unique like invite ourselves to the home of special friends we haven’t seen in quite some time!”
We asked to spend a special B&B weekend with Dr. Dave & Nancy Rummel…at THEIR home. How bold am I? Embarrassingly, Sweetness agreed, as did the Rummel’s. Due to their graciousness and long-time friendship, we truly enjoyed reminiscing our days as young folks, the mistakes we made “growing up”, how I look “pudgy” and Trish looks HOT, the joys of learning how to raise our kids, and what it’s like to be married to “macho men” like Dr. Dave and me (that’s a joke for Nancy & Trish).
Joking aside, recognizing milestones in our lives, regardless of what the reason, is important. Sweetness and I agreed that because we are “supporting” (read between the lines…we pay for) a family, fun get-a-way for our daughters and sons-in-law, we would not buy gifts for each other. However, I could not let this special milestone (39 years…according to dog calculators that would be 169 human years!) go unrecognized. 39 or 169, my Sweetness has been my singular joy! So, here is what I did for her:
- Every day on the week leading up to our anniversary, I told her “I love you“…easy as I do this every day.
- For four days prior to our July 12th anniversary, I sent her electronic love messages attached to music genres she loves.
- Delivered her favorite breakfast in bed on the morning of July 12th.
- Researched the Top 100 songs from 1974 (our wedding year) and created a special CD just for her…along with a love note. (Are you getting the love note thing?) It made the drive to the Rummel’s a lot of fun…remembering our years together.
- On our drive to visit our friends, I spent most of the time telling her how remarkable she is as a person, lady, mom, friend, confidant, lover, wise counsel, and wife.
- AND…I took the bold initiative to mark our car – just like young high school graduates do – for our drive to Columbus for our B&B weekend. You can’t imagine the gestures, smiles, frowns, and thumbs up we saw on I-71 going south.
Message: With all my foibles, miss-steps, mistakes and commitment to be a better man, my Sweetness and I have managed to navigate 39 years of marriage and probably 41 years of being together. Some will call me a jerk, some will declare me a weirdo, and some will find fault with my “sensitive side.” I, quite frankly at this stage of my life, don’t give a shit (oh, an offensive bad word!).What I am declaring…after all these years of being less than perfect, my wife has chosen me and I am ecstatic and, as such, I AM BRAGGING that I have her! I love Trish and I thank her.
How have you honored, or thanked someone for being a part of your life or business? Share your story below, or on my facebook page.
Recently, Sweetness and I arrived back home in Cleveland from our 3-month winter escape in Chandler, Arizona. What a remarkable experience for both of us. Yet, this magical sojourn reminded me that oftentimes we get so caught up in living our lives that we take many things we have, the loving friendships and family connections, along with our career accomplishments that we’ve accomplished so far, for granted. The little things we enjoyed…the extended weekend when our kids chose to be with Mom & Dad (and we didn’t have to bribe them), hosting over 18 friends & clients to our winter B&B, being with Trish’s family (lots of them), continuing my Dental coaching practice from 2,300 miles away from my home office, the beautifully warm Arizona weather (yes, there was a snow in Scottsdale), traveling nearly 4,700 miles safely, having a wife that can enjoy simply being with “her man” (that’s me), and knowing that we have created a bond that is unique and special, and we’ve crafted a financial game plan that allow all of this while being in service to others. This is a gift!
I feel that Thank-fullness is NOT an option…good fortune and awareness of what we have in our lives is an opportunity to pause and reflect on the goodness that comes our way…AND an opportunity to look for occasions to acknowledge and be grateful to others.
I want to thank my “favorite youngest daughter” Brianne & son-in-law Dan; my “favorite oldest daughter” Ashley & son-in-law Jude; Ron & Aunt Marloony; Bobbi & Dan; Tim & Linda; former client Dr. Tom; Michael & Nancy; sister Heidi & Dr. Bob; former client Dr. Mike & Shereyl; Sandi & Dr. Mike; Dr. Fred & Roselle; my personal trainer (Hercules) Lee; client and dentist to the Cincinnati Reds, Dr. Alex & Jennifer; Dr. David & Jayne from Australia; client & friend, Dr. Darren; Ar izonian, Dr. P.J. & Nita; and most importantly my bride, Trish (Sweetness).
Now that I did the OSCAR thank you’s, I want to suggest that taking time to “marinade” (my coach’s term) on what is good and inspiring in our lives and being thankful will make us feel better, sleep better, produce better and live our lives better.
No, I’m not suggesting that you move into your dental office! (In fact, as THE DENTAL COACH©, you know that I coach my clients on a good work-life balance!)
Have you ever built your dream home? Before you move in, you invest time in understanding the elements that will deliver the home of your dreams. The carpenters, electricians, and plumbers all have specialized skills to help you. It takes time!
It is the same in a dental practice. It takes investing time to understand the elements of a thriving and successful business. When you take the time to build the foundation with those who have the specialized skills to help you, you reap rewards for you and your team.
It also takes a good foundation. Your clinical skills, along with the skills of those who are a part your practice, must be aligned to build the quality care you want to provide. The foundation of any practice is the vision and Core Values to support the practice throughout its lifetime. All other parts of the system must rely on the foundation – values, teamwork, customer service, financial arrangements, and patient satisfaction.
Have you been doing this in your dental practice?