Are you a helicopter boss?

I knew this day would come but I have to say I wasn’t fully prepared for it.

Yesterday, Anna had her 1st day of Kindergarten!!

Matt and I decided together that she would ride the bus from the start and Anna was so excited! The bus stop is at the end of our driveway and all our neighbor’s kids were there to look out for her as well as teachers to meet her and get her to her class.

I on the other hand, was not so thrilled about the idea. I wanted to jump in my car and follow that bus, hold her hand as we walked to her classroom and make sure she got to her seat and made friends. Then maybe I’d just stay for a couple hours to be sure her teacher knows what she’s doing.

This is in stark contrast to my 1st day of school on which my mother sent me to walk several blocks to school with some older kids…in Los Angeles!! She swears she didn’t make me walk the 1st day but I distinctly remember it. 😉

It’s a good thing my husband has some sense because that teacher would have booted me out of the classroom so fast I wouldn’t know what hit me.  And I’m sure she would have put a little note in Anna’s record saying… ‘Mom-Helicopter Parent’ or ‘Mom-PITA.’  You know what that means…

So I’m wondering if you’ve ever been a ‘Helicopter Dentist’ or a ‘Helicopter Office Manager’ or if you’ve ever worked for such individuals? It’s hard to let go of your ‘baby’.  But sometimes you just have to do it because it’s for their own good.

This week’s article is about letting go and letting your team do what they know to do…

Stay Inspired,

Let Go and Let Them

Have you ever noticed that when you hover or micromanage your team, even less gets done? You’re all busy tripping over each other and it becomes a power struggle between you and your team.

I recently worked with a young dentist in Florida who was having this exact problem. He just couldn’t understand why his hygiene team wasn’t excited about their potential to create a powerful, productive, service-oriented department. He has tried and tried to tell them how to do it.  They knew he was in control and he wasn’t ready to let go of the reins long enough to give them room to “step up”.

Well, with the help of his PDA practice coach he realized it was time for him to step up as a strong leader and then step aside.  I coached him to set up very clear performance and service expectations for his hygiene team.   He created a system for them to create their own pay increase as related to the growth of the department and told them he would support them with whatever they need.

He also put in place a system to measure their performance and the hygienists present the numbers to him at the end of each month and share what they think went well and what they will work on improving next month. Now he’s done “telling” them what to do and what they’re doing wrong and they are coming up with solutions on their own.

Here are a few things you can do to set expectations and let others step up:

  • Set up a monthly or quarterly hygiene department meeting to look at trends for growth or areas you need to work on
  • Develop a compensation plan that ensures an upside for both the practice and the team member
  • Use a service and productivity tracker that team members complete on a regular basis. What you measure will improve

And guess what? Those hygienists are really excited. They’re determined to grow hygiene and they have some skin in the game as motivation. Something to think about…

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