Following the Herd

If you are alone in an unfamiliar building and you hear a fire alarm, how will you react?  Most of us will move, either to evacuate the building or to find out if the alarm is real.

What if you hear the same fire alarm when you are in a meeting?  Do you immediately jump into action or do you look at how the group responds?  Most of us look to the group, and we mirror our behavior based on how they react.

In many situations, people follow “the herd.”  Consider your dental practice.  If certain people on your team hustle when the schedule is running behind, the whole team is likely to hustle.  If certain people handle nervous patients with empathy, the entire team is likely to show the same level of compassion.

Conversely, if your team is struggling, it’s often due to a few underperformers who are unfortunately influencing “the herd.”  This is why it is critical to address team issues immediately.  The longer you allow performance and attitude issues to remain unresolved, the more likely it is the poor performers will affect everyone else.

I encourage you to consider where you want to take your practice.  Then look closely at your team.  If they are falling short of expectations, redirect those who are leading “the herd” in the wrong direction.

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