One of the most difficult tasks of a leader is providing clear direction. What may seem obvious to us is often confusing to others. So how do you provide clear direction?
Consider what health researchers learned at West Virginia University when they attempted to lower saturated fat intake of select communities. The researchers decided the typical path of educating people about healthy eating was too confusing; therefore they focused on changing one habit. They attempted to get people to shift from whole milk to low-fat milk.
The researchers ran ads in several West Virginia communities that compared the saturated fat in one glass of whole milk to five strips of bacon. As you might imagine, the ad grabbed people’s attention, and the message the researches wanted to convey was very clear. As a result of the ad campaign, the percentage of low-fat milk purchased in those West Virginia communities increased from 18% of all milk purchased to 41%. The researchers succeeded.
How can you focus your team’s attention on specific next steps?
For example, if your dental front office team needs to work on their attitude, provide specific feedback. If you notice your team is not friendly when they answer the phone, challenge them to smile when they hear the phone ring and then answer while they are still smiling. Patients will “hear” the smile.
If you notice your assistant needs to be more thorough, consider how you can guide her. Specific steps may include always documenting health history changes when the patient is initially seated or preparing the room to eliminate having to get up during the procedure.
If you want to get better results from your team, look no further than the guidance you provide. Clear direction gives your team the opportunity to succeed.
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