Team vs Staff

July 2, 2018 Ricki Braswell CAE

There is a distinct difference between team versus staff. Teams work together toward a shared goal while staff are a group of people who happen to work under the same management. Team members work side by side, whereas staff members work in the same space.

If you are wondering how you might transition from having a staff to working within a team, you might consider engaging with your staff to learn each person’s communication style.

Communication Can Make Your Staff Into a Team

At Pankey, we focus on four communication styles: expressive, driver, analytic and amiable. However, people are multifaceted, so they almost never exhibit just one style but instead have a mix of styles. It is this mix that makes us fascinating and gives us individuality.

Teams are made up of people who develop meaningful relationships that initially center on shared work goals. These relationships form when people get to know one another. Taking the time to go through a communication styles exercise with your team allows them to deepen their knowledge of each other. It has the added benefit of helping to identify the strengths of each person.

The Pankey team shares some similarities with practice teams. We spend most of our time working together to serve others. For us, it is the doctors who attend our courses. For you, it is your patients. In both situations the team works together but focuses on someone outside the team.

Although there is no “best” communication style, our team has found that certain styles are more conducive to certain situations. Also, in challenging situations it is often best to pair people who share the same style.

Despite the fact that there are no hard and fast rules and everyone should be treated as an individual, I’ve also noticed that there are certain predictable behaviors based on the communication styles. Our team feels that the knowledge we share about our communication styles helps us work together and serve our community better.

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Ricki Braswell CAE

Ricki Braswell, CAE, joined the Pankey Institute as President & CEO in April 2011. A former Executive Director for National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology and The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, she has a wealth of experience in nonprofits, corporate communications, human resources, and publishing. Ricki has served on The L. D. Pankey Foundation board of directors. In 2010, Dental Products Report named her one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

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The 3 Fs of Managing People

October 21, 2017 Ricki Braswell CAE

Why is it sooo difficult to manage people? Probably because we spend time trying to “manage” people.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people aren’t meant to be managed. Scary words from a CEO, right? The truth is, I’m not very good at managing people, so instead I strive for creating clear expectations, responsibility, and accountability.

I believe that everyone has unique gifts and we should position people to utilize their strengths. When someone isn’t performing up to my expectations, communication is the key to affecting change. I have learned that the ultimate outcome is completely in the hands of the team member.

So how do we hold people accountable and what happens when they repeatedly fail to live up to their responsibility? The key is effectively communicating the expectation for their performance and developing ownership around the outcome. I find it most effective to do this during face-to-face meetings with a system called the 3 Fs: Fair, Firm, Frank.

3 F’s of Effective Communication

Fair

When a team member underperforms, I schedule a short meeting with them to discuss the situation. During the discussion, I begin with questions about their behavior or performance to determine what led to it and how to correct it.

The objective: To make certain the team member understands the expectation of the level of performance, acknowledges where they fell short, and creates a commitment and a plan of action which results in achieving the expected level of performance.

In this meeting, you want to be FAIR – listen to the team member while creating clarity around what happened and what the preferred action would be to avoid repeating the situation in the future.

Firm

Sometimes the “fair” conversation doesn’t have the desired results or the team member improves for a period of time but then slides back into old habits. In the event that this happens, you will have to schedule another meeting. During this second meeting you have to be FIRM.

The objective: To have the team member, immediately, bring their performance up to the expected level.

Briefly review the area of underperformance and remind the team member of the commitment and plan of action they made during the first meeting. Be clear that if the team member chooses not to immediately bring their performance up to the expected level, that will indicate to you that they are not a willing, contributing member of the team.

Frank

Despite having the “Fair” and “Firm” conversations in an attempt to correct performance, there are times when a team member simply does not upgrade their performance to a consistent and acceptable level. If that occurs then it is time to be FRANK.

The objective: To clearly explain that the consequence of a failure to immediately perform at the acceptable level will be termination.

As with all leadership, you should find your own style, language, and habits. I tend to try to be encouraging and remind the team member of why I believe in them, while emphasizing the need for the team member to perform up to expectations.

I also like to email a team member after the meetings recapping what they committed to. This confirms I heard what they intended and that we are working off of the same expectations.

Regardless of your leadership style, the 3 F’s provide a solid guide for how to address underperformance in the unfortunate instance when it is progressive.

Note of thanks: Dr. Rachel Pullsen shared “the 3 F’s” with me and the other women who came together this past July for the first annual Pankey Women’s Retreat. Thanks so much, Rachel, and give a big thanks to your sister-in-law who I believe is the originator of the 3 F’s. We all grew as a result of your sharing!

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Ricki Braswell CAE

Ricki Braswell, CAE, joined the Pankey Institute as President & CEO in April 2011. A former Executive Director for National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology and The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, she has a wealth of experience in nonprofits, corporate communications, human resources, and publishing. Ricki has served on The L. D. Pankey Foundation board of directors. In 2010, Dental Products Report named her one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

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Paying Your Mortgage Twice a Month

August 28, 2017 Ricki Braswell CAE

Do you feel daunted when thinking about how to achieve financial freedom?

I admit I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I’ve had some success with easing my financial burdens thanks to a couple of habits I’ve implemented over the years.

Paying Your Mortgage Twice a Month

One habit is paying my mortgage twice a month. If your first thought is, “holy cats I can’t do that,” I understand, but it may not be as difficult as you assume. I’m not suggesting that you pay double, I’m suggesting that you pay ½ a month ahead.

Instead of paying $2,000 on the 15th, you would pay $1,000 on the 1st and $1,000 on the 15th and then repeat the next month. Why is this a good idea? Because mortgages are calculated over a long span of time and a large portion is comprised of interest. By paying twice a month, a larger percentage goes to the principal.

Habit Development to Reach Financial Freedom

So how do you get into this habit?

It’s pretty easy if you are beginning a new loan because you have about a 45-60 day grace period after closing before the first payment is due. You can make your first ½ payment 15 days before the due date.

If you have an existing mortgage and like most of us don’t have the money on hand to make an additional ½ payment, then you can start by saving toward the ½ payment until you have enough to make it for the first time, which then reduces your next monthly payment. That may take you a few months.

This same idea can be applied to your car payment. For both your mortgage and your car, make sure your loans don’t carry a penalty for early payoff.

Financial freedom is one step closer.

What steps do you take to better manage your finances? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

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Ricki Braswell CAE

Ricki Braswell, CAE, joined the Pankey Institute as President & CEO in April 2011. A former Executive Director for National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology and The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, she has a wealth of experience in nonprofits, corporate communications, human resources, and publishing. Ricki has served on The L. D. Pankey Foundation board of directors. In 2010, Dental Products Report named her one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

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A Secret To Achieve Work-Life Balance in Dentistry

July 5, 2017 Ricki Braswell CAE

The life of women who are intent on their careers is often fraught with the struggle to be everything to everyone. Many women wish there was one ‘secret’ that could make the sacrifices and dedication easier, but in truth there are many. The best way to discover them is to rely on the advice and past experience of other strong women in dentistry or similarly taxing careers. You have to be comfortable standing on the shoulders of giants.

My preparations for the ‘Making It All Work’ women’s retreat at the Pankey Institute have gotten me thinking about many of the challenges facing women in professional settings. Dr. Lee Ann Brady, our insightful retreat facilitator, posed the question, “What would you do if you had two days to focus on yourself?”

This got me thinking about one of the keys to my success and how I achieve a work-life balance.

How Cultivating Leadership Can Create Work-Life Balance

One of my secrets to success is leadership. I am able to leave the Institute while we have a class going on because I’m confident in the resiliency of my team’s intentions. I know that even though I’m not there, our team culture ensures the same dedication to providing an excellent experience that I would enact if I were there.

Leadership is the core of what helps me be successful and develop a work-life balance. It’s one of the primary topics that we ponder in the women’s retreat, as well as financial freedom and ownership. If you’re searching for career secrets, the path to balance definitely starts with leadership. I shared my experiences and tips at the course. It’s a weekend dedicated to us – women who are passionate about their careers.

What secrets of achieving a work-life balance keep you stable and energized? We’d love to hear your perspective in the comments!

 

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Transform your experience of practicing dentistry, increase predictability, profitability and fulfillment. The Essentials Series is the Key, and Aesthetic and Functional Treatment Planning is where your journey begins.  Following a system of…

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About Author

User Image
Ricki Braswell CAE

Ricki Braswell, CAE, joined the Pankey Institute as President & CEO in April 2011. A former Executive Director for National Association of Dental Laboratories, National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology and The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, she has a wealth of experience in nonprofits, corporate communications, human resources, and publishing. Ricki has served on The L. D. Pankey Foundation board of directors. In 2010, Dental Products Report named her one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

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