It was August of 1995 when I walked through the doors of the Pankey Institute for the very first time.
I was attending a course specifically designed for hygienists and was literally in awe of every aspect of my experience there. Not only was the clinical information fresh and new from what I had been taught in hygiene school, I was also introduced first-hand to the philosophy that has since become the corner stone of my own personal and professional life.
The Power Of Development
Looking back over my shoulder at the past 24 years I realize that none of my learning or growth could have occurred if my “boss” had not invested in me. What I didn’t realize early on was that his investment was not just so that I could be a better hygienist. What happened was that I grew to become an incredibly high performing, deeply engaged, missionary and change agent for our practice. I learned that my thoughts, ideas, feelings, and questions were not only welcomed, but invited and encouraged each and every day. I become a perpetual student and my hunger for personal and professional development was fed and nurtured by the culture that we had intentionally created in our practice.
Today I have the opportunity to work with dental teams across the country, and my mission has evolved from being able to serve individual patients to supporting entire teams as they navigate their own growth and challenges. You see, my own experience as a team member was so powerful that I find it imperative to create my own version of Quid Pro Quo. Yes, it’s rewarding to help practices learn and practice skills that can enhance every aspect of the patient experience, and even more rewarding to know I’m supporting each Dr and team member to be become the very best version of themselves.
What Does It Mean To Create A Healthy Culture?
Experience tells me it’s where each person is seen, heard, valued, recognized, and appreciated. Of course, it’s important to develop and implement systems, define clinical protocols and establish business operations. I ensure you that when team members feel a part of something bigger than themselves and connected to you and each other, a sense of accountability and responsibility to these standards increase exponentially…as does the presence of positive attitudes. And just in case you’re interested, I’ve also found that every single practice will ALWAYS have challenges, conflicts, and competing values to work out. The highest performing teams will be the ones who consistently push themselves to work ON their issues and work THROUGH their differences.
It was one of the greatest honors of my coaching career to be invited to work with the in-house team at the Pankey Institute last week. I left the building after our meeting filled with more pride than ever in the Institute’s commitment to excellence, and to their team. Your Pankey leadership team is continually helping each person find their voice, serve each participant, “walk the walk and talk the talk” of what it means to be in service and an agent for positive change.
Let me leave you with this question: What is the kind of culture that you want to have in your practice, and who are you willing to invest in to get there? I’m here to tell you, it’s worth the effort!