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  • Sarah Beth Herman

Dental Servant Leadership? Why? How?

This quick short read can be part of your next morning huddle or meeting with your leadership team this month.


My journey in the world of dentistry has taught me many things, but the most important lesson I learned is that true leadership is all about serving others. I used to think being an Office Manager was the ultimate goal, but I soon realized that being a servant leader is where the real magic happens. Sure, I may have been a drama queen at times, and maybe I had a bit of an attention-seeking streak in my mid-20s, but I've grown and learned that true leadership is about putting others first. Traction in business growth happens when we put others first, seek to understand before control, and begin legacy-lasting leadership. With servant leadership, I can make sure everyone gets the royal treatment not just the patients.


 

As a dental office leader, it is important to remember that the success of the practice depends on the combined efforts of the entire team.

While it is important to have a clear vision and to make decisions that are in the best interest of the practice, it is equally important to approach your role with humility and to serve the needs of your team.

This type of leadership, known as servant leadership, focuses on putting the needs of others first and empowering them to achieve their full potential.


Here are three ways you can be a servant leader in a dental office:

  1. Encourage open communication: A key aspect of servant leadership is creating an open and inclusive environment where team members feel comfortable voicing their opinions and suggestions. As a leader, it is important to actively listen to your team and to make an effort to understand their perspectives. By fostering open communication, you can create a culture of trust and collaboration, which can lead to better decision-making and improved patient care.

  2. Foster a culture of continuous learning: As a dental office leader, it is important to create opportunities for your team to learn and grow. This could involve providing training and professional development opportunities, encouraging team members to attend continuing education courses, or simply creating a culture of learning and curiosity. Check out our full free training here. By investing in your team's development, you can help them feel more fulfilled and motivated in their roles, which can ultimately lead to better patient care.

  3. Lead by example: As a leader, it is important to model the behavior you expect from your team. This includes being punctual, respectful, and professional at all times. It also means going above and beyond for your patients, whether that involves staying late to finish a procedure or going the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and cared for. Your leadership will be known by your team by the actions you set and the tasks you make a priority in your dental office. By leading by example, you will inspire your team to follow your lead and strive to provide the best possible care to your patients.

  4. Legacy generating: As you become a grand leader, you will be creating like-minded leaders and before long every action you take your team will follow you in taking. My biggest words of encouragement

"If you are not doing any of this now, just start. It is never too late"

Being a humble leader in a dental office and any business is essential for creating a positive and collaborative work environment. By adopting a servant leadership style, you will empower your team to achieve their full potential and provide the best possible care to your patients and teammates.


 

Last bit. We often make our stance as a leader in dental all about the patients. This is good. However, we cannot forget about the team. Servant leadership empowers us to think beyond ourselves, beyond the patient, beyond the employees, and drive our dental offices and businesses to be complete and wholly lead. If you are passionate about your patients you should be equally passionate about loving your team. Do not succumb to being that manager that demands control by saying "I do this for my patients" be the leader that is an example of what you want to be done and encourages everyone around you to be a leader for complete servant leadership.


Dentistry Support LLC TM provides remote support for dental offices nationwide. We serve the needs of any size dental office including those with Spanish-speaking needs on both the east and west coasts of The United States of America. Learn more.










Disclaimer:


To learn more about Sarah Beth Herman, the author of all free training content you can read her bio here. These materials are intended to provide helpful information to dentists and dental team members. They are in no way a substitute for actual professional advice based on your unique facts and circumstances. This content is not intended or offered, nor should it be taken, as legal or other professional advice. You should always consult with your own professional advisors (e.g. attorney, accountant, or insurance carrier). To the extent Dentistry Support, LLC TM has included links to any third-party website (s), Dentistry Support, LLC TM intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Further, Dentistry Support, LLC TM makes no representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites. You can view our privacy policy and terms and conditions by clicking those pages in the footer of our website.

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