If all goes to plan, the next time you read my blog or visit my website you will notice some significant changes. I am launching a new business at the end of May that will bring together some of the best people that I have worked with in dentistry and provide a much wider range of services that will benefit you. So, as my website and marketing company busy themselves with code and data, time for one last blog post in the current format. This subject is one that has resonated with me and clients during the past week or so whilst on dental practice visits both in the UK and The Czech Republic.
This is a question that I have asked of the business owners;
“If I was to ask any member of your team what this dental practice is about, what do you think they would say? (and this is what you think they would say, not necessarily what you hope they would say)
Why is this question and the answer that you get so important?
Ultimately, nobody buys your services or buys into your leadership for what you do or how you do it. People only buy WHY you do it, in other words your values. This is why you can tell people what to do and how to behave until you are blue in the face but until they get you and WHY you are doing it, nothing will ever really change. This applies to your team and your patients.
As a business owner, I would hope that you are clear about your values, plans, motivations, ethics, ideas and what you want to achieve through your business (if you are not please look at this as now) but how often do you reenforce this with your team…?
Why does this work in behavioural change?
Well, for a start, our behaviours are to a large extent shaped by the limbic system which has no capacity for language, it works on feelings (sometimes gut feelings) Sure, we use language to rationalise but the actual decision to “fight or flight” is based upon feelings not words. This reinforces why telling somebody how to behave will only work if they also understand WHY you are asking them to do it and yes of course we process the data through language but the actual point when we decide that we understand something is a feeling.
How do you apply this?
If you rely purely upon giving instructions then you may get lucky and get the results that you want. However, behaviours are shaped by values (what’s important to you) and then beliefs (what you believe to be true). This means that you are more likely to get behavioural changes if what is important to you is also important to the rest of your team.
What would your team say?
Can you now see how important this question is? You need your team to know what is important to you and it needs to resonate sufficiently with enough of the rest of your team as being important to them. Then, you have a WHY, shared values and the basis for shaping the behaviours that you want.
Remember, values and beliefs shape behaviours, not scripts, powerpoint presentations or even training courses. We connect when we have shared values. So here is something to ponder over the weekend; what are your values and what would your team say that they are?