One of the core aspects of the 7 Figure Dental Practice philosophy is that you, the dentist, are in control of success or failure. You have to take responsibility for achieving success or you will never get there.
This doesn’t mean, though, that you have to do it all alone. In fact, no one does it alone. You have an entire team of dedicated professionals to help you achieve your practice (and if you don’t, it’s time to recruit new people).
Achieving success takes a lot of work, and you only have so many hours in a day. Overwhelming yourself doesn’t serve you or your goals, so it’s important to delegate as much work as you can to others. So how do you know what you can delegate and what you have to keep on your plate? Here’s a brief guide to help.
What Can’t You Delegate?
There are a few things you have to continue to do. These are the highest functions in your dental practice, and you should try to eliminate everything but these tasks:
There can only be one vision leading your dental practice: yours. When it comes to decisions about the ultimate goals and aspirations of your dental practice, you have to step up.
As we said above: you are the only one responsible for your success or failure. If a member of your team fails at a delegated task, you can hold them responsible, but you also have to hold yourself responsible for improperly delegating the task to them.
Legally Required Functions
As a clinical practice, there are certain things that require the expertise of a dentist. If you don’t have an associate, you have to do these functions yourself. The exact definitions of what these are depend on your local dental board. It’s worth checking these guidelines again–they may have changed since you last looked at them.
How to Delegate Effectively
Delegation doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for the delegated tasks, so it’s important to take the right steps to make sure nothing goes wrong when you delegate them. Here’s how to make sure delegated tasks are always done to your satisfaction.
Choose the Right People
This is true both for adding people to your team and for delegating responsibilities to them. When hiring, it’s often a good idea to focus on people’s attitudes and potential as well as their experience and training. Then find tasks you can delegate to people that they’re capable of handling. These choices are made at the personal level, not the positional level: not all RDH, for example, are equally capable of taking on tasks beyond their hygiene role.
Define the Tasks
When you delegate tasks, it’s important that the employee you’re delegating to understands exactly what’s expected of them. Make sure they know the borders of the task, and who takes over responsibility at that border. You know this is critical for patient handoffs and record-keeping, but it’s equally important for every task.
When you delegate a new task to an employee, make sure you provide them any necessary training. This might be as simple as you demonstrating what must be done, or you might get them formal training.
It’s rare that you can simply delegate a task and then have an employee handle that task perfectly on their own immediately. They will eventually get it right, but it’s important to supervise them closely at first, providing help and gentle correction as necessary. Gradually, you can step back and let the employee take more control over the task.
However, remember that for many tasks your local dental board might mandate a certain level of supervision. Always make sure you comply.
Delegation Is Worth It
Before you start delegation, it might seem like a lot of work. We often hear dentists say that delegation is too much work and it’s easier for them to keep doing the work themselves.
Doing it yourself might be good enough if you simply want to maintain your current practice. But if you want the time, mental space, and energy it takes to move your dental practice to the next level, you have to learn to delegate. It will be work at first, but in time you will reap the rewards.
But we understand that it’s both challenging and intimidating to think about delegation. Fortunately, Dr. Shahin Safarian can help you overcome the challenges and learn to effectively delegate work in your practice. Please call today to schedule consultating with Dr. Safarian and learn how delegation can help you build a 7 Figure Dental Practice.