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  • Denise Ciardello

What's your missing piece?

Updated: May 5, 2023

A Cohesive Team is the Start

How does your team function? Do you function as one well-oiled machine, everyone functioning as one to reach your goal? Or do you all function separately and find it hard to reach those objectives? If so, it may be time to determine what the missing piece is for your practice.

One piece that we find missing in many practices is the actual goal itself. We’ve all been told that it is very important to set goals and actually write them down so you have something to attain.

Zig Ziglar said “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Makes sense when it is put that way doesn’t it? Take a look at your numbers and set a reasonable goal. You also have to share this goal with the team, post it in the break room, and review it often. Everyone needs to know what the team is striving for; otherwise, you will not have the help that you need when reaching for that goal. You have to all be in it together.

Let’s discuss leadership. Every team needs to have a leader. Ideally, it is the doctor. However, many times it is the office manager, and sometimes, it is an assistant, hygienist, or the scheduling coordinator that assumes the role. Whoever fits this bill in your office, your leader that is the go-to person for problems; solutions; and, most importantly, cultivating ideas. The leader is someone that will keep the team accountable with projects and reaching your goals.

The most important piece of the puzzle that we find missing is the cohesiveness of a team, one that works well together. It is impossible to expect everyone to get along perfectly all day, every day. However, it is possible to expect a team to be interconnected by abiding by certain strategies. A team that rows together is a team that goals together. The office begins to run itself smoothly and efficiently. There is often a team motto such as:

• No excuses • Everything matters • Add one more • Everything is marketing • Each patient/appointment matters • Together we can • It is possible

The meaning behind the motto is only known to the team and throughout the day, the motto can be heard mentioned throughout the halls. It could be when an appointment is broken and someone finds a way to fill it or a filling is slid in from a hygiene appointment. There is nothing more fun than to share a knowing nod or smile with a co-worker because the motto has been upheld.

How do you get to this point? Does this just occur? There are thoughts, strategies, and rules. Those can include:

• Permission to speak honestly • Allowing each other to keep co-workers accountable to their responsibilities

One way team spirit can be broken is repressing the group's voice. Each member of the team must know that their ideas and voice matter. Allowing team members to voice their ideas and concerns makes it easier for each individual to want to accomplish a goal they have helped set.

The missing piece in each office may vary, but the important thing to remember is that reaching a goal is a team effort. Getting to this cohesive state comes when a staff knows their goal, has a leader to follow, works to keep one another accountable, and all employees are allowed and empowered to give input.


Denise Ciardello, Consultant

Denise is co-founder of Global Team Solutions. A professional speaker and published author, her enthusiasm and knowledge about the dental profession has helped many dental teams. She brings experience, insight, and creativity into her management style, along with a sense of humor. In a profession that can cause anxiety in some dental employees.

Denise’s consulting approach is to partner with doctors and team members to help them realize the dream of creating a thriving, successful practice.

Denise can be reached at:

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