Planning For a New Future – SWOT


Clarifying where you want the business to be, planning for the future and adapting to the new COVID-19 world is vital to the future success of any business and even more so right now. This is collectively known as your business strategy and goals – something well worth working on whilst the practice is closed.
Great way to start your strategy planning is to undertake a SWOT Analysis on a large sheet of paper or on-screen document, laid out like the blackboard:
  • STRENGTHS: what are you good at; what are you best at; what are you, the team and your patients proud of e.g. service, quality of practice, CEREC, CT scanner, great location, clinical experience, reputation

  • WEAKNESSES: how are you restricted e.g. premises, opening times, surgery space; what are you not so good at e.g. specialist treatments; where do you need extra help, guidance or support e.g. planning, team management, marketing, making change, adapting to change

  • OPPORTUNITIES: what is happening out there that you can embrace and take advantage of e.g. new housing developments, schools, therapists, new treatments, elective treatments, new/fresh clinical experience, patient mobility, new technology e.g. remote consultations, patient communication

  • THREATS: what is happening out there that we have no control over but have to plan for e.g. COVID-19, Brexit, industry regulation, new competition, changed patient expectations, closure of businesses, increased patient remote working, local planning

Your new strategy will aim to:

  • MAXIMISE and make best use of STRENGTHS

  • MITIGATE and REDUCE the impact of WEAKNESSES



You and the team brainstorm everything you can think about under each heading. At this stage don’t pre-judge or rule out thoughts or contributions. This can be a great exercise to work on during remote/virtual team meetings to help keep your team involved, focused on a changing environment and motivated.
Collate all your ideas, thoughts and aspirations ready for the next stages of:
  • Prioritising what is deliverable over different periods of time (short, medium and long term)

  • Setting challenging but achievable goals for each

  • Putting clear action plans in place to deliver, including who, how and by when

More to follow on each of these . . .

There are many ways you can develop and improve your own business, management and leadership skills and those of your management team through individual training, coaching, mentoring and individual management/leadership profiling.

To see some of the ways in which Your Dental Manager works with other practices, take a look here. For an insight into how business coaching may be something to think about during this down-time, take a look here.

If you would like to discuss your return to practice planning, business coaching or good business practice in general, you can check availability and book a convenient, remote meeting using our on-line calendar at any time to suit your own diary.

Planning For a New Future – SWOT

Preparing You and the Team For a New Future


During these unprecedented times, many successful business people are finding their personal and professional lives being overwhelmed by outside forces, which are beyond their control.

One of the best ways to regain control is to use your free time positively and pro-actively to ensure you and your business are personally ready for a strong start when the business comes out of this enforced, but essential hibernation.

Aim to look back on this period and be pleased with all you have achieved, satisfied that you made good use of the time, have strengthened your team through good leadership and are ready to

People management and keeping in touch with your team has never been more important. Although furloughed staff are not able to deliver services or generate income for the business, you can and must still lead them, alongside any NHS re-deployed staff, through a turbulent time so that they return to work re-energised, refreshed and, most importantly, positive!

Important dateRegular virtual team get togethers using one of the many readily available video, chat or social media tools are crucial:

  • Include an element of social such as a quiz
  • Chat around how people are making use of the time
  • Help one another with challenges
  • Recognise and acknowledge individual achievements and contributions outside of work such as community support, NHS redeployment
  • Provide updates on plans for reopening
  • Help the team picture a return to work with light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Share ideas. Encourage personal development and positivity.

This downtime is also the perfect opportunity to chat one to one with individual members of the team to:

  • Highlight their continued personal value
  • Discuss fears, concerns, personal circumstances
  • Recognise personal achievements during closure such as community support
  • Show effective leadership
  • Help strengthen the team member personally and professionally
  • Identify aspirations, hidden skills, strengths
  • Identify training opportunities
  • Encourage personal development
  • Feedback on morale
  • Discuss ideas and thoughts on return to work
  • Help you develop a robust training/development plan for each member of the team
  • Help you plan a more efficient and productive team

There are many ways you can develop and improve your own business, management and leadership skills and those of your management team through individual training, coaching, mentoring and individual management/leadership profiling.

To see some of the ways in which Your Dental Manager works with other practices, take a look here. For an insight into how business coaching may be something to think about during this down-time, take a look here.

If you would like to discuss your return to practice planning, business coaching or good business practice in general, you can check availability and book a convenient, remote meeting using our on-line calendar at any time to suit your own diary.

Preparing You and the Team For a New Future

Everything DiSC® – Boost Your Practice & Team Performance in 2018


As a Certified Facilitator and trainer for Everything DiSC®, I regularly make use of the many tools and techniques available within the Everything DiSC family for coaching, mentoring, team development, training and to support effective recruitment in dental practices across the country.

Here is a brief overview of how Everything DiSC can add value to your practice and why I find the tools so valuable in my day to day work.

Everything DiSC identifies four primary dimensions of workplace behaviour:

Dominance – Influence – Steadiness – Conscientiousness.


Everyone is a blend of all 4 styles and has a unique behavioural style. An individual’s DiSC style is identified using a reliable, interactive, on-line questionnaire and shown by a ‘dot’‘, which is placed on the model.

DiSC styles do not identify abilities or strengths. There is no right or wrong /pass or fail. A style demonstrates personal priorities or workplace behavioural style.

The Everything DiSC model is highly memorable and easily understood. Participants start their learning journey by being introduced to this simple model and, through various practical exercises, build upon the model to open up a wealth of self-understanding and appreciation of others.

The visual and easily understood model provides a practical, interactive and fun learning opportunity, perfect for personal development plans and CPD. This new-found knowledge then enables practice owners, practice managers and the whole practice team, to further increase self-awareness and understanding of those they work alongside.

Using a DiSC Profiling Approach to Learning:

  • Enables individuals and practice teams to work more effectively together
  • Helps team members understand one another better
  • Introduces an easily understood “common language” to recognise and compare different people
  • Acts as a springboard for conversations, one to one reviews and team development
  • Increases individual and practice performance
  • Improves communication and engagement between team members themselves and management/practice owners
  • Reduces conflict and misunderstandings within the practice

Thanks to its versatility, DiSC can be adapted for each practice and used to improve and develop:

  • Team Working and Team Development
  • Leadership and Management capability
  • Individual Coaching and Mentoring
  • Patient Journey
  • Treatment Plan Acceptance
  • Appraisals and Reviews
  • Working Relationships
  • Recruitment
  • Conflict
  • Performance Management
  • Communication
  • Management of Change
  • Morale and Employee Engagement
  • Personal and 360 Feedback for Principal Dentists/Managers

Reasons to Choose Everything DiSC® Over Other Popular Psychometric Tools

  1. Everything DiSC is statistically proven to be very reliable and the core concepts have been successfully delivered to many millions of people for more than than 40 years. Reliability and accuracy is greatly enhanced through adaptive testing used in participant profiling questions, which identifies discrepancies in responses and asks further questions to encourage consistency.
  2. Everything DiSC offers an effective, non-threatening, non-judgemental and common language which can be quickly used within the team and practice.
  3. The Everything DiSC family contains a range of tailored profiles for individuals, teams, leaders and managers.
  4. Profiles are written in an easy-to-read, non-academic format which are user-friendly and suitable for individuals throughout the practice.
  5. Profiles are written in a neutral tone- although focus is still given to potential short-comings meaning participants are more receptive and less defensive.
  6. Everything DiSC is competitively priced. Individual profiles and practice training sessions offer truly excellent value.
  7. is a unique online resource, which is made available to participants after workshops and completion of profiles to continue their learning.


DiSC Certified Trainer Blue PNG 

Everything DiSC can be tailored to the individual needs of your practice from individual, one-to-one coaching/mentoring to self-learning or as a popular and cost-effective 3 hour interactive workshop for the practice team.

To find out how you and your practice could benefit from Everything DiSC or to discuss your needs in more detail, please book a complimentary phone call at a convenient time through our on-line calendar or drop an e-mail with your questions and contact details to                           

Everything DiSC® – Boost Your Practice & Team Performance in 2018

Streamline Your Hourly-Pay Procedures


Practice Managers spend a lot of time collating, checking and agreeing the number of hours worked by members of the team ahead of the monthly pay run.
This is another quick win where technology can take the strain and do all the hard work for you.
Deputy Staff Management collates all the hours worked either directly from the on-line work roster provided or using a great tablet-based check-in system called “Kiosk” to accurately log actual start and finish times.
With hourly rates loaded for each member of the team you can track staff costs in real time.
Deputy is successfully established and running in several of my client practices, with more coming on board each week.
If this sounds interesting, you can set up a 30 day free-trial here and Your Dental Manager will make sure you are set up and running to make best use of your trial month.



Streamline Your Hourly-Pay Procedures

Will Your New Recruit Fit Into the Team?





With the prospect of new ideas, skills, renewed energy, enthusiasm  and hopefully a welcome breath of fresh air, recruitment of a new team member can and should be an exciting opportunity.

As many practice owners have learned the hard way, it can also be quite daunting and the “wrong” decision, can make life difficult for many months to come.

Common concerns I hear when recruiting new team members for client practices are:

  • “Will they fit in to the team?”
  • “Will they be disruptive?”
  • “Will they work well with the rest of the team?”
  • “Do they have the right attitude for the team and our patients?”
  • “How do I make sure they will make a difference?”

As with many things, a well structured and organised approach to recruitment will go a long way towards making the right decision.

Prepare Well

  • Don’t rush into making decisions – far better to wait and cover the role until you find the “right” person
  • Make sure you understand the role you are trying to fill – this can be a great opportunity to redefine a role and restructure responsibilities across the team to bring in new skills and fill knowledge gaps
  • Understand the type of person you need – all teams benefit from a range of personalities, experience, maturity and approaches to work
  • Understand the strengths of the remaining team and look to bridge any gaps or weaknesses through your new recruit
  • Is the time right to promote from within the team and bring in a more junior role to replace a more senior person?
  • Create a job profile outlining key responsibilities and requirements for the role
  • Create effective wording for your advertisement to attract the right candidates
    • Focus on the skills and requirements needed
    • Remember to “sell” your practice and the role using positive words like opportunity, “great team to work with”, successful, enthusiastic, “great location”, “good public transport links”, “coastal/rural/city centre location”
    • Take a look through my “News” page for several examples of proven recruitment advert wording
  • Always request a covering letter to support C.V.s, asking the applicant to explain why they are right for the role you have on offer and what they can bring to your team and practice

Each applicant will have a different range of skills and experience and one of the best ways to identify and short-list for interview is to “score” applicant C/V.s against your own prioritised criteria:

  • List 10-12 key aspects of the job and person that are important to you, such as
    • Years of experience
    • Qualifications
    • Specific skills needed for the role e.g. specialist nursing, decontamination, lead nurse, management , customer service, IT/software, teamwork, dealing with difficult situations, planning, communication
    • Always have an “Other” aspect for candidates who flag up special skills or particular reasons they could be right for you
  • Use the C.V. and covering letter to score each applicant against the criteria you have listed (0 = low/none, 5 = high/perfect!)
  • Allocate your own weighting or ranking to each of the aspects so that candidates with the most important skills score higher
    • If Lead Nurse skills are vital, weight this with a 5 – the best candidates would score a 5 from their C.V.  x your own weighting of 5 = 25
  • Short-list between 3 and 5 of the highest-scoring candidates for interview

Get to Know Your Candidates Better

At this stage many of my clients make good use of Everything DiSC, a long-established and proven work-style preference profile, which short-listed candidates complete on-line in about 20 minutes. Workplace-Circle_thumb

Based around candidate responses to a wide-range of work-style/team scenario questions, a detailed profile on the candidate’s likely approach to work and their ability to work effectively alongside different types of people, including yourself as their manager or leader, is summarised and made available to you.

The profile helps to identify whether the candidate can fill “gaps” in your ideal team structure. Remember that no team can function effectively where everyone has the same attitude, approach and work-style.

You will also be able to identify the likely “motivators” and “stressors” for each candidate, which helps to structure the right questions for interview and is a great help for managing the successful candidate.

The profiles are self-explanatory, self-contained and available for just £75 per candidate. As an accredited trainer and provider of Everything DiSC tools, I can help you interpret and make full use of the information if required, including comparison reports where there is no one clear “winner”, even after interview.

You can find out more about Everything DiSC workplace profiles here.

Really Get to Know Your Candidates

At the interview use a similar score-card to the one above, update scores based on what you see and hear

Don’t take anything at face value – ask for examples of what has been done and what has been achieved. Challenge the C.V. and claims but most importantly of all, get to know the person and what makes them tick.

  • “Give me an example of when you resolved a patient complaint”
  • “Tell me about a time you felt under pressure at work and how you responded”
  • Give me an example of how you supported another member of the team”
  • “How would you deal with a patient complaint about . . . “
  • “How would you make sure the diary was kept full?”
  • “What part of the job do you find most and least satisfying?”
  • “Why is this role the right one for you?”

Some important additions to the C.V. score-card when used for interview candidates are:

  • Approach to handling of typical scenarios such as those above
  • Personality traits you are looking for such as confidence, outgoing, committed, hardworking, willingness to learn, flexibility
  • Specific questions and circumstances for individuals, which need clarification or investigation

We have focused this discussion on skills, attitude, ability and team structure. Don’t forget to use your practice recruitment procedures/checklist to make sure all the practicalities and legal requirements of recruiting the right person are also covered. A suitable probationary period of up to 6 months is also essential.

Go For It and Make Your Decision

Armed with information from the applicant’s C.V., covering letter, Everything DiSC workplace profile, candidate score-cards and an effective, frank and open interview, you will have all you need to confidently make the big decision.

There is plenty of help out there to plug any management gaps within your business, including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to further improve the overall management/efficiency of your practice: or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.




Will Your New Recruit Fit Into the Team?

Building a Closer, Stronger Team



A smooth-running, cheerful, successful practice with an enviable reputation for patient care is all linked to the strength, power and commitment of your practice team.

Successful teams have a number of key qualities including:

  • A good leader with vision, tact, diplomacy and focus
  • Individuals pull together and act as one team
  • All understand what makes a good week and what the practice is trying to achieve
  • Everyone contributes a fair share to the team’s workload
  • No hidden or personal agendas
  • Individuals spot when others need support and offer to help
  • All recognise the strengths and contribution of others
  • Open, honest and thoughtful communication
  • A varied range of skills, knowledge, personalities and characters
  • Good working relationships with, and respect for, each other
  • Recognise and adapt to the different ways in which people approach work
  • Enjoy working together

Team-building sessions for practices are often focused on the the ever-popular bowling, theme-parks and nights out at the local restaurant or wine bar. All good fun, great for morale and definitely help to develop one or two of the team qualities – but what about the rest?

How can you start to understand:

  • What makes you and others within the team tick?
  • How you and your colleagues like to work?
  • What is important to you and your colleagues?
  • How you react to others and how others see you?
  • How best to communicate with the team and individuals?
  • How best can your Manager, manage the team?
  • How best can your Leader, lead the team?

As a certified trainer and facilitator for Everything DiSC®, I can now help you strengthen and develop your practice team through a real understanding of all the above, pulled together and delivered in a fun and interactive workshop supported by individual work-style profiles for each of the team.

DiSC Certified Trainer Blue PNG SmallAhead of the 2 – 3 hour workshop, all members of the team complete a simple on-line questionnaire which assesses the way they like to work, how they react in typical work environments and how they like to work as part of a team.

From this we generate a comprehensive, but very easy to read and understand, 20 page profile highlighting and discussing the strengths and impact of each individual’s preferred work-style, priorities and role within the team, on others. Everyone gets to take this away with them after the workshop for personal development and to keep as a reminder or prompt.

The profiles are also great for both the team member and team leader to use as part of personal development planning.

We see these different styles all around us but often individuals don’t understand or know how to react which then causes friction and misunderstanding.

Each of us has elements from each of the four DiSC styles within our character – the proWorkplace-Circle_thumbfiles and workshop highlight where your preferences lay and which areas of work or team communication may take you outside of your comfort-zone.

Further value comes from personalised guidelines and recommendations within the profile on how to use your own strengths to work with others in the team who will inevitably have their own preferred style of working.All styles are seen as equally important and the workshop focuses on making the most of each style.

During the workshop, we fully explore the different working styles, ways in which teams interact and how all teams benefit from a healthy mix of individual styles which together make the team stronger, more focused and usually, happier.

To book or find out more about the team workshop and Everything DiSC profiles, contact Your Dental Manager here
Building a Closer, Stronger Team

Smooth Landing For Team Meetings

Noticed how quickly time flies during your team meetings?
Before you know what is happening people are looking at their watches, patients are knocking at the door and phones are ringing.
Meetings often come to an abrupt end with everyone rushing off to start their work with much of the content quickly forgotten.
Here are some quick pointers on how to close your meetings and plan for a smooth landing.
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 10.18.54 am
Smooth Landing For Team Meetings

Your Dental Manager Newsletter – June 2015

Follow this link to read the latest edition of the Your Dental Manager Newsletter which focuses on the Business aspects of running a successful dental practice.

The June 2015 Issue covers:

  • Bridging the Management Gaps
  • How Well Do You Know Your Patients?
  • Effective Team Meetings
  • Reduce Outstanding Treatment Plans
  • Hints, tips and suggestions

Follow this link to subscribe to future editions

If you find the Your Dental Manager Newsletter useful, please share with your friends and colleagues.

Your Dental Manager Newsletter – June 2015

Had a Good Dental Team Meeting Recently?

YDMLogoBridging the Management Gap

Regular and effective team meetings are a vital and essential part of leading, managing and growing a successful dental practice but are often thrown together at the last-minute without real thought, cancelled at short notice, poorly attended or seen as an opportunity to complain about everything under the sun.

Think back to your last team meeting, which was hopefully within the last 4 weeks, and ask yourself a few quick questions

  • Did your team come out feeling enthused?dreamstime_xs_33338892
  • Did all the team contribute and add value?
  • Does everyone know what they need to do next?
  • Does everyone know what success looks like?
  • Did you all learn something new?
  • Was there something on the agenda for everyone?
  • Were meeting minutes and action points circulated?

If you answered yes to all of these then well done – you are making good use of the meetings and should hopefully be seeing the results. If not then you have everything to gain from making some changes and will probably even start to enjoy the meetings.

Some suggestions for making the most of your next team meeting:

  1. Plan ahead and start to build up the next agenda as soon as the previous meeting has finished. Your agenda should cover a variety of subjects including
    • Follow-up and progress with items from previous meeting minutes
    • Practice performance update
    • Patient feedback and comments
    • Recognition of individual and team successes/celebrations
    • Items & action arising from compliance checks and audits
    • Constructive feedback from the reception team
    • Constructive feedback from the nursing team
    • Constructive feedback from the clinician team
    • Policy/procedure refresher training
    • Management update covering any proposed changes e.g. rota, procedures
    • Update on key success factors e.g. patient numbers, diary utilisation, FTAs
    • Social and “House-keeping”
  2. Invite the team to submit suggestions for the agenda
  3. Don’t allow any one item on the agenda to dominate
    • Any issues which can’t be resolved within the allotted time can be given to one or two people to take away, discuss and come back to the next meeting with a suggested solution
    • Mix any controversial items between lighter, good news stories so that you can quickly move on and lighten the atmosphere
    • If necessary arrange a second meeting to discuss with interested parties
  4. Don’t let individuals dominate discussions (including yourself)
    • Ask quieter members of the team what they think
    • Insist that everyone is given the opportunity to speak
    • Share the agenda items out so that different people come prepared to talk about something of interest to them.
  5. Ask for suggestions, solutions and feedback
    • Don’t underestimate the power of silence – someone will usually fill it quickly
    • Look at different people, this will usually prompt an answer
    • Repeat suggestions back in your own words to clarify & reinforce understanding
  6. Present in different ways to make the meeting more interesting
    • Always face the team when speaking and avoid reading from a sheet of paper – a quick glance at notes should be all that is needed
    • Incorporate short quizzes to check understanding
    • Use short videos to support agenda items – lap-tops are easily attached to modern large-screen TVs or why not invest in a small projector and screen?
    • Make use of flip-charts to explain things
    • Bring in external speakers such as Your Dental Manager to add variety
    • Incorporate some humour
    • Remain enthusiastic throughout, the team will mirror your own attitude
  7. Ask different people to take the minutes and note down actions at each meeting
  8. If meetings are being held during the lunch-period, provide light refreshments
  9. Encourage as many people as possible to attend and offer time off in lieu if not their normal working day.
  10. Make sure that each agenda item has a next step, action point or follow-up
  11. Circulate minutes and check to ensure people who were unable to attend read and understand what was discussed
  12. Always, always end the meeting on a positive with some enthusiastic words of encouragement from the Principal and/or Practice Manager.

Mark Greenwood

Had a Good Dental Team Meeting Recently?