Dental Jiu Jitsu (Voices of Dentistry)

Episode 061

This week features the replay of a presentation that I recently gave at the Voices of Dentistry. It has some audio glitches in the first two or so minutes but gets better after that…thanks for listening to episode 61 of the Business of Dentistry!

More About This Show

Today’s episode is the audio of a presentation I recently gave at the Voices of Dentistry conference in Nashville. It was an honor and privilege to take the stage in front of my dental colleagues and give this talk. During my presentation I explained how to apply jiu jitsu strategies I’ve learned and how to implement them into your private dental practice.

You’ll also hear me talk about a gentleman in the audience, John. I gave his dental school wrong – he and his colleagues are attending University of Kentucky, not Louisville like I said during this presentation. He was a guest on the show back in episode 59, which you can hear here.

The basic premise of today’s show is to take some of the ideas from the fight world and implement them into our businesses and our practices. I specifically explore three  jiu jitsu strategies and explain how you can translate them into your practice.

1. Maintain situational awareness.
It’s important to know what is going on around you and what is happening in your environment. Keep your ears and eyes open because this will keep you out of trouble, and will keep you from getting into an altercation or a difficult situation.

In this episode I share a story that highlights this. One of the rougher neighborhoods in Nashville was being revitalized and it landed a great new restaurant. The place got good reviews so I made reservations and took my wife there.

After we had finished our meal, we were coming out to our car a few blocks away. There were several guys coming towards us who didn’t look they were going to the restaurant we had just left! So we crossed over to the other side of the street and avoided them, avoiding any potential conflicts.

The same awareness should be applied in your dental practice. You have to think about things like what you would do if corporate dentistry moves into the small town where you practice. What new dental laws are about to go into effect? What new tax codes do you need to be aware of that are impacting your practice’s revenue?

Also you need to apply this in your practice: are your revenues increasing or decreasing? Is your staff getting along or are there any conflicts? What do your patients think of and what is being said about you online and in social media?

These are all examples of situational awareness as it relates to your dental practice.

2. Have a game plan.
What do you want to do with your practice? Do you want to stay as solo operation or do you want to open multiple locations? Your game plan changes based on your goals, but either way you need to have your plan and stick to it.

It’s important to stick to it when new trends come along. When you have a game plan you can evaluate the latest trend, gadget or technology against your plan: will it help you? Or will it take you off track?

For example, if you hate oral surgery, you may decide to hire an associate who excels at it. Or you may decide to refer out or hire someone to come in and do it under your roof. What is your game plan for implants and other types of surgery if you hate doing it yourself?

The main point here is to fight your fight. Don’t let others influence you, stick to your game plan.

3. Manage and monitor your ego.
Third, manage and monitor your ego as needed. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and be open-minded to trying new things. It could be intimidating and scary, but you still have to do it. You may even worry about being embarrassed, that’s okay, just do it anyway.

This is also about knowing when to ask for help, when to hand things off and when to quit. Sometimes we have to ask for help and hand things off like taxes, business law, accounting. These are examples of all things that are better done by experts so be sure to find the right people to help you and then let them help you!

To recap, the three jiu jitsu principles you can apply to your dental practice are situational awareness, have a game plan and stick to it, and manage and monitor your ego. You’ll hear more examples of each of these when you listen in to episode 61 of Business of Dentistry!

Tweetable: “Stick to your fight plan.”

Episode Resources

Voices of Dentistry
Episode 59 of Business of Dentistry
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