"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." ~William Arthur Ward~
Every now and then, a business is so great that I'm compelled to write about it here. In the past I've written about The Hair Gallery, 131 Main, Rabbit and Company, etc. The common denominator that makes these businesses so impressive? The people who work there. They are always friendly, professional, upbeat and have great customer service skills. It's the no-fail combination for success.
The business that has driven me to my laptop on this cold Saturday is my new gym, Totally New You Fitness. I first heard about this gym from a patient who raved about the workout and the people who taught there. At the time I was already paying for the YMCA and a kickboxing gym. I really couldn't see how I could fit another gym into my schedule, neverless afford one. He encouraged me to at least go for a no-fee consultation and meet the trainer. That was all it took to get me hooked.
When I showed up I met Kym Roberts who is a friendly, upbeat, fun, smart, intelligent woman. She told me about the program and took me through an easy workout to see where I was in my fitness level. She described the type of workouts I'd be doing and the atmosphere of the gym. Of course, being me, I signed up. That meant paying for a kickboxing gym for 3 more months that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to use anymore and I so glad I did.
Kym inspired me to stretch my budget with her personality, attitude and knowledge. She made me want to be there. That's your first clue for why this has anything to do with a dental practice. Do you and your staff make your patients want to be there? Believe me, these workouts are not a piece of cake, they're tough, you have to want to go through them. Dental treatment is not always a piece of cake either, so you have to do something to make patients want to be there.
I've been going to Totally New You for about 6 weeks now and I can see that I'm getting fitter and stronger. Kym, the owner David Hoffmaster, and Holly all encourage us to work harder, try more and always, to squeeze our butts tighter and pull our tummies in. They're serious, but they always keep it fun. They love what they do and it shows. David, Kym and Holly are good people and you can feel it. They are naturally easy to be around. That's your second take away from this; are you and your staff natural and easy to be around. Do patients feel that you care and that they can ask you any questions they may have without worrying about upsetting or insulting you?
Here's what really impresses me about them. They remember every detail of everyone's workout. They remember what weight you were lifting the last time you worked out (and they're not walking around with clipboards). They pay attention to detail (if I hear David say "Everything is in plank" one more time I am sure I'll wake up in plank in the morning). They bring in humor; Kym is the most easy-going person I've ever met, yet she delights in walking around with a stick and poking butts and tummies to see if they're tight. Like David, she has a favorite phrase, "Crack a walnut", meaning you should be able to crack a walnut with your butt. That could come in handy at a party. Finally, they know what all of us can do and they push us to do the next little bit more. They have our backs while we do it. They are patient with the ones who need to go slower, but supportive of people who want to keep improving faster as long as it's not dangerous. The other day I wanted to add weight for an overhead press. I had already done 24 presses at 40 and 50 lbs. and was going to do my final set at 65 lbs. When I did my first press I knew it was hard and at my limit. I did two more and then attempted a fourth. When I got it over my head I started to wobble and before I could panic Kym was grabbing the bar and steadying me. Once I racked it I turned and said "I didn't even know you were behind me." Kym just looked at me and said, "Of course I was." That said it all. I know she'll push me, but she'll be right there with me. When you're doing something incorrectly they all notice and work with you to get it right. When you're doing it right, they cheer you on and it feels great because you know they're not giving false praise...you've earned it! Do you pay attention to what is happening in your patient's lives? Do you make notes on their charts so you can ask them about it the next time they come in? Is your concern real, or just for the hour they are with you?
That's what you want in your practice. That's how you inspire your staff to be the best they can be. So much modern psychology makes us shy away from having expectations for people, from pushing them to work harder, or to set performance standards. It doesn't help anyone. When people push you to be your best with a supportive, caring attitude, it makes you want to partner with them in achieving what they know you can do. It makes you believe in yourself and your abilities. When you give correction with concern, they don't feel belittled. When you praise appropriately, for true progress and performance, you build people up. The people at Totally New You make me want to work harder. They inspire me with their attitudes, their personalities and their genuine concern. You can do that for your staff and you will have the results you've always wanted.