There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” It’s a bit like the adage, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Well, dental business is a bit like that.

As much as we might feel like we’re responsible for everything and that we have to do it all ourselves, we really need to surround ourselves with high-quality team members that we can rely on for support.

Any practice owner will know that having a right-hand person is a crucial part of keeping a practice afloat, running, and to a high standard.

Whether it’s a practice manager or other support staff– there are a few key things to keep in mind for a successful relationship.

A clear vision and communication with your right-hand person.

In many dynamics, the practice owner is responsible for the strategy and long-term vision for the business whilst a practice manager oversees daily operations.

This can lead to a bit of a communication gap, where the person who conceives the big ideas isn’t necessarily the person implementing them.

Ultimately, what a dental practice owner really needs from their practice manager is the ability to take what’s in their head and bring it into reality.

Now unfortunately, most of our team members can’t read minds… this means that the practice owner must take responsibility for effectively communicating their strategies, needs, feedback, and vision for the dental practice. As in any personal relationship, communication is key.

Trust and let go.

Part of the role of the manager is to oversee daily operations and executions.

Naturally, this requires the practice owner to give up a little control and trust in their right-hand person.

This can be a little tricky for Type-A perfectionists, as dentists often are. But it’s important to understand, this is not an abdication or handing over the keys.

It’s about bringing someone else on board as a co-pilot, someone that can have an eye on the strategy and an eye on the tactics.

Commit to understanding.

In order for someone to support the practice owner, they need to commit to understanding them.

Understanding the vision for the practice, the strategies in place, the priorities and needs of the business.

Eventually, you want to sort of duplicate the way you think and work, so that your right-hand person can make the same decisions that you would.

After decades of practice ownership myself and working with hundreds of practices around the world, it’s become clear that you will always go further with someone to support you.

A capable, passionate, and values-driven practice manager is worth their weight in gold – so it’s a relationship worth investing in.

Remember that building successful business relationships with business partners and staff is important in creating a more harmonious and effective workplace.

The Savvy Dentist Podcast Ep 196 on how to achieve goals faster with your dental practice management consultant.