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Learn to lead your dental office team

January 08, 2016

By David Burger

Managing caries is one thing. Managing a team is quite another.

Dental school taught you more about the former than the latter, so to fill in the gap arrives the new manual "The ADA Practical Guide to Leading and Managing a Dental Team."

Written by experts, the book is for dentists, office managers and other dental staffers, designed to help them build leadership skills that were often neglected in school but are necessary to build trust among both colleagues and patients.

The 103-page book, its authors said, will help readers learn rewards and incentive programs, how to run productive meetings and how to make staff feel invested in the practice using metrics and statistics.

Dr. Knowles
"Dentists have to realize that we're not good at everything," said Dr. Lisa Knowles, a dentist and consultant at Michigan-based IntentionalDental Consulting, who wrote about conflict resolution in the manual. Leadership in the office needs to be nurtured, she said, and half-joked that "it's essential for our sanity."

Besides conflict resolution, the manual covers:

  • Real-life examples from dental industry experts.
  • Team activities and checklists.
  • Tangible ideas for showing appreciation for team members.
  • Explanations on the importance of leading by example.
  • Examples of performance and accountability standards and incentive and bonus programs.
  • How to get the most out of the morning meeting and make it engaging.
  • Ways to reduce drama in the office.
Communication is the key to creating a more peaceful practice, and that leads directly to better patient care, Dr. Knowles said.

The book (P551) is $49.95 for Association members and $74.95 for nonmembers. Use promo code 16103 by March 17 to receive a 15 percent discount on the book and all ADA Catalog products.
To order, call 1-800-947-4746 or visit