Core Values in the Dental Practice

September 10, 2013

How do we connect with other people? A connection requires levels of communication with people, exchanges of ideas, and understandings of an emotional level, not just a clinical diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are our core values? They are sets of standards or beliefs. They are things that we will not compromise for short-term gain, for convenience, or for profit. You will hold to your core values, even if the environment you find yourself in doesn’t reward you for doing so.

Who you are has a lot to do with how you treat other people. Your core values are yours, and they are not there for anyone else to judge, whether they’re right or wrong. I will know if I can connect with you or not connect with you by beginning to understand your core values. People buy what you believe, not what you do.

This is true for dental practices as well. Your core values are like a compass. You pull them out when you have to make tough decisions. When you come to a difficult fork in the road and need to determine which way to go, you pull out your compass and say, “Which way would be more like me based on who I think I am and what I stand for.”

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been sharing your core values with your children all along. This is so they know what to do when they make choices that represent who they are.

This is called “being real, being authentic and genuine.” This is what people look for when they decide if they’re going to connect with your practice or not. Consequently, if we’re going to have people trust us, care about us, and know what we’re talking about, we must be certain that our core values be “real, authentic and genuine.” There must be time in the schedule to allow this to happen. It’s not “just a cleaning” or a D.O. on #5.

A good home-based exercise would be to ask the kids at dinner what the family’s core values are and what evidence they have of what they say they are.

Make a list of all the things that drives your patients or your team members crazy and then make a separate list of all those things that delight them.

Another question would be, “What are we able to provide that people value the most?” If I knew the answer to that question, I would spend a lot of focused time trying to provide the answers on how to do that.

Our danger is that we lose our sensitivity to understanding other people’s dreams and what they want. We become so enamored in our own selves and the way we do things that we forget to pay attention. Don’t be the doctor or the doctor’s team who are accused of losing their sensitivity to the patient’s needs because they’ve been doing it so long that it’s routine.

In other words, it’s not about teeth; it’s about what people aspire to have and who they aspire to be. This is so much more meaningful than websites or the latest technology. “People buy what you believe, not what you do or how you do it.” -Simon Sinek

Jay White