Morning Glory Women Dentists Network August 2019

What Type of Leader Are You?

Collaborative Leaders Advocates of collaborative

I was recently accepted into the American Dental Association’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership program, class of 2019–2020. I amhonored to be a part of this great program. This position gives me additional insight and resources to design community outreach programs within our community. Strong leadership is crucial in any community, and I have been thinking about what it means to be a leader and how leadership is defined. The following article, courtesy of Prosperity Dental Solutions, defines different types of leadership styles. We all lead differently, but some strategies are stronger than others. When it comes tomanagement and leadership styles within a dental office, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Certain leadership styles lend themselves better to smaller offices, for example, while a top-down approachmay work better for others. When examining which leadership style works best for your clinic, it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of several more prevalent options. Take a look: The Authoritarian Leader Collaboration isn’t high on an authoritarianmanager’s agenda. These micromanagers tend to prefer strict, hierarchical chains of command. They also tend to dislike questioning. When there’s a crisis, this model can be highly effective, though. But over the long term, authoritarian leaders may sow discontent and resentment among colleagues. The Strategic Leader Strategic managers are goal-oriented. They focus on the big picture and communicate that vision to others. Any long-term vision requires buy-in fromworkers, so these visionaries tend to seek honest feedback from cohorts and empower workers to effect change that is in line with the dental office’s strategic vision. If your clinic needs tomake substantial changes over the course of a year or more, this leadership style can serve that goal well. Transformational Leaders These leaders are agile. They understand that running any business, dental clinic or otherwise, requires flexibility and a willingness to adopt new ideas and technologies. This leadership style may work well inmedicine, where innovation and change are omnipresent realities. Transformational leaders may cause resentment with workers who are set in their ways, though. Types of Leadership Styles

leadership understand that no one person is right 100% of the time. Teamwork is another hallmark of collaborative-mindedmanagers. A dentist or senior nurse needs to knowwhen tomake an executive decision for this leadership approach to work best.

This article was adapted from Jennifer Pearce, Prosperity Dental Solutions (817) 975-4576

Administrative-Minded Leaders Type A personalities are prevalent among these process-driven individuals. Following rules can be great when insurance forms need to be filed, but this leadership style doesn’t allow for much creativity or flexibility. Good Parent Management Style Dental clinics often boast about their“family-friendly”approach to oral health care, and with good reason. Tomaintain a successful business, dental offices need to serve children, teens, adults, and the elderly. That family-friendly ethos can also be used within a dental office’s work culture. Good parent-styledmanagers treat hygienists and other staffers like family. When workers feel genuinely cared about, they tend to feel loyal to a company. Which leadership styleworks best for your clinic? It is important to remember that nomember of a dental teamhas to be any one type of leader all the time. In fact, the best leaders knowwhen to adapt their behavior to best fit the situation or task at hand. If there is a disciplinary action that needs to be taken (to address a chronically late employee, for example), an authoritarian approachmay achieve the best results. When a clinic is preparing to grow a customer base in order to be able to afford a larger office, strategic leadershipmay be called for. Most management professionals agree that collaboration is a good thing for any business.

–Y. Cathy Hung, DDS, Dip. ABOMS

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Founder, Morning Glory Women Dentists Network of New Jersey

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