With everything that goes on in your dental practice, it can be difficult to find time to lead your team and create unity among the patients and staff. But, with a little effort it's possible. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

It doesn't have to be a national crisis, but in the case of leadership the point is clear: You want to give your staff and patients real facts and truth, because this is what creates their respect towards you, and let's face it; if you aren't respected in your practice by your staff, you will not have the most successful business.

Don't ignore them

There are small differences you can make in someone's day, especially when you are around them five to seven days a week. Be sure you learn the names of everyone on your staff, and you should actually know more than that. You want to know if they have a family, how old their children are, and if their parents are well. You simply can't run a successful practice if you're a stranger to your employees and vice versa.

Have open lines of communication

In any leadership role you should be making the big decisions, but you should trust your staff to handle everything else. If you have daily, or weekly, meetings then you can get a lot accomplished by reviewing all past and future patient issues and how to resolve and handle them.

When you are present for meetings like this, you put yourself in front of your staff more, and they in turn will respect you more because you care enough about your practice to be present in all aspects of it. Like James Humes famously said, "The art of communication is the language of leadership." Having this skill will not only give you the respect you should have from your staff, but also from your patients.

Know how to say no

Tony Blair said, "The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes." This can be a great lesson for so many people in the dentistry field that say yes to everything their employees ask of them.

One of the most important aspects of leadership is saying no in a way that is not offensive, but is just the final word. When you chose to say no to a request be sure that you give a solid reason why. You want to have an explanation as to why you don't agree to what is being proposed. And by all means, be calm when you are not going to participate in an action that is being suggested. You don't want to offend anyone when you turn their idea down, but you also need to put all feelings aside and remember it's business.

Being a great leader is no easy task, but you're not the first one to do it! Talk to others in your position, gain inspiration for those in other fields, and most of all, don't be afraid to mess up every once once in a while! Fine tune your leadership skills and build respect amongst the staff at your practice.