Turkey time is the perfect time to upraise your attitude to a higher plane. Thanksgiving is the time of Thankfulness, therefore, setting a priority on gratitude is a great way to use this month.
Life, job, kids, politics, economy, meanness in many forms assaults us daily. It is far too easy to fall in to what a great man, Zig Ziglar, coined as "stinkin' thinkin'." Every negative, judgmental, exasperated thought takes us down the wrong path for overall peace and mental health. In fact, one of the assists for people who tend toward depression is to end every day by writing down 3 things you are joyous or thankful about just before bedtime. An author who was having marriage challenges used this process to transform his marriage. He took an oath that for one year he would write each day one thing he loved, adored or appreciated about his wife. At the end of the year he had grown more loving and was able to present her with a true love volume of his appreciations. She never changed any of the things that annoyed him. He changed his focus to her positive traits.
Here are a few ideas for your month of Thanks Giving:
1. Practice this practice.
Send a Thanksgiving card or letter to every patient who has come into your practice over the past year. Break it down to send a card to EVERYONE, not just the "head of house hold. The greatest compliment is someone coming to you for care. Your greatest Thank You would be a personally signed card. Thanksgiving is the BEST time for this internal marketing NOT Christmas. During Christmas, people are inundated with cards. AND, you never know who doesn't celebrate Christmas or who celebrates Kwanza or Chanukah. A great source for greeting cards and other marketing materials is www.paperdirect.com.
Give your special Thank You to your referring dentists during Thanksgiving. I have been a temp hygienist in practices that are almost sickened by one more specialty gift during Christmas. I have been given armloads of stuff to get out of the office. Don't let that be what your referring dentists and their staff think of you. Use the THANKFUL theme of Thanksgiving to be generous and downplay the urge to give food to practices during the Christmas season.
3. Give the gift from your hands and heart.
One practice I worked for took EVERY Thanksgiving and created, as we in the South called it, a covered dish dinner. The dentist and the staff all cooked - really cooked not buy or cater - a dinner for the top 25 referrers and/or treatment plan completion patients. They closed the office from 10 - 3 one day during Thanksgiving week. They put tables in the reception room and food on the reception counter. The staff and the dentist served the people who had helped them all year have a successful practice. It was FAB and the patients were so happy to be invited and treated as honored guests.
4. A sincere Thank You for a job well done
Look for someone on the team who has done the "above the call of duty" job in your practice. Have a supply of small Thank You cards that are blank on the inside. Write a personal note of thanks for what you saw them do. Mail it to them at home. Two things happen. First, you are looking for actions to appreciate so your attitude changes during your search. Second, the staff member gets the kudos they often miss. The note at home let's their family see that they are appreciated at work. All good things.
5. Every day at your Morning Huddle
Choose a patient to appreciate for: a recent referral, a completed treatment plan, a new baby, a recent promotion, etc. Have your own Goodie Box and let them choose or you choose a special gift. Make up your own Goodie bags. Consider the Oxyfesh® travel kits or make up your own with a good travel toothbrush, small breath spray, sugarless or Xylitol mints, floss card and small toothpaste or lip balm. You can buy your own small mesh bags at your local craft store. Make it pretty and have them ready for a patient one day to appreciate. :)
*NOTE* Please download the attached PDF file for the full-color version of Linda's eSSENTIALs November 2014 edition. In the file you will also find a link to subscribe or you may visit Linda's website: www.drevenstedt.com.
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC