My bike ride just outside our neighborhood takes me through avocado and citrus orchards and strawberry fields. Now that we have been in Ventura for a year, I have been able to observe the agriculture cycles on my bike rides. This morning there were rows of pruned citrus trees. The lanes between the trees were full of the trimmings. The citrus trees had new blooms, ripe fruit and green fruit all at the same time. The three cycles are all there together. The pruning allows the new fruit and the blossoms to have the best advantage at a healthy life cycle. When I grew roses in Florida, I knew I had to prune back the roses to encourage the new healthy growth.
This leads to a question for you about your professional life and your dental practice: what do you need to prune? What are you currently doing that is not giving you the professional satisfaction that you had hoped to have? What in your professional life needs to be pruned away? Often, out of momentum and habit, we continue to do what is comfortable and what we have been doing. Those actions have lost their zest or are just not effective at getting you or your practice up to the next level. As the third quarter takes us into fall, it is time to take a personal inventory to see what needs to go, be pruned or stopped.
In another field along today's bike ride, there were fresh new strawberry and lettuce plants. Here in Ventura, with our outstanding weather, the farmers can get three plantings of strawberries in the year. They end a harvest cycle, pull up the spent plants, plant new ones and wait for their growth to produce lovely California strawberries. Individual workers plant each plant into the plastic covered mound. The plants are watered and watched, until it's time for the workers to harvest the fruit.
Next question - What do you need to plant and nurture to encourage your professional growth? Right now stop and make a list of three skills that would bring growth in your practice or professional life. A great orator and writer, Zig Ziglar, said, "You are either green and growing, or you are ripe and rotting." Being a professional and managing a busy dental practice is not a stand-still job. To stay competitive today, you must be on the lookout for new skills and processes to stay ahead. One of the most valuable skills for today's dental professional is studying emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be learned and enhanced. This one skill will allow you as a professional to be more effective in ALL of your communication. Studying emotional intelligence will build communication with your patients, your team, and in all areas of your business and personal life.
Prospering takes the two actions of pruning and planting. You can only prosper-reap-if you have done the other two actions. Often, I hear dentists or office managers tell me that it is the team or the patients that need to change. You just need better patients who really care about their mouth. You just need the team to get their act together and be a fabulous team. You just need the younger team members to be as dedicated as the older ones. Blah, Blah, Blah.
Anytime you are seeking a solution outside of yourself, you could be waiting a long time. Change is up to you. Prune out the same old way that you say things. (Sometimes you get tired of your own voice saying the same things again and still not getting the result you want.) Time to call it quits on that. Find new phrases, new thoughts, new scripts and new actions to stimulate growth in the practice and in yourself. The team that continually challenges itself to prune and plant is the team that is exciting to be a part of and is on the path to growth and prosperity.
And please let me know if you want to study more about emotional intelligence. The training for you and your team can be quite powerful.
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Drevenstedt Consulting LLC