What is the ONE trait that most successful dentists share?
Excellent clinical abilities are crucial of course, but that’s not it. Being a good leader is super-important, but without this trait, it’s much more difficult to be one. And strangely, it may not even be excellent business skills, although you sure need that.
So what is it?
Can you guess?
Let’s face it – if you are likable, people want to be around you. They want to listen to you. They trust you. And they want to tell their friends all about you. Fact is, being likable (and of course honest and ethical) can cover up a lot of ills. Being likable can help foster long-term dedicated patients and team members. It can even “sell” treatment.
But as we all know, some people are just naturally more likable than others. However, even if you are not a natural, there are some skills you can cultivate that likable people seem to have. Here are the top ten!!
1. They focus on people more than anything else.
When you are talking to a patient or team member, focus on them and truly listen. Don’t think about how you feel or what you are going to say. Listen with both ears!
2. They are authentic.
Why try to be someone else? Be the best version of yourself! And if you are not authentically you, not only will people catch on, it gets very confusing!
3. They enthusiastically love life.
When things go wrong they take it in stride and move on.
4. They know how to make “big small talk.”
It’s great to be able to have lightweight “chit chat” with our patients, and it’s best to make it meaningful. Try to learn something about your patient as a person every time you speak. Sure beats “How about this weather?”
5. They treat everyone with respect.
Everyone!! They are just as nice to the janitor as they are to their patients. (It’s really true that you can tell how nice someone truly is by how they treat the waiter….)
6. They have integrity.
They don’t talk the talk, they walk the walk. And they don’t gossip or demean others.
7. They don’t constantly try to one-up others.
Ever know someone who always steers the conversation to their accomplishments, or always has a comeback to every story that tops it? Yeah – so do we. And we don’t like it!!
8. They smile.
Nothing is more important in dentistry!
9. They make an effort to look their best, but they don’t overdo it.
No one likes to hang out with a schlub. But the same goes for those who obsess over their appearance. Likable people get the balance right.
10. They respect the opinions of others.
You certainly can never agree with everything you hear. But likable people recognize the line between fact and opinion, while realizing everybody sees things differently.
Now go be an excellent clinician, a respected leader, a great business person…..and be likable!