Believe it or not, the difference between your team and a dream team is not far off. The key is perspective. With a few tweaks to your team huddle approach you can turn that bah humbug attitude into an innovative effort. The choice is yours.

Need an example? Try making your workday theater!

This is a play about a cast of people on a mission to illuminate the lives of their dental patients, one at a time! The characters in this play work together to touch the inner smile of their patients by providing a platform to experience another way of having dentistry delivered. This dental team knows that all patients are special – including the ones who are true characters – as all patients write our paychecks, therefore deserving the best we, as dental professionals, can offer.

So let’s get on with our stage play.

The alarm goes off, the coffee is brewing and it is time to wake up, dress up and show up! With java in hand, each cast (team) member heads to the dental office for another opportunity to impact colleagues and patients with positive mojo, which in turn generates overall good health for everyone that day.

As the cast gathers together preparing for the huddle (dress rehearsal), they are engaging in a playfully productive atmosphere before patients arrive a quarter-hour later. This special time allows everyone to set the stage for the play to begin in 15 minutes.

Soon our audience – our patients – will be arriving to be presented an entertaining, interactive and educational dental performance! This group of superstars understands the dental office doesn’t have to be a sterile backdrop for the stage, but rather a place where people learn and take part in their overall health and well-being in partnership with the dental professionals that surround them.

Part of having more energy, enthusiasm, productivity and creativity begins during this dress rehearsal or daily team huddle. The morning huddle sets the tone for an innovative and accountable work environment where playful and attentive individuals brainstorm the best possible treatment options for their “audience,” ensuring that each patient leaves having had a Cirque du Soleil experience (minus the acrobatics of course!). These cast members start with the end in mind, focusing on one patient at a time. In fact, everyone in this dental office does things with intention and attention, no matter what their job entails, plus, they stay connected to the stars of the show, the patients themselves. Everyone is engaged in being part of a stimulating performance, one designed to help the patient feel successful in their own dental and overall health.

With consistency, team members begin to change the way they look at things – not another EARLY MORNING HUDDLE – and this magical daily dress rehearsal takes on new meaning. By starting the day with a well-organized plan for progressing through the day smoothly, stress and unnecessary chaos is reduced. Showing up and hoping all goes well is not a strategy; having a plan prevents energy leaks and results in a stellar performance.

If your cast and crew have amazing attitudes, then you, doctor, deserve a standing ovation! You’ve developed an ensemble cast that people hunger to be a part of, and your patients are the beneficiaries! If, however, your cast and crew are not quite ready for Broadway, all is not lost. Below is Zum Wohl’s (pronounced “zoom vol”) checklist for an effective team huddle, a script of sorts to begin daily dress rehearsals. Feel free to modify this form to suit your particular needs. As any well-rehearsed team knows, starting each day with intention and action will help reduce energy leaks, increase daily productivity and provide opportunities for more life after dentistry.

Zum Wohl! To your health!

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