Building a successful dental practice means embracing ‘moments of truth’, Alun Rees says.

I have just completed a year as an area director of Toastmasters International.

It has been great fun to interact with and learn from people whose aim is to support each other and become better public speakers.

If public speaking fills you with terror, is a ‘blind spot’ or you want to improve as a speaker, then investigate Toastmasters.

My duties included visiting ‘my’ area clubs a couple of times during the year to evaluate how they were performing against certain standards known as ‘The Toastmasters moments of truth’.

Described as ‘a time when a person or thing is tested, a decision has to be made, or a crisis has to be faced’, knowing and understanding your own moments of truth will lead to success.

Creating a successful way of working

I love systems and admire business owners, individuals and teams who embrace them.

My introduction to systems and standards came when my uncle’s firm, Springfast, obtained BS5750/ISO9000 and Sir John Harvey-Jones visited the factory to present their award.

When in practice, I lost no time in introducing our own practice brand and clinical standards.

In Toastmasters the moments of truth include: first impressions, member orientation, meeting organisation and membership strength.

Within each of these topics are several clearly defined standards against which the club is measured.

I regret that the compliance demands of the CQC, GDC, HIS, HIW and so on, have forced many dentists to see systems as a ‘tick box’ exercise.

They are missing out on the opportunity to create a way of working that is successful and provides consistency for patients and team.

By addressing each moment on the patient journey, all clinical procedures and processes plus every opportunity for something to either succeed or fail, you are able to describe and build a business where successful outcomes are predictable and measurable.


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