Improving Dental Team Training

All-Star Coaches Eric Vickery, and Larissa Pretoni discuss the importance of training and development in the dental field with Alex Nottingham. They agreed that the dentist has to be committed to training and be the leader in order for it to be successful. Larissa stressed the importance of setting goals for the entire practice and each individual department. Eric added that the dentist must also take time to communicate with their team members on a regular basis. Ultimately, they concluded that implementing training and development can be beneficial for the practice, employees and patients.

Highlights – Improving Dental Team Training

[00:00:07] Reinforcing Training in Dentistry
[02:02:11] Team Buy-In and Empowerment
[03:14:22] Building Trust and Creating an Ownership Mentality in Dental Practices
[04:39:12] Pursuing Excellence and Implementing Training in the Dental Practice
[08:20:05] Building Rapport, Accountability, and Team Implementation
[11:29:22] “Creating a System for Successful Team Building and Training”
[13:31:08] All-Star Training Best Practices
[14:54:28] Implementing and Maintaining Accountability

Resources

About Larissa Pretoni

Larissa Pretoni helps dentists increase their profits, and improve relationships with staff and patients, by turning dental offices into highly efficient, yet friendly establishments. She is on a mission to support those she serves to achieve new levels of success and happiness.

With over two decades of experience in dentistry and having worked in both clinical and admin positions at general and pediatric practices, Larissa has acquired an extensive background of achievements. Being able to help grow two pediatric offices from scratch, Larissa has the unique experience to problem solve different areas of the dental office at different stages, implement tailored systems and processes and help bridge the costly communication gap between dentist owners, staff members and patients.

About Eric Vickery

Eric is the President of Coaching at All-Star Dental Academy. He speaks all over North America on Practice Management and Case Acceptance. Since 2001 Eric has coached over 300 offices on all Practice Management topics including how to resign from restrictive insurance plans.

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.

00:00:07 – 00:15:19
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Welcome to Dental Allstars. As part of our Coaching Playbook series, we have our president of coaching, Eric Vickery, with me and we are interviewing together one of our mastery coaches, Larissa Parton. The topic of this podcast is How to reinforce training. Please welcome Eric and Larissa.

00:16:09 – 00:16:26
ERIC VICKERY
Hey, Alex.

00:17:21 – 00:18:22
LARISSA PRETONI
Hey, Alex, how are you?

00:18:26 – 00:28:04
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Good to have all of you here together. So tell us a little bit of a background about you, Larissa. Everybody knows about Eric. Let’s hear about some of our power players in the coaching department.

00:29:02 – 00:48:25
LARISSA PRETONI
Well, I always like to say that dentistry is a passion. I started out as a dental assistant about 22 years ago, don’t make the math. And I started out as a dental session letting assistant supervisor, front desk management up to a point where I felt like I really wanted to help more officers and that’s why I’m here.

00:49:03 – 00:56:27
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
One of your specialties now you’re a generalist, you help all practices, but you actually were in pido before, correct?

00:57:12 – 21:09
LARISSA PRETONI
Yes, I was in pediatrics for about 10 to 12 years. It is my passion. I mean, there is nothing like working with kids in being in dentistry with children, making them have their first dental home and have the parents happy and understanding that what you’re doing is the best for your kids is just like priceless. So being in the pediatric field really, really motivates me and become a better coach and better consultant to bring the best to the kids and the parents.

21:23 – 44:07
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
And in addition, you also have an experience with insurance, both working with offices that have insurance to get the most out of it and helping dental office get off insurance. Much of what Eric teaches and oversees in our Insurance Freedom program. So it’s nice that you’re really a jack of all trades. You have so much experience in different areas of dentistry, so it’s really nice to pull from.

44:19 – 47:08
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Eric Anything you wanted to kind of comment? I mean, you work a lot with Larissa.

47:20 – 02:02:11
ERIC VICKERY
Yeah, I think the biggest thing for Larissa is her passion for implementation and getting team members fired up like she is. She had that ownership mentality when she was working in a practice and that carries over into her coaching. And you can see that what she’s trying to do with her team say, Hey, own this, be a part of the solution, get involved.

02:02:16 – 02:14:22
ERIC VICKERY
You can make a difference in your practice. And so teams that work with her are going to get a she’s a stick of dynamite wrapped in a firecracker package. Right. She’s going to be able to really empower them. So she’s such a powerful coach, excited to have her on the all star coaching team.

02:16:09 – 02:30:08
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
And we’re kind of building on that to team buy in. Eric was giving you this great supportive introduction. What is this idea of team buying? Why is team buying important and how do we get the team to buy in more?

02:30:19 – 02:50:04
LARISSA PRETONI
That’s a great question and this is the reason why I like to talk about training so much. When I started, I had no training whatsoever, so I was thrown to this role, which I had to learn a lot. I was lucky enough to be trusted with a few offices from scratch. So knowing that you have to do things on your own without any support is very hard.

02:50:12 – 03:04:08
LARISSA PRETONI
And when the office is able to offer the training to their team members, the dentist wins, the office swings, the patients wins, everyone wins. So you have a better operation, you have less stress, you have higher production. And so everything just, you know, comes.

03:04:18 – 03:13:21
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
As Eric mentioned, you have an ownership mentality. How do we get the team to have that? I know so many dentists are frustrated because they want their team to have it. How does that happen?

03:14:22 – 03:34:08
LARISSA PRETONI
That’s something that I realized early on working with dental offices, being able to be that bridge between the team members and the dentist owner and understanding both sides. I would say that what’s very important is trust. You have to trust your team members. You have to empower them so they feel like they can do the things that you want them to do without stepping on your toes.

03:34:13 – 03:47:11
LARISSA PRETONI
So the ownership mentality is coming from both sides, but really also making sure that the dentist owner give that that their team member the certainty that they are backing them up. So if you fear of being if you’ve been backed up, you start acting a different way.

03:47:17 – 03:58:29
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Eric is a maxwell trained leadership consultant. It’s leadership. How do we get these doctors to get their heads out of the sand? Because if they’re not right, we’re not going to be able to implement properly. Am I correct? Larisa and Eric.

03:59:19 – 04:19:06
ERIC VICKERY
I’ll jump in. I’ll say, first of all, I love what you said, Larissa. And when we say team that includes a doctor and everything from appreciation down to accountability. So for me, when Larissa says things like you have to have the culture and freedom for mistakes to happen, mistakes are going to be made. But if I’m so afraid to make mistakes, I’m so afraid to make mistakes.

04:19:06 – 04:39:12
ERIC VICKERY
I won’t engage. I won’t create an ownership mentality because I’m just going to stay out of the the fear of consequence and simultaneously with that, the doctor also has to create be a leader in that culture development and say, look, mistakes are going to happen. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect the pursuit of excellence. And we’re going to fail forward.

04:39:12 – 04:49:11
ERIC VICKERY
As Maxwell says, we’re going to celebrate our mistakes. We’re going to talk about them and we’re going to encourage through them. That’s the only way growth can happen. You cannot stay where you are and expect to grow.

04:49:12 – 04:55:29
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Both of you worked in an office. You see the dentist and as a consultant and as an employee, Larissa kind of build on that.

04:56:22 – 05:15:14
LARISSA PRETONI
That if you are just running, putting fires out, you’re never growing. So you have to prepare. So you’re not always putting those fires out and preparing training at a beat, maybe for the dentist, maybe for the team members. We have to remember that dentistry can be chaotic. It could be overwhelming. It’s always busy. There is never time for anything.

05:15:14 – 05:42:00
LARISSA PRETONI
But if we stick to that, there is never time for anything. And trust me, like you said, I’ve been doing it. I do it every time I’m training and I’ll have it. I taught them. I sat at that same chair you’re sitting. I know what you’re going through. So I can tell you that this also works. If you put it into action, what does help the dentist see that that training is needed is really have focused and have a goal in mind if you know that you want to get somewhere where you’re not being able to get there, you need to do something different.

05:42:05 – 05:47:07
LARISSA PRETONI
So if what you’ve been doing is not working, you have to try a different way and why not give it a try?

05:47:07 – 06:09:15
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
The training we were talking about in the first section is leadership and I’ll link to a podcast that it was Shelly on leadership versus management. And so leadership comes first. The dentist has to buy in, they have to commit, they have to have that burning desire and stay the course. Now, moving into management, how do we get it done, which is the topic that we’re talking about today?

06:09:15 – 06:18:14
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
How do we implement? Let’s talk about that, Larissa. How often should we check in? You mentioned goals. Give me an idea of how this plays out to properly implement training.

06:18:14 – 06:33:16
LARISSA PRETONI
So goals that could be internal and external, you would have goals for the practice as a whole. You’re going to have goals for each department and you’re going to have goals for your managers, for your front desk team members, for your clinical team members. So once everything is clear and you have a plan of action, you can actually set out that time for training.

06:33:16 – 06:47:27
LARISSA PRETONI
I highly recommend and you know, I know we are all stars, but the reason why I’m an all star coach, if I may just chime in on that, I implemented All Star in one of my offices and it worked out really, really well. So when I decided to become a coach, I’m like, I know where I want to go.

06:47:27 – 07:03:15
LARISSA PRETONI
And that’s where I’m, you know, that’s where I’m coming. Because I really believe that what we teach is really going to get your practice from 0 to 50 in no time just by implementing a if you ask me how often once a week, you know. But the problem with our no offices was our wisdom is that we’re always busy.

07:03:15 – 07:24:22
LARISSA PRETONI
There is never time. So we go back to, you know, taking that time aside and maybe lunch offer lunch to your staff. BYLINE To see what they want to eat and just have that one hour all star is only 20 minutes. But you do do need some role playing time and time for discussion. So if you have that one hour a week training time with your staff, I can guarantee you you’re going to see your revenues going up.

07:24:22 – 07:31:18
LARISSA PRETONI
Less stress patients are going to be happier, employees are going to be happier, and the dentists going to have back that time that they don’t have.

07:32:12 – 07:47:04
ERIC VICKERY
Yeah, I think I love what you’re saying, Larissa, and I just want to echo it because it’s absolutely the truth. This is the second opinion here. So here’s, you know, I’m typing notes while you’re talking, right? What role does a dentist play in this? And the real question is, how does the dentist in power or influence as a leader?

07:47:12 – 08:03:20
ERIC VICKERY
How do they influence the team? Well, when you’re sitting with a patient and your head’s down, you’re not influencing anybody. You’re getting work done. You’re a producer at that point. So you have to take time out of of working as a producer in being a leader. The only way you can influence someone is to be in a relationship with them.

08:04:03 – 08:20:05
ERIC VICKERY
And the only way to be in a relationship with someone is to be in communication with them. So the communication standpoint of what you’re doing has to be effective. So Robin is amazing at talking about this the stay interview. We call them one on ones, having one on one conversation with each one of your team members at least monthly for 15 minutes.

08:20:05 – 08:41:15
ERIC VICKERY
We have an agenda for that. And what you talk about in that you build rapport, you build relationship, right? You engage them sound familiar and you create accountability. And that emotional deposit allows you to make emotional withdraws. When you do instant accountability, when things get out of sorts, you have to as a leader, you have to have this relationship strong enough.

08:41:19 – 08:54:12
ERIC VICKERY
Right. And come to Larissa and say, hey, Larissa, this is what I’m seeing. How can I support you in improving in this area? That’s the communication has to happen and I can have that with her because we’re in relationship. The other option is just to bury your head in the sand or in the patient’s mouth and ignore it and hope it all gets better.

08:54:15 – 08:55:19
ERIC VICKERY
And that typically doesn’t work. Well.

08:56:19 – 09:15:01
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
I’m really you mentioned Firecracker earlier, Eric, and what I love about what Larissa does is the offices that she works with, she brings in a lot of people that she consults with before doing All Star and she gets them on the program. One of the best coaches are doing it because she believes in it so much. And it’s also reassuring listening to you because there are different aspects of coaching.

09:15:01 – 09:40:20
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
I would say like three tiers. One is leadership, which is so you know what you’re looking to do. You, you have you’re clear on your outcome. You overcome your self-limiting beliefs and then you move into KPI coaching where you know the numbers. So you can say where am I bleeding money? We talk about in our webinars and I’ll put a link on on the show notes with dental practice, excellence, broken appointments, phone skills, etc. and then the team implementation.

09:40:20 – 10:02:01
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Having a coach work with a team that has dental experience, that worked in their role. Like you said, the reason you’re so effective in helping teams implement and you’re like, Listen, I’m just like you. I’ve done it. I know what you’re going through. And here’s the benefit on the other side. It’s not that we’re just doing the task to get it done because Doctor said, so we’re going to be better, we’re going to feel more confident, we’re going to be able to serve the patients better.

10:02:01 – 10:22:21
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
We have purpose in our life. Think about we come to the office and we do the same thing every day. Imagine doctors, you’re investing in your team and they feel more empowered. They have purpose and what they do and training can be a way to rally behind that. So I’ve just I love the model that you’ve created, Larissa, and it just showcases how important it is to have people like you to support teams.

10:23:24 – 10:39:04
LARISSA PRETONI
And one thing that I do want to bring on the air, Eric, talks a lot about the law for research for patients and there is a lot of research for your team members. You have to know what’s their motivation, what do they want out of life? What is that is going to make them, you know, get that ownership mentality.

10:39:12 – 10:56:06
LARISSA PRETONI
And then you’re going to go from there. We know communication. We know people. People are different. Everyone is different. We all have different. We have people that get motivated by money and some people will not be motivated by money. And if you have a leader that is only focusing on the financial side of the the practice, that’s not going to help your team members succeed in their role.

10:56:06 – 11:05:27
LARISSA PRETONI
That training is not going to go well because they’re not going to see the benefits for them. So being able to know who you’re training, really knowing a little bit of a depth, that helps a lot to.

11:06:20 – 11:10:19
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Tell me about written systems and processes. Why that’s important.

11:11:10 – 11:29:22
LARISSA PRETONI
Extremely important. Dental offices are busy. We already said that. We know that if you don’t have systems and processes and paper as is, that you can go back and follow up with. You’re going to have people running like chickens without their heads. We all expect that once you tell something to someone, I tell you this is how you do it.

11:29:22 – 11:47:04
LARISSA PRETONI
A plus B is C, go ahead and do it. That’s not how it works. People need to see how it’s done. People need to read about how it’s done. People needs to get hands on. So having that written system helps you to be able to offer the tools to your employee or your team member to be able to succeed and achieve what they need to achieve.

11:48:10 – 12:05:13
ERIC VICKERY
Yeah, it’s it’s so powerful. The system has to be people say all the time, 94% of success in the system, but you need people working that system. So Alex, you did an amazing podcast before about who do you put first your your customers always first will actually know and your team has to come first in order to put the patient or your customer first.

12:05:23 – 12:21:18
ERIC VICKERY
And the saying goes, you have a culture. It’s either on accident or on purpose, right? It’s there. So if you’re not being on purpose about it and part of your culture is you’re training your systems, what we know this is when we look at KPIs, we look at teams that are successful. You can define success, but a great team.

12:21:18 – 12:36:13
ERIC VICKERY
What does it take to be a great team? I love our acronym so we’ll use it so Larissa already mentioned 20 minutes a week of all star training. That is a must but is not an optional thing. That is a must. I would add to that. Are you reviewing are your individual administrative team members reviewing their recorded calls?

12:36:13 – 12:50:17
ERIC VICKERY
Are they writing down? And I killed it with this new patient. This was an amazing call. Listen to that. As a team share in that success, but also be willing to do the emotional withdraw and say let me listen to one that was a challenge. Let me write down a date and time where I didn’t kill it. It was a struggle and learn from that.

12:50:24 – 13:08:22
ERIC VICKERY
Seek advice from your coach, from your team members, from your from your leader. We know that you have to have a morning huddle to be great. You have to have a morning huddle. And sometimes that’s in the day, just 15 minutes. We have an outline on how to do that. We know that you have to have 4 to 6 hours of team meeting time every month for your team to hold on to this culture, to implement these systems, to grow in their training.

13:08:27 – 13:27:03
ERIC VICKERY
And we know that every quarter you have to have a long training and probably a team event at the end, maybe 4 hours and then an outing. Just go play miniature golf or bowling or your Christmas party, whatever it is. Have that those that system 20 minutes review calls get coaching 4 to 6 hours a month morning huddles and quarterly outings.

13:27:03 – 13:31:04
ERIC VICKERY
We know that will give you the best shot at growth in the right direction to become a great practice.

13:31:08 – 13:49:17
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Lastly, you mentioned the all star training and you’re a pro at implementing it. Anything that you’d like to add to best practices? Many of our listeners are members, so it’s good to get a reprieve or re peat a repetition. Remember, repetition is a mother of skill. So give us a little a few tips that you found that are very helpful.

13:50:04 – 14:08:20
LARISSA PRETONI
Sure. Having the team training together, that is a huge plus. If you can get that meeting by once, every once per week, but every once again there, like I mentioned before, a lunch time that is really, really, really applause because each team member will be accountable and responsible for each other. So, you know, they’re learning the same thing at the same time.

14:08:20 – 14:26:17
LARISSA PRETONI
And if someone is not holding their weight down, like, oh, you know, we learned different this morning. Why are you saying it that way? So you start having more leaders within the team and you start having better results. That’s that. That’s my main thing. Have, if at all possible, have the team training together and have a team leader for training.

14:26:23 – 14:41:16
LARISSA PRETONI
This is the person that’s going to make sure that when every time comes gathers everyone around, wherever they’re getting the training on making sure that you have the training up and running, making sure that we’re doing those 20 minutes. And is that one person is the person to go to. And it doesn’t definitely does not have to be the doctor.

14:41:16 – 14:54:21
LARISSA PRETONI
It doesn’t even have to be the office manager. It has to be just someone willing and passionate about about that training to make sure that training is happening. You’re not going to get results if you don’t get trained. So that’s my, my, my one, you know, keeping right there.

14:54:28 – 15:12:26
ERIC VICKERY
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Larissa And when you have a topic that you’re covering with your team as coaches, we insist that you have a lead person of that topic. So for example, if, if we’re having a team meeting in a coaching session and great call process is the topic we’re covering, then we’re going to have someone volunteer to be the lead of that topic moving forward.

15:13:00 – 15:27:11
ERIC VICKERY
So that next month’s coaching session, I’m going to check in with that. Team members say how how are we doing and implementing the great call process? Betty and Betty is going to tell me now, sometimes team members will get afraid of that term lead leading. What does that mean? I have to do a leading. It just means create accountability, create encouragement.

15:27:19 – 15:42:25
ERIC VICKERY
Ask your team daily or weekly. How are we doing with the topic that our coach, the rest are just covered with us. That’s going to keep the momentum going on that subjects that conversation is just going to disappear in your team training. I had a team call it The Magic Room. We have our magic meetings with Eric, their magic rooms, and then we go out there and no magic happens.

15:42:25 – 15:55:24
ERIC VICKERY
Why is that? Well, it’s because we’re just having a conversation. It takes action and it takes accountability to that action. Who’s going to lead us through that process? And you got to have someone, one or two people who help you maintain consistent accountability to that subject of what you’ve covered.

15:55:24 – 16:14:19
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
What will be nice, Eric, is we can do another episode on the Coaching Playbook series. We can talk with one of our coaches about KPIs, or that can be one that we can do with you. That would be interesting because there are different elements of coaching and what I think is great for the listeners is this is really demonstrates how to implement but also when you’re working with a coach, an implementation coach like Larissa, she does all of it.

16:14:19 – 16:35:20
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
But just on this one aspect of how we utilize a coach to support the team, they do the goal setting the milestones, the support they can be in those meetings and help move that along and help help hold the team accountable. I’ll put a link as well in the show notes about All Star, both the online training as well as the coaching department and yeah, you guys did wonderful.

16:35:20 – 17:20
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
Thank you so much for being on the show. On our Coaching Playbook series where we we interview our coaches, we talk about coaching different ways to to grow and please let us know topics you like us to talk about. I mean we have or goals every week to to coach coach you up and to talk about skills that we learn in coaching how to coach your team, learning from the best and why not get a bunch of awesome coaches together to talk about our coaching playbook?

17:02:17 – 17:22:00
ALEX NOTTINGHAM
So thank you. Eric Vickery President of Coaching Larissa. Brittany, are Mastery Coach and please remember to follow us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and the more five star reviews and comments on our show page, the more great content that we can continue to create for you and all your dental buddies until next time, go out there and be an all star.

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