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Procrastinating online? Try this tip

Pocket watches in a bunchEver had the experience of avoiding something you know you should be doing in favor of refreshing your newsfeed or checking your email?

Emily Schwartz, author of The Time Diet: Digestible Time Management, feels your pain. And over at the Fast Company blog she offers a simple suggestion to triumph over those distractions:

Log out of the game/network/email/whatever before you start your important task.

“The extra step of having to enter in your password will buy you enough time to realize that you’re distracting yourself and shouldn’t,” she says. “Distracted work takes far longer than focused work.”

What about you—what’s your secret for keeping yourself focused when it counts? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Let us now consider dental patient napkin holders

open mouthDental patient napkins used during routine dental procedures are often disposable, but napkin holders typically are reusable, although they can be tough to disinfect.

There are both disposable napkin holders and disposable napkins that don’t require a separate holder on the market. Dentists need to make informed decisions on whether to use disposable or reusable products for patient protection in their practices.

The ADA Professional Product Review analyzed six disposable products and compared them to reusable products. Each product was evaluated using seven criteria including ease of use and moisture protection.

Considering disposables? You might be surprised to find out what the evaluators had to say!

ADA members have access to the full online archives of The ADA Professional Product Review. From digital radiography systems to water quality monitoring kits, find the complete resources to help you make informed decisions about professional products.

Minimize Canceled Appointments

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessCanceled appointments are part of operating a dental practice, but they can be managed to minimize their effect on your bottom line.

The ADA Center for Professional Success has an article about minimizing cancelled appointments that includes:

  • What to say (and avoid saying) when leaving a reminder on a patient’s voicemail
  • How to handle changes to dates or times
  • Providing a constructive response when a patient has changed his mind about treatment

The ADA Center for Professional Success is a member-only resource. While you are there, check out the other resources including Be a Great Boss, Checklist for Terminating an Employee and Using Flexible Benefit Plans in your Practice.

Encourage a fellow dentist to join the ADA and get a $100 gift card!

ADA Member Get a MemberThe American Dental Association is the #1 organization representing all dentists. Most members say they are likely to refer membership to their colleagues — is that true for you?

As an active member, you know first-hand the value your membership provides. ADA Member-Get-A-Member is the ideal opportunity to share this success by encouraging your nonmember colleagues to join.

You will be rewarded with a $100 gift card for each new, active member you recruit (up to five members or $500 in gift cards!) Or you may decline the incentive and ADA will contribute $100 to the ADA Foundation. Please see Campaign Rules for full details.

The ADA Member-Get-A-Member campaign runs through Sep. 30, 2014. Only new member applications received between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sep. 30, 2014 will be eligible.

Stop the Conversation Hogs at your Next Meeting by Using Brainwriting

checklistAt some meetings it seems like a minority of the participants do a majority of the talking. But urging the chatterboxes to shut up or coaxing the wallflowers to speak up is unlikely to solve the problem.

Leigh Thompson, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management and a team consultant offers three techniques to ensure broader participation by meeting attendees. One approach caught our attention–instead of brainstorming, try brainwriting. We’re partial to the description Debra Kaye put together over at the Build Network:

Step 1: Write just one sentence each. For the first five or 10 minutes of your next idea-generation meeting, every team member writes down one good idea or one proposed solution on, say, each of a small stack of index cards.

Step 2: Consider the idea, not the source. When the timer goes off, all cards are submitted anonymously and taped or thumbtacked to a wall for the whole team’s consideration.

Step 3: Put it to a blind vote. Team members signal their interest in an idea by marking it with a sticker or a Post-it note. Everyone gets a limited number of stickers and, if done right, the best ideas emerge quickly

What about you—what has been an effective tactic to ensure that everyone in a meeting is heard? Leave your answers in the comments

What do the Birthday Rule, Malocclusion and Xerostomia have in Common?

Birthday CandlesThey are all terms found on the Glossary of Dental Clinical and Administrative Terms. There are many terms used daily by dentists and their teams in the course of delivering care to patients, maintaining patient records and preparing claims. New dentists and new team members may not be as familiar with some terms. From abscess to zygomatic bone, the Glossary has the definitions to get everyone up to speed and on the same page.

Questions? ADA members can call the number shown on your ADA member card, or send an email to dentalcode@ada.org.

Have you volunteered outside the United States?

Int'l Volunteer Svc LogoSo many dentists give generously of their time and talents with international volunteer dental organizations. In 2013 the ADA recognized 59 dentists and 26 dental students with the Certificate for International Volunteer Service.

The ADA is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 Certificate for International Volunteer Service — the deadline is April 1, 2014. Eligible candidates must have volunteered at least 14 days within a 24 month period. Find the complete guidelines and nomination forms at ADA.org.

And if you are looking to volunteer overseas, visit the ADA International Volunteer website. Find information about selecting a program and location, preparing for your trip and what to expect upon your return home. You can search over 100 organizations by site location, program type, religious affiliation, and other considerations.

Registration is open for the New Dentist Conference!

Join us for the ADA 28th New Dentist Conference taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. Registration is now open!

In addition to a full day of leadership development, the Conference includes:

  • Hands-on endodontic and implant CE courses at UMKC School of Dentistry
  • Friday night social event at PBR Big Sky in the city’s Power & Light District
  • Breakfast-and-learn sessions; all-inclusive lunches

…and more! CE courses are available on a first-come, first-served basis so register today to ensure you get the schedule you want. We’ll see you in Kansas City!

Add This Phrase to Supercharge your Feedback

mentoring

Great feedback can help move a person forward, while ineffective feedback can stall or even reverse progress.

What is the secret of great feedback? Author and blogger Daniel Cole identifies one phrase that dramatically increases the likelihood that the recipient will use the feedback to improve:

I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.

Why is this 19-word phrase so effective? Cole explains that the phrase contains three essential signals:

  • You are part of this group.
  • This group is special; we have higher standards here.
  • I believe you can reach those standards.

Notes Cole:

The key is to understand that this feedback isn’t just feedback–it’s a vital cue about the relationship. The reason this approach works so well has to do with the way our brains are built. Evolution has built us to be cagey with our efforts; after all, engagement is expensive from a biological standpoint.

But when we receive an authentic, crystal-clear signal of social trust, belonging, and high expectations, the floodgates click open.

Now it’s your turn—do you have any techniques you use when giving feedback to ensure your feedback moves the listener forward, not back? Leave your answer in the comments.

In a Time of Change Find out Why Things are Going So Well

Leading a group at a dry erase boardSometimes it seems we’re wired to correct the negative. So when it comes to making a change, we’ll wonder, “What is the problem and how shall I fix it?”

Author Dan Heath suggests that this approach probably works fine most of the time — if your kid has a single F on his report card, by all means focus on that problem. However in a post on the Fast Company blog, Heath suggests it isn’t always wise to focus on problems:

There’s one time in life when this problem-focus backfires on us, and that’s when we’re trying to change things. In times of change, our report card doesn’t look almost-perfect. It looks mixed. Parts of it look like a failure. And if, in those times, we slip into problem-solving mode, we’ll spin our wheels, because there are problems everywhere. That’s a recipe for inaction, for paralysis.

What’s the answer? Instead of focusing on the problems, identify the parts that are going right and try to reproduce those results. Heath calls this a bright spots focus.

Here’s an example — let’s say you set a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise, and that looking back you haven’t been as consistent as you hoped. You probably exercised on some days – what made those days different? If you do some detective work to identify those bright spots (“I woke up earlier on those days,” or “I had my gym bag ready-to-go by the front door,”) you can focus on increasing the number of good days, rather than scolding yourself for having bad days.

Have you found any bright spots? Leave your answers in the comments.