Do you live your values even in your dental practice? In this post, the last of my series on the power of authentic partnership, I talk about the importance of living your values even at the office. It’s been great to write this series of posts. I’ve gotten to relive my experiences meeting my partner, Dr. Jack Bayramyan.  

In my last post I got into the fine print of business deals and how you cannot allow that fine print to influence your core relationships. If a partnership is strong enough it can weather and survive the due diligence of creating a business partnership.  

There is a lot of trust that goes into that process. You both may get along, share common interests, and even share core values and visions. But if there is no trust as a basis of your relationship it will not survive the fine print.  

The Power of Authentic Partnership in Your Dental Practice: Part 6

How Does Partnership Survive Dental Practice Politics?  

So then, how do you wade through the irrelevant to find the meaning in a relationship? This is where I rely on a principle called reciprocity. This is one of Robert Cialdini’s six principles of ethical influence. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In the book, Cialdini describes reciprocity as giving first to get something later. When Jack and I were going through due diligence for our partnership, Jack came to me with a simple request.  

He had spent days answering repetitive lines of questioning fro lawyers. He knew they had eveyrthing they needed for due diligence so he was perplexed by the constant barrage of questions, seemingly searching for a “gotchya” moment, that was honestly never going to happen. Jack was a man of his word; he opened his entire company to our due diligence process and was an open book during this period. So, why were the lawyers hounding him? They were just doing their…due diligence.  

He called me asking me to step in and help out. I knew the lawyers had everything they needed so I called them off. In essence, Jack had been extremely open, offering up his entire company and entrepreneurial history. I reciprocated by choosing to trust the foundation our partnership was being built on and asked the lawyers to wrap up.  

Figure Out the Values That Will Guide Your Dental Practice   

Why? Why did I reciprocate in this way? Why didn’t I say to Jack, “well, if we’re going to be in partnership, they need to do their due diligence.” I didn’t say that because I knew that Jack had come to me with a simple and vulnerable request. I wanted to honor that and my values first. The lawyers came second.  

I take the values and norms that I instill in my teams just as seriously as I want them to do. I walk my talk and if don’t, I want people to call me out on it. Our team values don’t just hang in framed photos on the walls in our offices. Our company values reflect our personal values and guide our teams, decisions and visions for ourselves and partners.

Two of those norms are be who you say you are and when you say you’re going to do something, do it. Pretty simple but they make a world of difference when you live into them day after day. When you live your values, people know where they stand with you; they trust you; they trust your word; and everyone from your teams to your vendors and partners, begin to rely on your consistency and constancy.  

From the beginning, I knew that my relationship with Jack was not transactional. Transactional relationships especially in the workplace, are necessary to move the needle in your business. But longevity in a partnership and in an organization is born of more than just transactions. In order for a partnership to survive and thrive it needs a foundation of trust, communication, clarity of intention and transparency. Those qualities, by the way, are core values at Optimize Practice Services. Read more about our values here.

What are the values you hold and espouse in your dental practice or dental organization?

Trust As a Guiding Principle in your Dental Practice Organization 

Another norm that my team and I practice is assume positive intent. What does this mean? I think in business, it is very easy to assume that people are out to get their mission accomplished or their goal met, no matter the cost, even if it means stepping on people or overlooking simple societal agreements like courtesy and cooperation.  

It’s very easy to allow that assumption to sort of color our views on the people we work with or see every day. It’s easy to assume that people are just out to get what they want and are planning to disregard you once they have it. However, I have found in my 20+ years of managing teams and leading people that by and large, people don’t walk around with ulterior motives. They don’t even lead with bad intentions. I have found that is the rule, not the exception.

So, I make it a point to lead my teams with this norm and to instill it in our workplace environment. We start by assuming positive intent, that people, by and large, have a positive intention, even if they don’t follow through with what they said they would do as the basis of cooperation and working together. Many times it’s overwhelm and forgetfulness that are the true ‘culprits’ of one not fulfilling one’s obligations, not negative intentions.

Someone doesn’t return an email; someone doesn’t close the loop on the detail of an important project; someone doesn’t follow through with a commitment. It’s very easy in these typical, quotidian occurrences, to assume bad intent or even negligence, isn’t it? So, assuming positive intent really goes against the grain of our thinking. But it’s a wonderful discipline that leads to greater harmony, cooperation and trust among co-workers, teams and partners.  

The Power of Living Your Values and Norms in Your Dental Practice Organization 

Of course, these values and norms I’ve described are just the ones that work for us based on the collective leadership experience of myself and Dr. Jack. I urge you to find out what works for you, your partners and your teams. Values-based exercises: Gallup’s CliftonStrengths finder, Julia Waller’s Unique Ability™ exercises, Via Institute on Character and the Kolbe Index assessments are all wonderful tools to help you determine your values and build them into your teams, organization and partnerships.   

I’ve had a great time reflecting on meeting Jack Bayramyan and how that meeting led to Optimize Practice Services and the incredible team that keeps us moving toward our singular vision. I hope that this series has given you some insight into our partnership, our organization and what we value and prioritize at OPS. Starting a lasting dental practice, scaling your vision and building your legacy and some of the most important steps you will ever take in your life as an entrepreneur. And taking those steps while staying rooted in your values and your integrity means even greater meaning, satisfaction and a bigger vision.  

Are you looking to scale your practice right now? Have you thought about partnership for your dental practice? Take our assessment to find out what your organization is ready to take on and then schedule a free strategy call with us. We want to talk with you.  

The future of dentistry belongs with dentists.