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May 14th, 2018

What to Look for in a Productive Business Coach

By Victoria Peterson, Co-Founder & CEO
(Based on material published in FUNdamentals of Outstanding Dental Teams)

PDA’s coaching program is like playing in a championship game that you know you’ve already won. Now at any given time I know right where I stand in the business and I’m not guessing anymore. Our coach helped the team implement systems that make reaching our goals much less stressful and help us succeed on a daily basis.” – Brandon Grantham, DDS

If your goal is to win the championship game, then it would make sense to hire a professional who had coached past championship winners. But searching for a coach to help you achieve your business goals can be a bit trickier. You need someone who understands you, your practice, and your goals, and how to get you to your version of success. In this article, you will learn what to look for and expect from a productive business coach.

Beliefs of Productive Coaches
The most effective coaching leaves little to chance; it is begun with a specific goal in mind and executed with methodological skill. Effective coaches build effective conversations through continual dedication to:

  1. C.A.N.I. !®- constant and never-ending improvement
  2. Results
  3. Discipline

To put it all together, productive coaches deliver a disciplined conversation between the coach and the dentist and their team that results in constant improvement.

Hallmarks of Productive Coaches
Productive coaches believe people want to be competent. They know that given the opportunity and appropriate support, people will strive to become better. Productive coaches do this by creating opportunities for the teams they coach to demonstrate competency on a continual basis.

For productive coaches, positive results are achieved and sustained by total commitment to top performance. Coaches both reinforced and model this commitment when working with dental teams. In addition, they never stop working to enhance the self-esteem and confidence of each team member. This is accomplished by clearly defining the roles of everyone in the office, helping to develop ongoing training, creating challenges, allowing for learning experiences through gently correcting mistakes, and rewarding hard work.

  1. Balance. Productive coaches know that coaching conversations are not one-sided; they require give and take. Open and flexible, productive coaches move these conversations move forward with everyone’s full participation. In some conversations, the coach will initiate and facilitate the discussion; in others, the coach will encourage the dentist or their team to initiate the conversation.
  2. Measurability. Effective coaching conversations focus on what can be improved. A good coach is direct and specific as to what that improvement needs to be. Within these conversations, is the mutual understanding of the coach and the team of the expectations and behaviors needed to achieve the desired improvements. By acknowledging these expectations, each member of the team takes ownership of those expectations.
  3. Shared Responsibility. There is no “management vs. employee” or “us vs. them” within effective coaching. Good coaches understand that a team’s success is very depended on the work ethic, attitude, and performance of every member of the team. Everyone is responsible for creating an environment of constant improvement. Every conversation must reflect this level of shared responsibility.
  4. Context. One of the primary functions of a coach for dental teams is helping define the context of team conversations. By refining language skills, the coach can support the flow of the conversation to produce measurable results. By helping create context, a productive coach ensures that team conversations are easily reproduced so the team can independently move toward constant improvement.
  5. Respect. A productive coach communicates respect for the people being coached. Rather than dominating the conversation, the coach solicits comments. The result of effective business development coaching is that the business owner participates in the solution to the challenge and understands how to move towards continuous improvement. This is the result of the coach developing an environment that promotes self-esteem, confidence, and respect.

Final Words on Coaching
At Productive Dentist Academy, we are all about productivity…it’s in our name! Productive coaches and productive dentists produce productive offices. Our Business Development Coaches have extensive experience working hands-on in dental offices and are all experienced in coaching dentists to their version of success. Contact us today to start your journey. Fill out the form below to request your Complimentary Business Discovery, or contact Chris at

Coaching was a way for us to follow through and get the team on board. Everyone has one common goal and they have a lot of ownership in the practice. As far as our patients go, they are given the opportunity to be the healthiest that they can be.” – Brad Williams & Nicole Sivie, DDS

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