Episode 175 – How Well Do You Know Your Team?

“Know your team. Know who they are. Know about them, about their families, where they grew up. Take notes, and smile.”

I recently spoke with a doctor who was struggling with his team: he had run through two teams and is on this third in 2 years. You might be wondering the same thing he was: How do I fix my team?

The answer is simple, but not always easy: become a better leader. I had to deal with this in my career, too. Early on, I ran through team members because I had the mentality “it’s my way, or the highway”. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you how horrible I was.

Here’s the key: It wasn’t about my team. It was about me; it was about my behavior. The better I got as a leader, the better my team got. Good leadership – and a happy, productive team – comes from the heart, not the head.

In the most recent episode of my podcast – The Productive Dentist Podcast – I talk about some pointers and things that you can do as a leader that can help you develop a better team:

  • What is fair to expect your team to know
  • The surprising thing to focus on for 6 months
  • What you need to know about your team


Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about one of the questions that I get so often and I was just doing a program this last weekend and I got the question from several of the attendees and I wanted to kind of get back and, and talk about team training and and talk about how important your team is to being productive. So I figure it’s, it’s time, we’ve probably covered this a couple of times, but my thought process as we go becomes clearer and clearer about how important training your team is. How do you do that? I mean, I was one of the questions I had, the doctor is going through his third, his third team in a matter of a year and, you know, he was saying he couldn’t find the right people, couldn’t you I was having difficulties there and, and I felt his pain. You know, I’ve talked about this before, you know, I think everybody in Granberry used to work for me at one point in time or another because I was not it was more about me than it was about them.

And I explained that to him. And, and and he said, “Well, you know that this person did that and that person did this and one person said, you know, said something in front of the entire team that, you know, I didn’t like the way you talk to me in front of the patient or whatever it is,” and I said, “Well, you know, you may have responded the exact same way. If, if you were, if you were a team member and the boss, you know, did that you might have or you might have gone individually and talked to the doctor,” but he’s gone through all these team members and he said, “So how do I, how do I? How do I do it? How do I you know, how do I, how do I become a better leader?” And that, and I said, “Bingo, that is the secret to this, is becoming a better leader and inspecting what you expect, but doing it in a way that comes from the heart, not from the head,” and when I say that I used to be I was the guy who would just get very upset and I would roll my eyes and I would say a lot and so I was very confrontational but when I realized what had happened, you know, this is 10 or 15 years into practice, what I realized was, is that it was about me, it was about me and my you know, really, my behavior and the way that I expected people to do things and what I, what I’ll say is, the better I got the better my team got but let’s look at some, let’s look at some pointers and some things that you can do as a doctor to end up with a much better team and it’s probably the same people. During the program this weekend, I told I told the doctors, I said, “I guarantee you probably 80% of the people that I hired back in the early days were probably could have been fantastic employees. They could have been fantastic employees.” Meaning it wasn’t so much them, it was more me and so when I step back and look at it, I was like, “Okay, so what are the things that you can do to help your team?” First of all, the thing that I more than anything that I started realizing is I’m you know, I’m the boss, but I’m not the boss of their life, I’m not the boss at you know, I want them I hired a treatment coordinator to be a treatment coordinator and they had experienced why expect them to be a treatment coordinator and you know everything the way I expect it to be done. And that’s not fair. It’s just not fair to your team. to expect them to know, by osmosis, what you really would like to have done and so that’s where team training becomes critical. We call that a training opportunity and so this doctor had has had several things. First of all, he’s only been in practice for about two years, two and a half years, of which COVID was a big part of it. Then we had a giant freeze in Texas, his office flooded. So he’s been through the wringer and he’s got a lot of stress. And I understand all of that. So when I told him is over the next six months, he’s got great new patient flow, he’s he’s in a position where he can, he could easily be doing 2 million a year in his practice early on and I said, “Don’t worry about that right now, for the next six months,” remember, he’s gone through three teams, “For the next six months, concentrate on training your team, exactly the way you want things done and doing it with a smile on your face and doing it with a realization that you’re taking the effort now and it’s going to save you massive amounts of time later, you’ll be productive, but what you’re going to find is for next year, you’re going to be 10 times more productive than you would have been because you’re going to be hiring a new team next year if you don’t change the way you’re doing things,” and so what I do is I step back and I say, “Okay, first of all, know your team, know, know who they are, when I say that, not just know who they are, but know about them, their family, their, you know, where they grew up, where you know about their kids, their kids’ names, take notes, not while you’re talking to him. But as soon as you finish talking to that employee, you get yourself a basis, I tell you to do that with new patients, you know, find out about them find points in common linking and, and matching and mirroring and all that, do that with your team and most of all, smile, and just listen and get to know your team member,” because the truth is when you have a phenomenal team and I’ve talked about this, although I don’t know five or six podcasts ago that when I left Granbury Dental Center as far as being a producer, you know, I thought no one will ever produce like I did and my three assistants were 30 years, 20 years and 10 years, and they were trained by me. They weren’t, they didn’t have experience before they came to work for me. One was Walmart, one was, you know, one was worked in a vet, and then other worked as a masseuse, massage therapist and so when I say that, when I started realizing is these folks have a life, they have families, they have kids, and how they do is going to affect and how you do is going to affect everything, but when when I left as a producer, Dr. Brewski took over my three assistants, it grew him 1000 an hour almost immediately. Why? Because they were trained, they were trained and they knew what they were doing. So it’s going to be well worth your time. It’s going to be well worth your time to teach them exactly the way you would want to have it done. And so that’s, you know, that’s this six-month period that I’m telling them I said, I really want you to just spend time with them, ask questions, show them how you temporize a crown, show them what you expect and how you do it.

Now, once you’ve done these things, when you do you know because the big problem is, well what happens when something happens, you know? What happens when the temporary doesn’t look good? What happens when that’s not working? Well, well, what do you do that? Do you roll your eyes and sigh and do that? No, what you’re going to want to do then is you’re going to want to say, “Hey, Mary, let’s let’s take a look at this,” and you don’t do it in front of the patient, but I will talk to it and I’d say like, “Summer you know, you see how that edge around the margin,” and I go into the lab and I see how the edge and the margin is coming sharp and it’s and it’s jagged and it’s a little bit rough. I really want to make sure that those were really smooth because I’ve had a lot of crabs down and I don’t know if you have but they just drive your tunnel crazy. So but it looks great other than those, find that positive and then give them the critique, give them the training that they need. And do it consistently. No one will end up happen. I tell the story about the CEREC you know I we started doing same-day smiles with Sarah and we were literally I figured out her production per hour Justin one was $850 an hour. Now when I say that we market it for same-day smiles, people want same-day smiles I started out having any paralysis come in and Eddie’s phenomenal down in San Diego. cab smiles and so he would work with me. We do 40,50 units in a couple of days, and so people would get their smile, we prep the teeth, and they get their smile, the early in the afternoon after they were completed. Well, my team members, and I could do that and I said, “All right, let’s do it.” I sent them for some training and then she would show me the proposal, you know, on, say, upper, upper eight crowns and I would look at the proposal and you know, the team member that hasn’t been to four years of dental school doesn’t understand anatomy the same way you and I do. So, you know, they just don’t see that and so I would say, “See here, the cuspid is kind of short arm and a long arm, and it’s, it has this shape and it had that.” No, so when I was looking at this proposal, and by the way, the software is continuing to get better and better with that, but and I would show and so initially, I would be looking at eight crowns, and it might take me, gosh, it might take me 30 minutes to take to help her, show her. So I built that into my schedule and then after about six months, it was taking me about 20 minutes and after a year, it was taking me about 15 minutes. Two years, and I would actually literally take a look at and I go, “That’s beautiful, hat looks great. Look at the context, see here how your contacts are shaped beautifully see how see, see the contours.” So I trained her on the anatomy of teeth. It was worth it to me, because then I could go in prep a teeth, walk out of the room, she takes over scanning, designing milling, I would always check them, meaning I would inspect what I expect and if she ever had a question, she felt very comfortable coming to me and asking me questions. Summer oftentimes, you know, I would have her doing something, you know, packing cord, or you know, which we didn’t do a lot of but but I would have, and she would come to us, “I don’t feel comfortable with this. I’m having a difficult time with that.” It wasn’t like, I can do everything myself but they felt comfortable coming to me now my first 15 years in practice, I promise you, they didn’t feel comfortable coming to me, they didn’t even want to talk to me. So going back and talking to this doctor, I said, “Here’s the thing, I want you to to train your team for the next six months, and plan on being less productive than you, you had them and I know, you know, the pressures on you know, you’re finally coming out of COVID, coming out of a freeze and taxes, but I want you to concentrate energy, because this is going to be the long term play. You’re not just in this for the next year hearing this for the next 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, as a young dentist,” and I said, “So when you have a trained person in your team, little things don’t matter. When I, when I say that they don’t believe they don’t quit, they don’t do those things. What they do is they they believe in you because you believe in them and, you know.” It’s just so important to I almost feel I almost feel embarrassed, even tell you, you know how bad I was for the first 15 years of practice. This is learnable behavior. I mean, I would horrible but I know that you can do it and what you’re going to find is at the end of that time, you’re going to find you have the most dedicated loyalty and you’re not just producing for you and you’re not making money for you, but your team is also highly paid, highly compensated. You’re taking care of their family. In many cases, you know, you’re taking care of not just them but their family in that influence and you’re going to ask questions, “How’s Bob doing or how’s little Bobby doing or has little Bob married?” And you want to become involved in these people’s lives because you’re going to spend more time than that with them. Then in many cases you are with your own spouse or your significant other. So anyway, I hope this hits home for you because I can promise you when it finally hit home for me, I actually became a productive dentist and when it didn’t I, I was productive but it was the most stressful, a gut-wrenching heart muscle, the stomach lining problem that, that I never experienced in my life and so I hope it makes sense. I look forward to next week and good luck on training your team. It is something that’s doable, and anybody can do it. So look forward to next week. Thanks, guys.

Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Need help?
Accessibility Options
Accessibility On Our Website

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call (800) 757-6077 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.

Read More About Accessibility and Why It Matters

Need help?

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (Social Security, account number, login, passwords, etc.). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Helpful Resources

Below are links you may find helpful when scheduling an appointment with us.


Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration

 “On the backside of fear we find confidence. And once we’re...

Episode 218: Associates Deserve Clinical Calibration (featured image)

Episode 244 – Navigating the Dental Media

“If I can help my audience and make sure they don’t fall into the...

Episode 244 – Navigating the Dental Media (featured image)

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support

 “Success requires support, but which support, who are you...

Episode 121 – Success Requires Support (featured image)
In the Press

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years.

from Dental Entrepreneur – Winter 2023 By Dr. Maggie Augustyn...

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years. (featured image)
From Our Blog

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift

Why More Practices Are Moving Away from Phones and Towards Text &...

Embrace the Digital Communication Shift (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media


Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.


Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


View fun photos and follow our team on Instagram.

Your Privacy
Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses our privacy practices and the use of Google Analytics 4(GA4), an analytic advertising feature. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and the GA4 platform. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website and GA4 platform, how it is used, and with whom it may be shared.
  2. The choices available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

While Productive Dentist Academy is the primary data controller, Google, in the context of providing Google Analytics service, acts as a data processor. We use Google Analytics 4, a widely recognized web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., to track user interactions and gather data for advertising purposes. As a third-party vendor, Google Analytics operates independently and maintains its own privacy policy, which can be found at https://policies.google.com/privacy. We carefully select our third-party vendors for their commitment to user privacy and adherence to data protection standards. As part of our ongoing commitment to your privacy, we implement measures to ensure that services like GA4 comply with our high standards of data protection.

GA4 collects certain personally identifiable information from you as you interact with our website. This information includes but is not limited to your device ID, IP address, and geographic location. The information collected through GA4 is used to analyze user behavior, optimize our website’s performance, and tailor our content to better serve your needs. This data is compiled and anonymized, ensuring that it cannot be linked back to individual users.

Please note that GA4 may share the information collected with Google and other third-party service providers to enable data processing and reporting on website usage. However, we will not sell, rent, or share your information, especially your personally identifiable information, with any third party outside of our organization.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You have certain rights regarding the data collected by GA4. You have the right to do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.

Go to the Top of the Page