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Episode 197 – What Do You Think About Coaching?

“A coach is somebody who helps you do things that you never thought you’d be able to do.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

This episode of The Productive Dentist Podcast serves as a rallying call for dentists to approach professional development with an open mind and an eagerness to evolve. Your host, Dr. Bruce B. Baird confronts the assumptions, misconceptions and controversies surrounding consulting and coaching in the dental profession. Drawing from his extensive experience both as a practicing dentist and a coach, Dr. Baird highlights the collaborative nature of coaching, emphasizing how it empowers dentists to achieve feats they never thought possible, while challenging the notion that consulting is merely about following instructions. 

This insider’s perspective on the value of seeking guidance and support – particularly in a profession where business acumen is often overlooked in traditional education – offers listeners a compelling invitation to reassess their approach to professional development and embrace the transformative potential of mentorship.

As you listen to this episode, ask yourself the following:

  • How committed are you to continuous learning and professional development in your dental career?
  • What value do you place on coaching, and are you open to seeking guidance?
  • When it comes time for you to decide to bring on a coach, what due diligence will you perform in evaluating their credentials, track record, and approach?


Regan 0:00
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years, PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive. Your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit that’s to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:46
Do your due diligence, please, because coaching is a necessary thing to reach that next level of understanding. Hello, everyone, this is Dr. Bruce B. Baird and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast.  In this podcast, I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way, it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you so you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows, more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 1:41
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast and as we’re starting out this new year, one of the things that I have found to be very interesting on the threads on Facebook and DentalTown and everything else is, you know, what do you guys think about consultants, you know, or coaches and the truth is, you get so many different answers and so many people are throwing out the stuff that, “I’ve been ripped off by a consultant, I’ve been ripped off, you know, why would I pay that much money to somebody to show me what’s going on?” I guess I want to step back and talk about that for a bit because, you know, I consider myself a coach, a dentist, consulting, you know, consulting sounds like you’re gonna have somebody come in, and they’re gonna consult you on how to do every little thing and yeah, that, that, you know, that’s, that’s a possibility. Somebody who coaches you is somebody who helps you do things that you never thought you’d be able to do. That’s what a coach does. You know, they support you, they give you thoughts and ideas. It’s, it’s a two-way street, you know, consultants will come in and tell you what to do but if you don’t do it, well, you’re not going to get any, any benefit from it. Which is across the board? What tends to happen sometimes, with the folks that put the word out that, “Oh, no, you don’t need any consultants, you don’t need coaches,” and the people I know that are successful, they all have coaches, they all you know, I have coaches, I have mentors, I have, I hired nine different consulting firms to come in my office over 30 years. Why did I do that? I did it because I have a total understanding that I don’t know everything and, you know, you see these, these posts from arrogant just people who think just because they went to dental school, they know what the hell they’re doing and the truth is dental school teaches you the least amount necessary to, to open up a business without any knowledge of how to run a business and, and to think that you know, everything. Now if you grew up in a dental office, if you if you been with your dad or your mom and you, you’ve seen how the dental office works and all of that stuff, well, maybe, maybe you do have a head start but the truth is that once I realized, which was very early on, that I didn’t know everything. When I got out of the, when I got out of dental school and went straight in the military, which was very good because I got to work with 100 other dentists and I was looking at the work they were doing. I was go I don’t know how to do that. Well, I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to do that and that’s the that’s continuing ed, but the coaching is how do I you know, coaches, how do I handle my team? How do I, how can I run my business? What are the things that I can do better? And I see these folks saying, “Oh, yeah, that, you know, coaching is a rip off. You know, they’re, they’re charlatans out there that do this, they charge a jillion dollars,” and yes, there are charlatans out there, there are people who will screw you, I don’t give a crap, what business you’re in, they will screw you, you know.

Dr. Bruce Baird 5:27
The thing to do is look at, look at the potential that you want to learn something, look at the potential that I want to grow my business, I want to change the way I think, so that I can be successful. I don’t want to struggle. I don’t, you know, and there’s a lot of people who struggled and never had a consultant and finally figured it out. I have to say I probably was one of those early on for the first couple of years in private practice but then I realized I’ve got to have some help. I’ve got to find other thoughts, other ideas, just like when I was in dental school, they taught you all these different techniques and they certainly didn’t, again, teach us anything about business but you know, having said that, thinking about the possibilities, work working with a coach or working with a consultant. What would I recommend? Well, first of all, I called the consultant, I would find out about them, I might even ask questions on, on some of the threads. You know, if somebody had a great experience, I would reach out to him, I would call him if somebody had a bad experience, I would reach out and talk to him. You know, a, it’s due diligence, you know, don’t just blindly accept a coach, when you’re not ready for a coach. If you’re not ready to change and do things different than you don’t need a coach, you’re just, you know, you’re just going to continue to be do the same things you’ve always done, and you’re always gonna get the same things you’ve always gotten and one of the things when we started Productive Dentist Academy 20 years ago, you can go through the threads on dental town, you can go through and ask people, I mean, we have one of the largest threads on dental town, dental town history, and you won’t find very many negative comments and the reason is because I don’t need to be a consultant. I don’t need to coach dentists. We do it because we love it. Yes. Is it costly to do? Yeah, we’ve got coaches all over the country, we’ve got a marketing company, we’ve got those things, and we want to continue but we’ve built that by supporting dentists, by helping them get to the next level by helping them learn new technology, even new techniques, we’ll have, you know, a PDA doc that’s doing something a certain way and we’ll tell all the other Doc’s about it and say, “Hey, you need to call them out and go see them,” and as far as consulting, here’s the biggest problem with consultants is many of them are people who weren’t all that happy in a dental office and they decided to tell other people how to do it because they knew how to do it and so they either go out on their own and open up their own little shop and get a few clients charge, whatever it is they want and they only have one philosophy, they only have one thought process.

Dr. Bruce Baird 8:26
What we teach and Productive Dentist Academy is different. Well, we teach at Productive Dentist Academy is stuff is not the only way of doing things but it’s a tried and true approach of growing your productivity. It’s a tried and true approach in increasing your profitability. We put together we’ve talked about the Lampa Dental Group, this was a group of 15 Productive Dentist Academy practices that the largest, the largest broker firm in the country said, these guys are a bunch of unicorns and when I say guys, I use that collectively that this is these are unicorns, their practices are extremely profitable. They’re, you know, they’re just doing things in a low-stress environment. That dentistry is stressful, don’t get me wrong, but they’re doing it the right way. And I’m thankful that they followed him now they could have followed, you know, Mark Costas. Mark is a great friend, fantastic, Dennis, great guy and you can go see Mark and Mark can teach you things. It’ll be a little bit different than what we teach but find somebody that’s relatable to you. Now, some people say, you know, “Well, you’re older. You know, I’m the old guy in the group,” and the truth is, you know, maybe I have some experiences that I can share with you. Maybe there are things that that we can talk about, that maybe a younger consultant or a younger coach may haven’t gotten to that point, but I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up with Productive Dentist Academy I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up with the Dental Success Institute. I wouldn’t, I, you know, with Dental Nachos. Paul Goodman is phenomenal, has, has a whole group but when you see some guy at the end of his career, the end of his career decides he wants to be a consultant coach, I would call that being a mentor, not a coach, they’ve never done it their whole career and now all of a sudden, they want to become a coach. Okay, well, fine, you know, and I’m gonna listen, as a mentor would do but as far as me, them coming into my practice, and teaching me things, they have very little experience, they have very little stuff, and they’re popping up everywhere. Look at their body of work, if somebody is leading it, look at their body of work and look at the people that you’re going to go into business with, do your due diligence, please because coaching is a necessary thing, to reach that next level of understanding, and I know it, I’m continuing to be coached but don’t be the one that’s just because you’ve never done it say, “I’ve never have somebody come in and tell me what you mean.” If you’re, if you’re saying that, then that tells me what kind of person you are and, you know, PDA doesn’t really want to work with with guys who know everything. The condescending note, all dentists, there’s plenty of them out there and they will put the word out on social media, they will put the word out on DentalTown, they will put the word out all over. But they’re doing the same old, same old shit they’ve been doing for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years.

Dr. Bruce Baird 11:32
There are a lot of dentists who are, oh, I don’t know what angry, you know, they’re angry that other people are more successful, they’re angry that people are increasing their profitability. So it and they’ll complain about the cost of a coach. You know, if you pay $75,000 for a coach, or 50,000, or 60,000, for a year, I’ve heard it being as high as 150,000, for a year of coaching in the dental realm and your return on investment is not I don’t know, seven, eight times and so if you’re going to pay 150,000, you better increase your profitability by it’s not just production by, let’s say at least three or 4x, maybe a 5x, private equity looks at a 5x as a great return on their investment, they put the money in and they get a return on their investment of 5x. They look at that and say “Outstanding,” and sometimes even more, but if somebody is charging, you know, $60,000, you ought to see an increase in your profitability of over a period of time of 5x and can that be done? Absolutely. You were working with dogs all the time and we do that when, when somebody is charging you 150 grand or 100,000? Is it cost? Is it the price? It’s not the price, it’s the ROI is the return on your investment and I know that we have a 20 year track record. So when you’re talking to another consulting company, find out how long their track record is, find out who, what are the negatives? What are the things that people have said negative about him? What are the things that they say positive about them, do your due diligence and if you do your due diligence, what you’re going to find is coaching is a necessary thing in dentistry, I believe consulting is a necessary thing. I would say look at who it is that you’re working with and look at their look at what they’ve done, look at their, look at their history, look at their body of work, and then pull the trigger and then hold their feet to the fire but don’t pull the trigger if you’re not going to change if you’re going to just sit there and go, “Oh no, we never we tried that before and we don’t do that. We don’t do this, we don’t do that, we are not ready for Coach.” If you’re not willing to change and to get take better care of your patients and to get to a new level of profitability a new level of decreased stress, then you’re not ready for a coach if you’re not ready to do those things. Don’t do it. So anyway, I you know, this is probably straight in your face type podcast, but it’s the experience and me watching on Facebook, all these idiots saying stuff that they have no frickin clue what they’re talking about. They have no clue. They’ve never done it. So they’re going to be against it and you know what I don’t I don’t circle myself with people like that and if you do mine, but if you’re looking, if you’re looking for a coaching relationship and stuff Productive Dentist Academy is here. We also have transition strategies. We also have marketing, we have you know, across the board, business education on how to run a business. Those are all things that we do and and please do, do your due diligence and we’d love to work with you. So look forward to our next podcast and have a great year. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend. Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify or drop me an email at don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy at Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast

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