Island hopping

island croppedNo dental practice is an island. Chris Barrow explains how a group coaching programme can be the lifeline that stops a practice from being washed away

When it comes to evaluating and enhancing your business protocols and strategies, many different people in the industry would point you in the direction of a business coaching group.
But what are the benefits of attending a group coaching session? Why would you go to all the fuss and bother of taking a day off work to travel to London every 12 weeks, losing a day of billable patients and incurring a considerable amount of inconvenience and cost? How do you justify such expense and time?

All at sea

The obvious reason, of course, is to learn from those who can offer expertise and experience in training, coaching and consulting with up to 10 other sets of principals and managers at once.
Introducing new ideas and consulting on the implementation of changes in the workplace to several business owners at once, ensures more topics can be covered for a highly effective and productive use of everyone’s time.
Secondly, and not to be underestimated, is the opportunity for attendees to observe each other, share ideas and experiences and connect with like-minded people from across the country. It is comforting to discuss and share challenges and bounce ideas around, and a great relief to realise that you are not the only one with hurdles to jump. Team motivation, patient care and management of clinicians, as well as business aspects such as the Care Quality Commission, clinical governance and financial monitoring are areas of concern shared by all.

Sharing is caring

Dental professionals are always trying to reinvent the wheel, and what we seem to be faced with now are thousands of dental practice islands floating around in solitary silence, with no communication or cross-fertilisation of ideas. We simply need to get together and start sharing our successes and failures.
Additional benefits of group coaching include the opportunity to hear some of the leading professionals in the industry speak on business topics, and creating a sense of accountability.
During these meetings, goals for the next quarter can be set and shared. Then, in the following quarter, progress can be discussed to motivate change in each practice. This generates a degree of healthy competition and an innate sense of urgency to get tasks done.

Suits you

Having run this form of business coaching group myself, I have had some great feedback from participants that highlights the value of sharing the whole experience with professionals in similar positions to them.  The style of coaching and support may not suit everyone, but for others, it can be the lifeline they didn’t know they needed.


Chris Barrow is a founding partner with 7connections business coaching. He has been a consultant to the dental profession for more than 20 years and offers high-end coaching expertise to take advanced practices to the next level.


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