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What's your dental business management style? Quick quiz to find out [Free Guide]

June 27th, 2024 | 12 min. read

What's your dental business management style? Quick quiz to find out [Free Guide] Blog Feature

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Are you making business decisions with your head or your heart? The best moves are made with both. Take our free personality quiz to determine your dental business management style and get our top tips on how to improve.

As the leader of a dental business, you’re not just working to increase your revenue — you’re leading people. And, to quote Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, with great power comes great responsibility. You’re responsible for both the health of your dental business and the culture of your staff. It can be challenging to balance the two.

As a revenue cycle management (RCM) provider for dental businesses, we at Dental Claim Support see how difficult it can be for dentists and dental business owners to include logic in their decision-making. Especially when you have a loyal, tenured staff — and particularly when they are members of your family. 

Emotion and logic: one is not necessarily more important than the other. In fact, as a leader, it’s crucial that you harmonize your emotions or gut instinct with hard data or pure logic when making business decisions.

This article will help define your dental business management style through its free quiz: The Dental Business Leadership Personality Test. Are you emotionally driven, logically driven, or balanced? Take our quiz and find out! 

Dental Business Leadership Personality Test


Key takeaways about your dental business management style: 

  1. Emotion and logic do not have to be mutually exclusive when making decisions
  2. Sometimes data should speak louder than a personal opinion
  3. You are first and foremost running a business managed by a leader or leadership team — but every voice on your team deserves to be heard

It’s juicy stuff! We’ll cover the 4 scenarios our RCM experts have seen most often. Let’s get right into it….

Scenario #1: Your collections are low, and it’s killing your cash flow

To run a business, you have to make money. It’s how you get paid, how your people get paid, and how you keep a roof over your business. 

So, let’s say your insurance collections are low — for example, you’re collecting from just 60% of your submitted claims. As an in-network dental practice, your insurance claims collections likely account for half of your revenue, more or less.

If almost half of your claims revenue is held back by payers, you’re missing around a quarter of your overall revenue. That’s a huge chunk! And it can affect your ability to pay your expenses. 

The emotional response: 

  • Allow yourself to get stressed out
  • React impulsively in front of your in-house team
  • Question the teammates in charge of your revenue cycle — with your impulsive reaction on hand in case you don’t like their answer

Hey, we get it — it’s stressful when collections are low! But in a situation like this, it’s best to be reasonable, not reactive. 

The logical response: 

  • Determine exactly where the revenue leaks are coming from
  • Map out and analyze your current revenue cycle — with your team’s help!
  • Figure out which workflows, or which parts of their workflows, are causing errors that lead to dips in collections

If collections are low for long enough to impact your business, it’s best to act fast with logic to find a solution ASAP. It’s not productive or helpful to place blame — you just need to determine where the problem is in your revenue cycle, and fix it. To balance this logical approach with emotion, be sure to communicate your plan and decision-making with your team, answer their questions, and address their concerns.

Scenario #2: Your in-house staff is resisting necessary changes to admin processes

In this scenario, you’ve had to introduce some changes to your back-office processes. Maybe it’s because of something similar to Scenario #1, where collections are low, or maybe your workflows are simply inefficient, and you want to automate them (or certain aspects of them). 

Either way, in this scenario, a member or two of your in-house team is resisting the improvements with complaints about changing how they’ve always done things. Their stubborn grumbling stirs up discontent among other team members and feeds their doubts about the changes being made.

And hey, if you’re the dentist and/or business owner, you’re not the one in the trenches doing the administrative tasks day after day. It’s like visiting someone else’s house and rearranging all their furniture! It’s fair your team would have something to say about things changing, and you should expect them to. Their views have value, but they need to listen to you, too. 

Related: 5 dental admin headaches that are healed by RCM services

The emotional response: 

  • Listen to your staff and follow their lead — they’re loyal to you, so you should be loyal to them
  • Feel guilty for suggesting changes that won’t also affect your day-to-day
  • Fight back against your in-house team by pointing to their poor performance and stating big changes are the only way to improve things

These emotional responses are natural for many. If you feel guilty about the changes, that just means you’re compassionate — it doesn’t mean the changes aren’t necessary. Also, we always recommend hearing your staff out, as their two cents can be worth a million bucks. But at the end of the day, you are the decision-maker and carry the responsibility for these strategic moves. 

The logical response: 

  • Communicate to your team that there will be a trial period with any kind of implementation of new processes or technologies
  • Point out to your team how previous workflows were broken, backed by data and facts
  • End the conversation by telling them this is the decision you’ve made

Well, that last bullet point should definitely not be your first response if your staff brings you complaints about changes! But, if you’ve communicated the facts to them, explained the necessity, and offered a trial period, and they still push back? “This is what we’re doing” might be the right thing to say to close the discussion.

Every smart and successful business owner knows that if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. Updating your processes using technology or third-party solutions is how your team becomes more efficient, and how you increase your business revenue.

And if you integrate emotion by communicating to your team how the changes directly benefit them, as well as presenting the facts of the matter, you’ll likely have less resistance and more buy-in. Help them see that the changes are being done for them, not to them.  

Scenario #3: A member of your staff asks you for more responsibility

You might read this scenario and think, “How could a staff member wanting to do more ever be a negative thing?” Well, to put it simply: Wanting more responsibility does not always equal being ready for more responsibility.

But let’s say you have an office manager who wants to take on the insurance billing work. They may have suggested this off-hand, or suggested it because you’re exploring partnering with RCM experts to handle insurance billing. They may point out that it’s better to keep the information in-house. 

The emotional response: 

  • Give them the job and a pay raise — they’re a loyal employee, and they’re taking the initiative to handle the tough task of insurance billing
  • Keep your insurance billing in-house with them at the helm, because you trust your staff more than some third-party RCM provider you just met 
  • Bring in an RCM provider to clean up your insurance again report, then drop their service to let your in-house team member handle the insurance billing from then on

These may all sound logical, but they’re not founded on facts. In our decades of experience helping dental businesses streamline processes to increase their revenue, if they bring their collections back in-house, the aging report ends up an even bigger mess or no better than it originally was. After all, in-house processes and/or how they’re being handled by the in-house team were the original problem. 

The logical response: 

  • Review your office manager’s current responsibilities and reason out that there isn’t enough room on their plate for insurance billing
  • Assess your in-house team member’s insurance billing knowledge and compare it to that of an expert
  • Let your team member know that you’d much rather have an expert handle insurance billing-related tasks

If your office manager (or anyone on your in-house team) has the bandwidth and the expertise to handle insurance billing, then it could be best that they handle it. But this combination of skill and availability is not present in a typical dental office. So when it comes to handling the insurance billing, logic is king. And that’s because a huge portion of your revenue is at stake. 

To balance this logical approach with emotion, affirm your office manager with how much you value their current skill set, and offer to find other responsibilities for them to take on — but you’ll be using experts to climb the mountain that is insurance billing.

Scenario #4: A patient comes to you with a complaint about their bill

It happens: A patient wasn’t aware their out-of-pocket cost would be as much as it is, and they’re disputing their bill. You can’t control your patient’s feelings, actions, or reactions — but you can control how you handle the situation, and you should aim to prevent it from happening again in the future. 

The emotional response: 

  • Fight back with the patient, stating that you will send them to collections if they do not pay you
  • Get upset and overwhelmed by the patient’s angry reaction, then write off the payment to avoid more conflict
  • Confront the team member who was supposed to verify the patient’s insurance coverage, and present the patient with their explanation of benefits

When it comes to dealing with patients and their payments, you can count on an emotional response. Money issues tend to bring forth all kinds of feelings. So, it’s important to show empathy to every patient and understand that, even with insurance coverage, dental work is expensive for most people.

But again, you are a place of business, and you have to collect payment for the work you’ve done. 

The logical response: 

  • Sit down with the patient and explain their benefits to them, so they see the math on why they owe what they owe
  • Let the patient know your payment policy and present financing options
  • Ask members of your in-house team if there was time for a treatment presentation where costs were detailed for this patient

Related: Happy patients, happy practice: 3 ways to improve your dental patient experience

You can’t go back in time to give your patient a heads-up on the out-of-pocket costs. But you can offer empathy and your payment options, and assure them that their costs will be clearly communicated to them up front in the future. Treatment plan presentations are the ideal time for your team member to explain the necessity of treatment, and also a cost breakdown of what their benefits will cover.

Patient billing disagreements are rooted in both hard facts and hard feelings. You’ll get the best results when you approach these interactions with this balance of emotional and logical business management styles.

So after reading these 4 scenarios, which do you lean towards: Emotion or logic? Let’s find out…

Take our Dental Business Leadership Personality Test to see if you’re driven by emotions or logic

When you know what drives your decisions, you can be more self-aware when making your decisions. And as a dental business manager, self-awareness is key to making the informed, well-rounded decisions that will strengthen and grow your business.  

This free, 5-question Dental Business Leadership Personality Test will help you determine whether you are emotionally driven, logically driven, or a balance of both. With your results, you’ll receive a few quick tips from us for using that tendency to your advantage, and also how to lean into your less natural management style for a balanced approach and even better results. 

Dental Business Leadership Personality Test


Remember: When you’re aware of your instinctive management style, you’ll recognize when you’re having a knee-jerk reaction instead of a thought-through response.

Decisions shaped by both your emotions and your logic, where your feelings are balanced by hard data — and vice versa — will increase your confidence as a manager and decision maker, and lead to more success and growth for your dental business.

Lead your dental business confidently, using both your head and your heart

Generally speaking, it’s better to lean towards logic when running a dental business. You need consistent production and collections to drive maximum revenue, be successful, and nurture growth. However…

You can’t achieve growth without the administrative support of your in-house team and the financial support of your patients. These co-contributors to your professional success are people who deserve your empathy, clear communication, and understanding. This requires both logic and emotion, as when it comes to effective decision-making, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. 

Take our Dental Business Leadership Personality Test to determine your dental business management style, and get our top tips on how to approach decision-making with more skill and confidence.

Dental Claim Support (DCS) is a full-service dental revenue cycle management provider. Our goal is to streamline your processes while increasing your cash flow using our expertise and today’s technology.

Keep exploring RCM services by booking a free 30-min consultation with one of our experts.. 

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