Embracing Facts.

Embracing Facts.

“The vast accumulations of knowledge – or at least of information – deposited by this century have been responsible for an equally vast ignorance. When there is so much to be known, when there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings, when every one knows a little about a great many things, it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not. And when we do not know, or when we do not know enough, we tend always to substitute emotions for thoughts.”

When do you think this was written and by whom? If you guessed T.S. Eliot’s essay “The Perfect Critic” for the literary journal Athenaeum in 1920, you guessed correctly and you deserve a ribbon for your knowledge of American literature. It could have easily been written today.

In your practice – how you hire, train, manage, market and grow revenue – there are emotions and there are facts. Facts are pesky things.

The consultant who tells you something they’ve never actually done in their own business and can’t reach more than an inch deep into the management and marketing literature to support their advice. The colleague who shows you anecdotal “evidence” of his clinical results all thanks to a single bracket, wire, technique or gadget. The family member or friend who finds your marketing tacky, outrageous or personally dislikes that you promote your practice: You get to decide if you listen to emotion or fact.

Unfortunately, our profession runs itself ragged trying to keep up with the emotional opinions of others about your success, your systems, your clinical results and how you do what you do for your patients, employees, family and community.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road for you: sit down tonight before the sun sets another day on your brow and determine with conviction where you need more facts in your practice. Are you listening to every new patient phone call, monitoring for deviation from script? Do you know how many unique visitors to your website were generated last month and how much you spent per lead to generate that deal flow? How comfortable are you that your employee performance assessments are productive for you and your team? How many referrals do you currently generate per patient? Per dentist?

You can’t move it until you measure it and you can’t measure it accurately if you don’t embrace facts.

Worked at Burleson Orthodontics. Attended University of Missouri–Kansas City. Lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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