This may be easy for some dentists to answer but for some, goals are a tricky thing. I recently spoke with a client about this subject and his answer surprised me. He did not want to have anything to do with goal setting and refused to do it. After some lengthy conversation, he admitted that he had a fear of setting goals and he did not want to fail. The more I thought about this from his standpoint, the more I understood his hesitation.
As a dental student, he did not look at his grades as goals, he knew he was smart and would not have any academic trouble in dental school. This perception of not having goals continued for over 10 years until he spoke with me. I had to remind him that a goal is just a target or an objective. Goals change over time but he needs to know what he has accomplished and where he wants to be. Fear does not change the fact that he is a business owner and needs to know where he stands financially as a practice.
I wanted to honor his concerns and took things at a pace he was comfortable with. Once I started asking him specific questions, he realized he actually had goals, he just wasn’t formal with them. When we established monthly goals, he could see why they are important as a business owner and why the metrics are needed for his practice.
After leading him through the process of goal setting, his fear has greatly decreased and he looks forward to watching the metrics in his practice on a regular basis. I share this since the first ½ of the year is almost over. Where are you and your practice according to your goals?