The Perils of Groupthink: How to Hone Your Mindset in Private Practice | Jennifer Pearce | MME

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Show Notes

We all love when our peers agree with us online, but could this be hurting our mindset and creativity? In this episode, I sit down with Jennifer Pearce to explore the perils of groupthink and the profound impact of mindset on success in the dental industry. We dive deep into how maintaining a healthy, critical approach is crucial for dentists, especially when transitioning from larger DSOs to private practice. Jennifer passionately discusses the dangers of groupthink, revealing how it can obstruct innovation and stunt personal growth.

Through examples and insights from her coaching experience, Jennifer sheds light on the necessity of evolving one's mindset. Whether you're just starting in the field or looking to make a significant career change, this episode is packed with practical advice and thought-provoking ideas. Tune in to discover how critical thinking and self-awareness can become your greatest assets in navigating the complexities of a dental career.

What You'll Learn in This Episode:

  • What is groupthink, and how does it affect personal and professional growth?
  • Why mindset is critical for success in dentistry, especially in private practice.
  • How to transition from working in DSOs to establishing a private practice.
  • The importance of critical thinking and self-awareness in overcoming industry challenges.
  • Real-life examples and insights from Jennifer's coaching experiences.
  • Practical tips for evolving your mindset at different stages of your dental career.
  • Strategies to maintain an independent and creative approach in a collaborative environment.
  • How to identify when you're falling into the groupthink trap.

Let's get into our episode with Jennifer Pearce today and learn how to steer clear of groupthink!


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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Hey, Jennifer. So talk to us. What's one piece of advice you can give us this Monday morning?

Jennifer: Good morning. Um, the first thing I would like to say is group think is a powerful thing. It's also can be a very harmful thing and your mindset is pivotal. But how you establish that mindset is more pivotal, and this is why I bring up the subject of groupthink.

Michael: Okay, so groupthink, and then you, one thing you mentioned is how you establish your mindset. First and foremost, how do we establish a good mindset? And what would be good?

Jennifer: I don't think that you wake up one morning and say, I'm going to get a good mindset. I think it's an accumulation of experience. things that you do right, things that you do wrong.

We all tend to learn more from things we do wrong. But I do feel that it needs to be, um, critical as to what you're trying to accomplish. Because. What I see a lot of today, and this is why I talk about groupthink, is, oh, I'm experiencing this. Let me go on social media or Google and Google what I'm facing and see what other people say or think about.

current conundrum, problem, or whatever. And so when you're a dentist and you're raised in the critical thinking, genre in your schooling, that's great. But sometimes I feel like the critical thinking or the awareness of the mindset thinking gets a little bit muddy when we're looking for a solution to a problem.

So this might seem a little like a vague answer and I don't mean it to be, but mindset is. It's not something you wake up one morning and say, okay, I'm going to do a through Z. And then I'm going to have a good mindset. It has tributaries. It has things that take you off of stream. And then you come back onto the stream and being in the ebbs and flows of your mindset, awareness, and growing sometimes for dentists being highly technical thinkers, this gets scary, muddy, um, overwhelming And that's part of it, too. It's part of the process. So I think mindset a little bit is an overused word or a misunderstood word, but your mindset and how to fix your business is pivotal. So let me give you an example, if I may.

Michael: Yes.

Jennifer: So when you're a new practitioner, you've decided I've come out of school and I'm going to go work at a DSO and I'm going to get some skills, whether it be becoming faster at your skills.

better at your skills, whatever. your mindset at that time is knowledge acquisition, time inefficiency, learning how to be with a team, what you need from the team, those kinds of things. I coach some people, some doctors who have come DSO environment, go into a private environment, and it's not the same they've evolved.

What they expect from their team could be different and they haven't done enough work on their mindset. They've mainly worked on their technical skill sets. So there's technical prowess, there's a mindset, and there's leadership. And all of these are pivotal pieces to your practice growth.

If you decide to have one or your own, clinical growth. If you decide not to have a practice and be within a DSO environment. could be DSO. It could be ideas. So it could be a number of things. I use DSO. It's a very broad term for private. Versus corporate versus anything you do not own. Okay.

So a lot of the doctors don't realize they have been put into a mindset and leadership, path or story. And sometimes they're not aware of that's what's happening. And they adopt some of that as their own. So this is where I say your mindset is very important because it's almost like you've been kind of in a cult and you may not know it.

And then you come out of the cold and you decide I'm going to open a practice or I'm going to do this. Your mindset has to be your path. Your mindset has to be where you take it. It becomes your vision. It becomes your, your style of business. I often say with mindset, I'm from Texas, so pardon my frankness, but if you do not choose your saddle, your saddle will choose you.

Michael: And it may not be a good saddle for you. So people choose to go into different business models within dentistry for whatever reason. There's, so many reasons we can give for why people choose. But. the mindset that got you there when you choose whatever you choose. And then the mindset that takes you along your career, five years, 10 years, 15 years in has to evolve because what got you the first five years won't get you to the next five years.

Jennifer: What got you through the first 10 years may not get you through the next 10 years. Um, because I probably am not telling anybody anything they don't know, but we are in what I consider to tonic shifts in dentistry. which I've been in for 30 years. So over the last, I would say 12 years, I've seen tectonic shifts, whether it be from technical disruptions, team disruptions, COVID, you know, incidents, which has changed us all.

So, mindset is something that has to always be, brought to awareness and, challenged with inquisition of what you really want, not just challenging, just to challenge. Yeah.

Michael: Yeah. Cause I feel like, well, then let me know, Jennifer, when it comes to mindset, let's just say we come out of a DSO.

This happens a lot, right? We come out of a DSO, we enter into a private practice, then we start liking the private practice. Oh my God, the doctor was amazing. I love the way she works and everything, but it's time for me to open up my own practice. Right. And so they open it up. They take systems from the private practice.

They take some things they like from the DSO, but they hated it. They're like, I hated the, the non. You know, we were like a drill and fill and get out kind of thing. Right. And so where is it with the doctor who's opening up the practice where they're like, all of this is mine, my mindset, or is it okay enough for us to kind of take pieces of stuff that we like and things like that.

But maybe later on, we never questioned it. And then we're like, I never really liked that. I, it just worked to make money kind of thing. And I guess.

Jennifer: It's called the status quo. I coached two practitioners right now that did just that. They were very successful in a DSM environment.

And so yes, event, they knew eventually they were going to have their own. That's no big secret. It's something that happens, right? But they love the, the systemization. Yes. Of what they had at the DSO. And they were then in this illusion and bubble of what the DSO had created as far as the continuity of how things went, whatever leadership had been established.

They may have liked pieces of the leadership as a doctor, but not the other pieces.

Michael: You

Jennifer: know, there's so many little intricacies to this conversation about that, but they never realize. The stress. The amount of personal time everything's going to take till they buy it. And then, uh, one that I have been coaching now for a year and a half, but unbeknownst to her, a dumpster fire, she did not know what she bought because.

A lawyer told her it was okay and a broker told her it was okay, but she never really looked the business itself and in got in the practice management software and all those kinds of things. So, and many times she has said to me, I was really good at this and a DSO environment, but in this environment, it's completely different.

And I said, so yeah, we've got to work on. Your mindset towards now that you own it, your leadership style. Now that you own it, which systems did you like? Which systems did you not like? Let's make this saddle fit your ass. you now own the saddle, you own the horse, you own it all. and they just don't realize it's like anything else.

None of us realize till we jump into something. And then we're like, wow, I can't swim this fast or chew this fast. What do I do? How do I get it? Right. And I think the hard thing for all this is then we're talking to somebody who now has a husband or a wife. and children and life and those things may not have been part of the stressors to begin with, right?

So your mindset towards what gets your attention at what times and then focusing that attention, um, cause usually dentists, as you know, and it's no big secret that they're technical. they're the technical tinkers. They want to work with their hands and all that stuff. So.

Michael: Interesting.

Okay. So internet show group think

Jennifer: yeah

Michael: is powerful. You said, but horrible sometimes.

Jennifer: Yes

Michael: In the sense of when can it start becoming horrible for someone?

Jennifer: So I'll see something being said. let's just talk about, you know, on Facebook because it's something everybody understands, right? And you'll be in a group and there'll be, you know, a doctor will state something and then 60, 70, 500 comments come along with other doctors and it's.

Same, same, same, same, same.

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: So, one of the things that I really work individually with people on is standing in your rightness. R I G H T N E S S. But when you get a hundred things of agree, agree, agree, agree, and you realize there's, there could be some nuances to that answer, not judgment or this is wrong, whatever.

Um, you realize they're all group. Think group. Think feels comfortable group. Things feels vindicating group. Think feels, Oh, I must be right. If I can just get everybody else to listen to me. My pain will stop and no, you're all actually maybe only a skosh wrong, but you're wrong, you know, in how maybe you're leading or how you're trying to get something to be accomplished or whatever, which then over time leads to status quo, where they just.

Pull back. And they just say, this is too hard. I pay my team. They're doing okay. We're doing okay. I want to be with my wife and children or my husband and my children. This is okay. This is enough. This is, this is what dentistry was for a very long time. You know, it was a cottage industry business. and the dentist would show up to do his or her work, tinker.

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: They'll go home. Now we have more entrepreneurial based dentists. We have more competition. We have the insurance derivatives. DSOs, you know, different models. And so it's like a pressure cooker now. And I think the pressure cooker. gives groupthink a place to go and kind of hang out for a minute and yeah, yeah, yeah. So funny share. Okay.

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: I love football. I'm from Texas. I'm a football girl. If I could buy the Dallas Cowboys and flip that team, I would. Okay. So watching the super bowl, most people tend to watch the super bowl. So it tends to be a good bonding discussion. And Travis. Kelsey, and his coach with the, Kansas city chiefs, you know, they were having a moment. They were having an intense, passionate moment with a top performing athlete. Okay. Did the coach get all reactionary and bench him because he was like misbehaving or speaking inappropriately to the coach at the moment?

No, that coach has been around a while. That coach just looked at him and he heard him. But is that the time to punish him, get into it or whatever? No, he let, he let him have his moment and they went on to win in the celebration of the super bowl, what were that coach and player doing, loving on each other, high fiving.

They just made a ton of money. And one of the group things I saw in one of the chats on Facebook was he was disrespectful, he should have been benched. He should have been this. Very much standing in rightness at the end of the day, that coach was very wise with a very talented person. Let him have his moment, let him blow some steam and then let him ride, let him fly, let him get out there and do what he needs to do.

And I think sometimes this is what I see in group thing in dentistry, killing a little bit of our ingenuity, our creation within our team, our advancement. Really crucial talent in our teams. So sometimes the doctor's like, well, they did this and I'm going to, you know, and I'm like, Hmm, that person closed 500, 000 in your books last year.

Is this a battle or is this a war? Cause you're making it a ward. It might just be a battle we might just let this one go. So this is mindset. This is mindset. And you can tell how much I love this. I'm very passionate about it. I can go on, about it because I think in dentistry, one of the most, the biggest blessings I had is my clinicians that I worked for, male, female.

I've, I've had both that I've worked for as an employee.

Michael: Mm-Hmm. .

Jennifer: they empowered me. They let me take my passion. They let me. You know, grow and do things. And they allowed me also to challenge their mindset at times about how they were thinking about something. the first one happened very young in my career when my dentist wanted to get in network with MetLife, we were completely fee for service practice, like literally the patient came and got a crown, they gave us a check.

We gave them a super bill to melt to their insurance. And he says, we, we need to go in network with MetLife. And I said, tell me what that means. Not a clue.

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: We were right down the street from American Airlines hub at DFW Airport. We had pilots, we had flight attendants, we had baggage throwers, and he said, well, we can get more patients.

And I said, we have three operatories. We're booked out six months. in hygiene right now because we have one hygienist. look at the fee schedule. So I looked at it and I said, you want us to take a 40 percent decrease in our pay. You want us to see more patients. We don't have capacity. Why would we do this? He said, they're going to leave us. Who told you this? Mindset.

Michael: Mm hmm. That's why. Gotcha. That's nice. That's nice, Jennifer. Awesome. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for being with us. It's been a pleasure. If anyone had further questions or concerns, where can they reach out to

Jennifer: you? You can find me at Prosperity Dental Solutions.

That is my website. Um, my email is jennifer at prosperity dental solutions. I'm reachable through there. That's probably the easiest way to get ahold of me.

Michael: Okay. Awesome. So that's going to be in the show notes below. And Jennifer, thank you so much for being with us on this Monday morning episode.

Jennifer: Thank you for having me.