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a blog by Chris Barrow

The right people just float to the top

We have all heard about the Pareto Principle - the 80/20 rule - which appears consistently through any study of human behaviour. Dentistry is no exception:

  • 20% of your patients generate 80% of your profit;

  • 20% of your team members make 80% of the difference;

  • 20% of your referring GDPs send 80% of the work;

and, of course,

  • 20% of the people you meet in life cause 80% of the problems.

It came as no surprise to read a recent article on fitness, leisure and gym membership, indicating that around 20% of the people who pay for a gym actually attend on a regular basis.

After Germany, the UK has the second highest number of gym members of any European country (although you do get the sense that those from sunnier climes may well prefer their exercise outdoors). Even so, attendance is rubbish, pandemic or not.

The message here is that getting people to do the right things is a real challenge - that most prefer either the status quo or downright laziness.

All of which leads me to reflect on my response when clients ask me:

  • "how do I motivate my team and improve morale?"

  • "can you help to increase the level of engagement from my team/ associates/patients?"

You cannot motivate people to take action to improve themselves - you can only create environments in which people become self-motivated to improve.

The environment you must create is one in which everyone follows The Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Once that has been established - sit back and watch for the 20%'ers - they will rise to the top quite naturally.

Having spotted them - grow them like a sports performance coach would grow an athlete.

The 80%'ers?

Leave them alone - they don't want your help (but they will still moan when they don't get it).

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