Transform Your Meetings With Questions

A few years ago, I observed the most “by-the-book”, point-perfect morning meeting in a client office I had ever seen in all my years of consulting. Everyone was there on time with big smiles, bright “Good Morning’s!” and upbeat attitudes all around. Every patient chart had been reviewed the day before using the chart checklist I had given them. They also utilized the Morning Meeting Flowchart I had given them to keep the meeting on track and complete.

In the meeting, they discussed several patients who had pending, uncompleted treatment as well as a new patient with a tooth that was bothering him. One of the newest members of the team even shared that one of the day’s hygiene patients, Sherrie, was her manicurist. She relayed that on a recent visit to the salon the patient had raved about how happy she was with the teeth whitening procedure she had done at their office and the team member suggested giving the woman some business cards, practice brochures, and encouraging her to send referrals.

They were superstars! I was so impressed. And then, the morning unfolded.

The patients came into hygiene without anyone discussing the pending treatment before the doctor came in to do her exam. The new patient was greeted at the front office, in the operatory by the assistant and the dentist with the same basic question: “Why are you here?” And the worst of all… Sherrie came and went without any cards, brochures, or ever being asked to send referrals.

What happened? How had such a spot-on morning meeting resulted in no real, tangible actions?

It was in that afternoon training session that these three critical questions came to me:

1) What?
2) So What?
3) Now What?

“What?” They had answered this question brilliantly. But it was the follow-up “So What?” and “Now What?” questions that would have made all the difference.

So What that the new patient had a toothache? Now What do we do with that information?

So What the manicurist was ecstatic about her white teeth and was in such a perfect position to send referrals to the practice? Now What will we do with that information and who will do it?

No one wants to take the time to compile great information or generate great ideas only to have it reported but never result in anyone doing anything with it.

What? So What? Now What? These are the questions that will transform your morning meetings, monthly team meetings, review of practice statistics, and even your one-on-one employee conversations from simply a report of raw facts and basic information to real decisions about what, when, how, and who will actually do something with that information.

So this week, don’t just “report” … ask the questions that make the facts mean something and affect the changes for which you are hoping.

This week, we recycled one of our most popular MMS’s  from several years ago.
Our new subscribers will enjoy Katherine’s story
and the lessons she took from the experience.
And to all of our MMS readers
who have been loyal subscribers from the beginning…
you’ll remember why we
love seeing the world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.

“Who we are and what we will become is determined by the
questions that
animate us, and by those we refuse to ask. Your questions are
your quest. As you ask, so shall you be.

~ Sam Keen, Philosopher

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