Just Ask


If I had a dollar for every time I was in a dental practice and overheard someone say, “But we can’t tell Mrs. Jones she needs all that treatment, she can’t afford it!” I’d be a very rich woman.    Another one of my favorites: “Mary is already too busy, I can’t ask her to help me so I guess I’ll just have to do it myself.”  Usually what happens next is that person who is not asking for help complains that he’s “the only one who does anything around here!”

There are many missed opportunities when we make assumptions or try to guess what other people might say or do.  We owe it to our patients, our team and ourselves to give others the chance to answer what’s best for them. It is easy to make up stories about what we think they might say and what I’m suggesting is that instead of second guessing another person’s response or motivation, that we actually “talk our think” and include the other person in the conversations that we are having in our own heads   I call this having an “ask” mindset.

Presenting a large treatment plan?  Don’t assume money is an obstacle.  Ask the patient if she’s thought about a dental budget and what she wants to achieve with that budget.  What’s most important to her for long term dental health?  What challenges does she foresee that could prevent her from moving forward with treatment?  Just ask.

Are you struggling with time management or too many tasks at work?  There could be helpful resources available, but you won’t know until you ask.  Sometimes, people feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness or incompetence.  I say it shows great intelligence to know your limits and seek help when you need it before it overwhelms.  Yes, there will be times that incompetence shows up, however, most times it’s as simple as asking to get the assistance you need to achieve the desired results.  Just ask.

The biggest challenge to having an “ask” mindset is that people are afraid of the no.  Hockey great, Wayne Gretsky, said it best when he advised, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  What if you ask and the answer is yes?!   You can’t be afraid of the no because it will happen and you’ll need to be prepared.  You simply won’t know until you ask.

The more questions you ask, the more information you gather and ultimately, the more helpful you become to your patients, yourself and your team.

Developing an “ask” mindset takes time.  It also shows you’re interested and you care.  If you’re not sure where to begin, you can simply ask me here.

Here’s to your success!

Robyn Reis

Robyn Reis

Robyn began her dental career in 1998 as a marketing and communications director for a large group practice, and instantly fell in love with the world of dentistry. She has spent every waking moment since learning, growing and collaborating with dentists and their teams utilizing her expertise in all aspects of dental practice management, marketing, communications, HR, continuing education, and laboratory sales. Robyn's personal goals are to make a difference in someone's life every single day and to give the best of herself to those around her. Robyn and her family live and play in Northeast Ohio.