6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

We all know dentists work harder than many other people, running a business, leading a team, and serving patients. Unless we delegate effectively to team members, we will live lives full of stress and burnout. Yet way too many dentists still do way too much themselves.

It’s natural to roll up our sleeves and push through a busy season or two, but if those busy seasons turn into months or even years, it’s not sustainable. We need to delegate more.

Many dentists struggle to delegate, though. Some of them just need some help identifying tasks to delegate and training their team to perform. Others resist, making up excuse after excuse for why they can’t or won’t delegate. Here are six common—but bad—excuses dentists use to avoid delegating.

1. “I’m better at the task than anyone I’d delegate it to.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

If you’re using this excuse, you need to focus on building a better team, training an existing team, or implementing systems and processes.

You may have more experience than your team members, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything just because you’re better at doing those things than your team members are. For many of those tasks, you will be wasting valuable chairside time to non-revenue-generating work. That can cost you a lot of money. If you’re better at the task, have someone shadow you while you do it a few times, documenting how you do it and asking clarifying questions. Over time, let them take over while you supervise during the time you would normally do the task. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to hand off the task without adding additional burdens to your schedule.

2. “It’ll take less time if I do it instead.”

If you do something that takes 12 minutes a day, you can save an hour every week by training someone to do it.

Even if it takes you four hours to train someone to take over the task over the course of several weeks, you will save that amount of time in just four weeks once they take over. It might take less time to do a task one time, but delegating is a long-term investment.

3. “I don’t trust someone else to get the job done right.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

The problem with this logic is that you shouldn’t have anyone on your team if they can’t be trusted to get a job done right that’s under their responsibility with proper training and systems. We must be able to trust everyone on our team to the point that we can train them, give them systems or processes, and confidently delegate appropriate tasks to them.

For example, if you can’t run the morning huddle one day—which you need to do to get your team to do their best work every day—you should be able to trust delegating that task to another leader on your team. If not, a key activity that promotes productivity will be completely dependent on you. That’s very risky.

4. “I need to be indispensable.”

Some doctors—and even team members—resist delegating because they want to be indispensable. This is a very bad idea. In addition to coming off to team members as arrogant, if you’re the only one who can perform a task, you’ll never be able to pull away from the practice. You’ll be a bottleneck. And if you’re sick or unavailable, productivity across the entire practice will suffer.

5. “I like doing the task, so I should be the one to do it.”

 

6 Bad Excuses for Not Delegating Tasks to Team Members

 

You might enjoy doing administrative work but that doesn’t mean it’s a good use of your time.

You didn’t go to dental school to do administrative work. Let someone whose job it is to do that work do it instead. They can likely do a better job than you, too, because they do those tasks all day.

It’s not a good use of your time to take you away from revenue generation or family time to do administrative work. Delegate tasks you shouldn’t be doing to people who should be doing them.

6. “My team is already busy enough.”

This excuse marks a bigger issue. If they’re already busy, you either need more team members or better systems and processes. Otherwise, your team will end up overworked and overwhelmed. It will only be a matter of time before they leave—especially the top performers who can more easily find other jobs.

Are you making excuses for not delegating?

You’ll never be able to grow your dream practice without being able to delegate confidently. So, if you find yourself making these excuses (or others), challenge yourself to look at the deeper issue and find a way to delegate more.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today, where you can access top training and get coaching for yourself and your team members from our roster of experts in all facets of running a practice.

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

As dentists, we need to lead our practices well. We need to demonstrate good leadership skills to help our practice grow and get the best out of each team member. 

But sometimes, dentists have a hard time letting go of tasks they have no business doing themselves. It’s a natural tendency. If we do things ourselves, we know they will be done the way we want them. But if we want to grow our practice, we need to create systems and processes to ensure other people can do tasks as well as we can. This is especially true with tasks that can be done by a team member at a much lower cost than if the dentist had to take time away from patients to do them herself. But letting go is a problem for a lot of dentists.

If you struggle to let go, you are missing out on many benefits. No practice can succeed over the long term if the dentist bears the brunt of the workload. And if it does survive, the doctor will likely burn out fast. If that doesn’t sound fun, it’s because it’s not. The long-term impact of not delegating is burnout. But the short-term impact of not delegating isn’t good either. Here are two reasons to delegate more.

You Can Focus on the Things Only You Can Do

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

Only you can perform certain procedures but anyone can file paperwork. That might be an extreme example but we often hold onto tasks anyone else in the office could do with proper training and direction. Why spend doctor time filing paperwork, checking voicemail, or doing other tasks anyone can do at a much lower cost?

By managing your team members well and delegating tasks anyone can perform to them, you will be able to focus on the high-impact items only you can do. You can also free up time to get out of the office, be with your family, or take that much-needed vacation. Sometimes you’ll get busy and need to roll up your sleeves to help out but, for the most part, dentists can make their greatest impact on the practice by focusing on doing the things only they can do.

And practice leaders need to focus on strategy, growth, leading team leaders and other team members, and performing other high-level planning. Your time is valuable. You went to school to learn how to specialize in dentistry. You might love to do the marketing, scheduling, and so on, but you didn’t go to school for that—and you can get someone to do those things at a much lower cost than what your time is worth. 

Getting People out of Their Comfort Zone Is Where Growth Happens

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

When we delegate a task to someone, we’re enabling our practice to grow. We’re ensuring we’ve got a capable team that is able to handle any project that is thrown our way. We can trust them to get things done.

Many times dentists don’t delegate because they know how to do the task and their team members don’t. This is especially true with tasks involving specialized software or spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. But we can train our team members to do what we need them to do—and we can even outsource that training to an expert.

By doing so, both you and your team member might step out of your comfort zones. Training or outsourcing the training might be a reach for you. And learning a new piece of software might be a stretch for your team members. 

But, in the end, both you and your team members will grow. And delegating things you don’t need to do allows you to spend more of your time treating patients and earning revenue. You grow. Your team grows. And your practice grows, all because you stepped out of your comfort zone to delegate. 

Are You Delegating Enough to Your Team?

 

2 Reasons to Get Comfortable Delegating More

 

You can’t—and shouldn’t—do everything in your practice. Your practice will make less money. You will work too many hours. Your team members won’t grow as much as they can. And you’ll eventually burn out. If you’re not delegating enough to your team, start today. 

If you need help identifying what to delegate and then doing so effectively, sign up for the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching program today! In WOW Platinum Coaching, you and your team will be trained by leading experts in every aspect of running and growing a dental practice!