Growing Your Self & Team

Woman Sitting In Green Forest Enjoys The Silence And Beauty

Self-care and benefit of spending time in nature for dental professionals

Over the past twenty years coaching business leaders and their teams, I have noticed a positive correlation between Self/Team growth and Revenue/Profitability growth. Whilst it can be sometimes difficult to measure, there is a natural synergy that occurs when leaders are clear, and teams are confident.

In our previous Growth Strategies for 2023 article, General Manager of Client Relationships Brett Churnin shared the five areas of potential business growth, and in this article, I will share some areas you can focus on to Grow YourSelf and your Team.

  1. Increase your technical/clinical skills

Ask yourself what you can study that will improve your technical skills. People have different motivators and learning styles, and considering this can make training more effective: consider face to face, virtual, in group, solo, short study, longer study, books or videos. Some prefer mentoring others or being mentored to learn too.

  1. Self-Awareness practices 
  • Do reflection exercises like completing a Wheel of Life, and Emotional Intelligence questionnaire to name a few. Ask your Prime Practice coach and they can provide you with a few personal development activities. 
  • Ask for your team’s feedback to change unhelpful habits or behaviours allowing you to make positive changes for yourself and others.  
  • Consider working with a coach to build self-awareness. 
  1. Improve your communication skills 
  • Get coaching for accountability and success – consider engaging an experienced Business Coach to learn valuable skills to mentor you and to support your growth in this area.  
  • Enroll in communication workshops – Dental Patient Communication Training like Primespeak will teach techniques and tools to increase your case acceptance through building long lasting relationships. 
  • Attend team workshops – Get together with your team and learn how to communicate smarter and more effectively in your practice in workshops such as Team Workshop – From Good to Great
  • Bring an experienced trainer to your practice – Engage a trainer and learn in an environment where you’re familiar with solutions like our Customised Training
  1. Self-care practices – activities below are examples only and are limitless! 
  • Take on exercise – consider exercise that speeds you up like walking, running, gym, classes, personal training, squash, tennis, and even some types of yoga! 
  • Go slow… Take on mindful practices that slow you down like yoga, meditation, nature connection, and forest bathing guided walks. 
  • Have you thought of starting a new hobby? There are so many fun things to contemplate like photography, bird watching, fishing, creative arts, cooking, music appreciation, music playing, star gazing and reading. 
  • Spend time in nature. Pack your bag and go camping, hiking, kayaking or rock-climbing.

You may already know what practices support you to grow, to self-reflect and create a healthy you – in mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes we know what to do, but don’t always prioritise what serves us well. If this resonates, we’d encourage you to talk to your Coach or seek an accountability partner to support your wellbeing.  

As part of my own self-care and personal development since 2020, I practice and guide Forest Bathing walks and EcoNidra nature meditations. Both practices are immersed in nature connection.  

Whilst over the years I have always felt alive in nature as an outdoor guide, adventurer and through hiker, I recognised I could easily walk through nature without presence. This recent science researched practices encourage a deeper dive with slowing down and immersing in nature with conscious attention on all senses for health wellbeing. 

Whilst spending time in nature may not seem directly related to dental practices, there are definitely benefits that do apply to dental professional wellbeing including: 

  1. Stress reduction: If you experience high levels of stress due to the demands of your role, taking time to relax in nature can help alleviate stress and improve overall wellbeing.  
  1. Health benefits (physical): Dental professionals, both leaders and teams often spend long hours in the practice or in one surgery room, so getting outside and moving around can be beneficial for overall health.  
  1. Improved sleep: Exposure to natural light and fresh air can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep quality. If the appointment book is not as organised as you would like, or you work across a couple of practices with irregular schedules or work long hours, getting adequate rest is important for wellbeing. Time in nature may assist sleep patterns.  
  1. Enhanced creativity: Research has shown spending time in nature can enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities. Taking time out allows your brain to rest and see new perspectives. 
  1. Improved mental clarity: Spending time in nature can improve cognitive function and mental clarity. If you spend long hours focusing on intricate dental procedures, taking breaks in nature may help improve focus and concentration.

Did you know? The science benefits based on forest bathing indicate trees release chemicals called Phytoncides and as we walk beneath, we may benefit as they: 

  • Enhance the activity of anti-cancer proteins 
  • Significantly decrease stress hormone levels 
  • Increase hours of sleep 
  • Decreased tension, anxiety, anger and fatigue scores 
  • Stimulate a pleasant mood 
  • Significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate 
  • Suppress sympathetic nervous activity and increase parasympathetic nervous activity bringing your nervous system into balance 

You can Forest Bathe on your own by following the leading expert in the Japanese style of Forest Bathing guidance. 

“How do you shinrin-yoku in the park 

  1. Leave behind your phone, camera, music and any other distractions 
  1. Leave behind your expectations 
  1. Slow down; forget about time 
  1. Come into the present moment 
  1. Find a spot to sit – on the grass, beside a tree, on a park bench 
  1. Notice what you can hear and see 
  1. Notice what you feel, smell and taste 
  1. Stay for two hours ideally (though you will begin to notice the effects after twenty minutes”

‘The Japanese Art and Science of Shinrin-Yoku, Forest Bathing, How trees can help you find health and happiness’ by Dr. Qing Li , Chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine

NZ's Forest Bathing Guides at Wild Waikawa, NZ for Trainers convention. Wild Waikawa is a 200Ha conservation ecosanctuary Michelle and her partner Nigel manage together.
NZ’s Forest Bathing Guides at Wild Waikawa, NZ for Trainers convention. Wild Waikawa is a 200Ha conservation ecosanctuary Michelle and her partner Nigel manage together.
Forest bathing in sunbeams
Forest bathing in sunbeams

If you haven’t experienced this practice and would like to be guided, there are forest bathing guides in 62 countries around the world – face to face or virtually guided while you are in your own forest. Any guides certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Association are recommended. 

I hope this article has given you some ideas to developing growth within Yourself and your Team and I hope you have been encouraged to spend more time out in nature for health and wellbeing.  

If we at Prime Practice can help you with any of your Self and Team development, please contact us at any time, we are here to support your Growth.

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