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Inside Dental Technology
January 2022
Volume 13, Issue 1

Perception Is Our Reality

Executive Editor Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT |

As we embark upon a new year, a brand-new year filled with great possibilities and opportunities perhaps previously unthought-of, this is a moment in time that truly provides massive potential for reflection and action with regard to the perspectives of all those who have involvements with your dental laboratory business. Your laboratory's dentist clientele, their networks, their patients, the laboratory's personnel, vendors, and other partners all have unique perspectives of your dental laboratory, and to them, that is who your laboratory truly is. However, those perspectives often do not necessarily align; on the contrary, oftentimes they deviate considerably from the owner's perspective of the laboratory, thereby leading to the potential for dire consequences for the business. One's perspective is their own unique reality, because people's reality is based on their perspectives. This concept is critically important for every laboratory owner and manager to become keenly cognizant of and understand in order to strategize thoughtfully on how to best position and/or pivot your internal and external messaging, so that your perspective and business are better aligned with all stakeholders in order to reap the greatest outcomes.

The exercise of perspective reflection should be an ongoing and constant process, but if you have not reflected upon it yet, it is not too late and now is a good time to start. First, you must do some soul searching and answer a few questions to determine your own perspective. How do you view your laboratory? In one word or one sentence, what is the laboratory's purpose? Whom does the laboratory serve, and why? What impact does your laboratory provide in the grander scheme of things? Why should anyone utilize your services and products? And where will your laboratory of the future be? This may take a little time and multiple occasions of contemplation, but it will deliver tremendous feedback for you and your business.

After establishing those key resolutions, write down all the stakeholders involved in your laboratory's business and answer those same questions in their voices. If you feel comfortable enough, you may ask them to answer the same questions and uncover their perspectives regarding your business, particularly for internal members of the laboratory.

Please never assume your perspective is automatically the same as everyone else's. Whether they answered or you answered in their voice, take a look at all of them and try to recognize and identify any disparities in perspectives. For example, if one of your answers to a question was "white-glove service" and any of your stakeholders answered "price consciousness," the value and how the laboratory is perceived is quite different. This likely will lead to failed execution, now or in the future, simply because the perspectives and the intended outcomes are so different. Now, identifying the differences will arm you with the knowledge to best position your messaging—internally and externally—to align your laboratory's perspective, value, and intent with anyone involved; together, these actions will unequivocally propel your business forward.

Wishing all a prosperous year ahead!

It is my great honor and pleasure to elevate and inspire with knowledge!

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