Unlocking the Enigma of Generation Z: Idealism Meets Pragmatism

Exploring the Unique Qualities of Gen Z Allows Us to Navigate Generational Dynamics

In a Newsweek article, journalist Adam Piore unveiled some intriguing insights into Generation Z, often perceived as idealists and dreamers. However, Gen Z distinguishes itself through a blend of global and local concerns that set them apart from previous generations.

Breaking the Stereotypes

Before delving into Gen Z’s distinctive characteristics, it’s worth noting that Newsweek has featured cover stories about every generation. Frequently, these stories touch upon familiar themes such as entitlement and work ethics. But Gen Z is challenging these stereotypes in unexpected ways.

Gen Z’s Top Concerns

Contrary to the image of carefree youth, Generation Z has its sights firmly set on the future, with specific concerns dominating their thoughts. Gen Z’s worries are highly practical and include money (67%), securing a job (64%), and affording college education (59%). These concerns reveal a pragmatic mindset and a clear focus on personal well-being and financial stability.

Defining a Generational Cohort

What truly defines a generational cohort? According to the US Census Bureau, it’s the events they encounter during their formative years. These events, whether global, technological, economic, or social, interact with the life cycle and aging process to mold people’s worldviews. Often, these moments are accompanied by fear and uncertainty, leaving an indelible emotional impact.

Generational Experiences: Shaping Perspectives

For instance, consider the Vietnam War era, a defining event for the Baby Boomer generation. During this period, older adults felt fear and worry, having experienced the horrors of World War II. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, exhibited mixed emotions—fear coupled with a sense of excitement, as they anticipated sharing this experience with friends. For Generation X, like me, it was the stress of living through this uncertain time.

The Generational Lens

This generational lens allows researchers to explore not only how older adults felt about a particular issue in their youth but also how views evolve across generations. It helps us understand how events shape the way we perceive the world and how these perceptions transcend age boundaries.

Gen Z: The Emerging Giant

Gen Z, the cohort succeeding the Millennials (aka Gen Y), comprises an astonishing 25% of the US population, making them the largest generation yet, surpassing both Baby Boomers and Millennials. But it’s not just birth years that define a generation; geography also plays a substantial role. Additionally, Cuspers, individuals born within three to five years of the beginning or end of a generation, offer unique insights. They straddle two generations, making them exceptionally empathetic and adept at understanding the generational “DNA.”

Generational Context: Different Experiences, Different Impact

Generational context is vital in comprehending how different generations react to the same events. Events can impact generations differently, leaving a lasting imprint on their collective consciousness.

Audience Check-In: Do You Know What Cohort You Are?

Now, let’s see where you fall. Raise your hand if you identify as a Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennial), or Gen Z. The more you understand about yourself and how you are perceived, the easier it is to adapt to other generations.

Gen Z’s Workplace Revolution

When it comes to being employees, Gen Z is poised to revolutionize the workplace. They seek more than just superficial alignment with company brands. Their expectation is that companies and brands will transcend marketing buzzwords and make tangible, measurable differences in society. This pragmatic approach resonates not only in their expectations of employers but also in their personal concerns, reflecting a generation that values real-world impact.

Conclusion

Generation Z, the largest cohort yet, defies stereotypes with their forward-looking, pragmatic mindset. They are defined not only by their birth years but also by the unique experiences that shape their worldview. Cuspers, those straddling two generations, offer a special perspective, making them invaluable bridges between age groups. As we continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of generational dynamics, understanding the distinct qualities and concerns of each cohort is crucial for fostering empathy and building a more inclusive society.

To deepen your comprehension of generational cohorts and enhance collaborative efforts across age groups, I invite you to arrange a discovery call with me. This session will provide an opportunity for us to delve into the intricacies and investigate the specific aspects that pique your interest.

Bonus

Seeking ways to enhance team communication while enjoying a winter retreat? It’s time to kick off your preparations for the CE In The Mountains all-team event, scheduled for February 23-24, 2024, in the picturesque Park City, UT.

This event will center around improving communication and boosting productivity through engaging activities in the stunning mountain setting.

Watch the short video below for more details.

5 Strategies for Improving the Patient Experience in Your Dental Practice

The patient experience is a critical factor in the success of any dental practice. Patients who have positive experiences are more likely to return for future appointments, refer friends and family, and leave positive reviews.

In contrast, patients who have negative experiences may not return and can potentially harm the reputation of the practice. Here are some strategies that dental professionals can use to improve the patient experience in their practice.

1. Focus On Communication

Clear and effective communication is key to ensuring a positive patient experience. Dental professionals should take the time to listen to their patient’s concerns and explain procedures and treatments in a way that patients can understand. Providing patients with clear instructions after treatment can also help improve the patient experience.

  • Listen: Dental professionals can demonstrate active listening by repeating patients’ concerns back to them and asking intentional follow-up questions to ensure that they understand the issue.
  • Use plain language: Avoid using technical jargon that patients may not understand.
  • Provide written instructions: After a procedure or treatment, provide patients with written or text instructions on what to expect and how to continue care at home.

2. Improve The Welcome/Reception Experience

Waiting rooms can be a source of anxiety for patients, so it’s important to make them as comfortable and welcoming as possible. A Reception Area is a much more appealing name. Offer amenities such as video loops, relaxing music, magazines, comfortable seating, complimentary beverages, and fresh flowers (be careful of strong scents), and diverse artwork.

Keeping patients informed about wait times and updating them on any delays can also help reduce anxiety. Use technology such as text messaging or a digital display to keep patients informed.

Smile, be personable, and check in frequently to keep the patient in the know.

3. Personalize The Experience

Every patient is unique and has different needs and preferences. Dental professionals can improve the patient experience by taking the time to build relationships with their patients and tailor their care accordingly.

  • Offer sedation for anxious patients or provide special accommodations for patients with disabilities.
  • For patients with disabilities, provide accommodations such as a wheelchair ramp, accessible restroom, or sign language interpreter.
  • Ask patients about their preferences and needs, such as whether they prefer a certain type of music or would like a blanket during treatment.

4. Use Technology To Enhance The Patient Experience

Technology can be a powerful tool for improving the patient journey. For example, online appointment scheduling can make it easier for patients to book appointments at their convenience, and digital patient portals can allow patients to access and update their health information and communicate with their dental team.

  • Allowing patients to schedule appointments online at their convenience means you’ll never miss an opportunity.
  • Offering patients a secure digital portal helps keep patient records and information secure and up to date.

5. Solicit Feedback From Patients

The best way to understand the patient experience is to ask patients directly. Dental professionals can use surveys, feedback forms, or focus groups to gather input from patients and identify areas where they can improve.

  • Send patients a survey after their appointment to gather feedback on their experience and identify areas for improvement.
  • Invite patients to participate in focus groups where they can share their experiences and provide feedback on how the practice can improve.
  • Always reply to ALL patient comments. The interaction provides one more touchpoint to keep your practice top of mind.

Improving the patient journey requires a commitment to ongoing communication, personalization, and continuous improvement. By focusing on these 5 strategies, dental professionals can create a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages patients to prioritize their oral health and return for future appointments.

Bonus:  Watch 4 Tips to Improve the Patient Journey

Patient Retention vs. Acquiring New Patients

Don’t get me wrong, new patients are important for practice growth, but retaining existing patients has a greater practice impact.

They know the drill…pun intended.

• Maintain practice loyalty
• Keep appointments
• Show up regularly
• Accept treatment
• Book next appointments

What Should You Do to Retain Your Loyal Patients?

Patients are looking at healthcare providers and practices differently. 

Prosites, a dental marketing company, outlined 25 ways to Get Patients to Love Your Dental Practice. By implementing some of these ideas into your marketing strategy, you will attract and retain more patients and experience faster practice growth.

  • Demonstrate Honesty, particularly when   relating to insurance acceptance
  • Offer Financial Assistance
  • Provide Flexible Scheduling
  • Deliver Same-Day Dentistry
  • Maintain 5-star Online Reviews
  • Recognize / Appreciate Patient Testimonials
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Incentivize Patient Referral
  • Run On-Time
  • Friendly Team

Solutions

Times have changed and patients are not as dedicated to our practices.  They are looking for an uber-customized experience.  If we are not providing that, they will look elsewhere.

How can we adapt?

  • Customize communication software to meet specific needs, generationally for example.
  • Engage the team in creating videos and messages. Use humor to increase patient engagement
  • Personalize texts
  • Always reschedule a broken appointment
  • Wellness calls work! Pick up the phone and chat!
  • Improve the patient experience at every opportunity

Cancellations and No-Show Solutions

This is a common theme for dental practices lately.

Communication: verbal, written, and virtual with continual reinforcement of the importance and value of the services our practice provides is essential. Creating a script, together as a team, with verbal skills that everyone uses regularly improves patient loyalty.

Try a few of these ideas to reverse the problem:

  • Rate your patients, A, B, and C based on reliability and payment status.
  • No-shows, cancellations, and outstanding balances should be lower-tier patients.
  • Create a  scheduling template for every provider and stick to it! It makes scheduling and filling holes much easier for everyone! Plus, it helps with practitioner efficiency. Such as three hygienists waiting for an exam at the top of the hour 5-6 times a day.
  • Allow one ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ pass for any scheduled procedure the patient cancels within 24 hours. Explain that the practice is busy, and patients are wait-listed to be scheduled. Respecting your practice time is appreciated.
  • Charge the patient a % of the scheduled procedure each time they cancel
  • Allow time in the schedule to provide same-day treatment. Your practice revenue will increase significantly.
  • “All hands-on deck”! Be persistent and consistent once you create a policy.

Dental practices are facing many challenges over the past few years with team shortages, turnover and a decrease in patient scheduling.  Doing the same thing we have always done will not change the way things are going.  A commitment to change is necessary to keep the boat from sinking and get all the entire team rowing in the right direction. It all starts with  communication and systems.

Bonus:  Watch Attracting and Retaining Dental Patients

Communication is Our Currency for Successful Dentistry

The lifeline of our dental practice is communication. Three pillars that conversations impact in dentistry are:

  • Patients
  • Players (Team)
  • Practice

Dentistry is in the midst of a shift from product-centricity to people-centricity. Investments in your team members and your patients are essential.

Practices pushing services rather than focusing on the wants of the patient will see their revenues dwindle over time. You must have a strong culture to be patient-centric because it requires knowing the patient and catering to their wants.

PATIENTS

According to the Beryl Institute, the total of every touchpoint before, during, and after their appointment impact the patient experience.

These are four influencers of the patient experience:

  1. Interactions of people, processes, policies, communications, actions, and environment.
  2. Culture: The vision, values, team, and community
  3. Perceptions: Everything is recognized, understood, and remembered by patients and support people.
    • Perceptions vary based on individual experiences
  4. Continuum of Care: Every interaction with a practice or provider before, during, and after delivery of care.

How we influence these four categories will optimize the patient experience and their healthcare journey. The ongoing goal is to maintain existing patients and attract new patients simultaneously. Research from Forbes indicates it costs a practice five times more to attract a new patient than it does to retain an existing one.

TEAM

When communication is not well defined or delivered, we become less impactful as a team.

A healthy practice requires Proactive Leadership. Not by one person but by each team member at any given time. Team culture is driven by “leading by example.” Culture encompasses the tangible actions and beliefs of your team.  It is the pulse of your practice! It’s about what happens when the leader (not the boss) leaves the room.

There is a communication process that needs to occur regularly to promote teamwork.

During daily, weekly, monthly, and annual meetings, a facilitator/leader in the practice (not always the DDS) is responsible for making sure each staff member brings completed reality checks, acknowledgments, and quality requests.

Understanding that leadership is Bi-Directional is the first step to creating a happy, engaged, and productive team! It links everyone together, no matter what role they play on the team and will:

  • Reduce Turnover – Individuals that feel appreciated for their knowledge support the practice
  • Improve Team Engagement – People will do more than asked if they feel valued
  • Increase Production – A team working cohesively and sharing the load will be far more productive than individuals working in silos without collaborating

To keep the momentum going throughout the year, teams are encouraged to conduct the communication process every week as part of their team meetings. I have worked with dental teams to help them focus on meeting structure and customized outcomes which can change your productivity significantly!

PRACTICE

When I ask you, what is your office brand, what do you think of?

  • High-quality dentistry, implants, orthodontics, cosmetics, children, special needs, public health?

All of those answers are correct, but your brand is much more than the high-level procedures you perform. It is systemic and it trickles down into the words we say and the communication “tools” we use. Your brand should speak the language of the patients you are trying to attract!

Language is our currency and a bridge to trust! All team members should be speaking the same language. You don’t want half the team two-stepping and the other half breakdancing!

The chart below provides examples of how we can level up our vocabulary to represent the brand we are embracing.

2022 Copyright Communicate With Influence LLC

Communication is a lot like cooking. You take all these individual ingredients and blend them to create a delicious dish.

The “ingredients” are the people we interact with:  your patients, your team, your vendors, your family.

The “spices” are the way we customize the communication or the flavor.

The result, the delicious dish, is a harmonious team and practice.

Virtual Presentation Check List

Over 20 years as a corporate speaker, I have presented 100’s of virtual programs, before they were “a thing.” In these times of conference and travel uncertainty, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that will make your virtual events a success.  Be creative in recognizing the need to modify and adjust your format. YOU CAN DO THIS!

10 TIPS FOR VIRTUAL MEETING SUCCESS

  1. Decrease presentation length
  2. Use high quality camera and microphone
  3. Learn to look into the camera
  4. Properly adjust lighting
  5. Shorten stories while maintaining an emotional connection
  6. Create interactive slides by using: animation, GIF’s, sound
  7. Stand while delivering your presentation
  8. Use text polling for audience engagement
  9. Maximize platform software by incorporate surreys, word clouds, audience competitions, chat box
  10. Relax and have fun

ABOUT LISA COPELAND, RDH, CSP 

IRONMAN™  training taught me how to be successful in business communication.
As a competitive athlete, I effectively apply lessons learned to help clients transform business communication into profit, performance, and productivity.
My experiences allow me to share meaningful / memorable stories that positively impact your bottom line.  In fact, my iRONMAN Principles of training drive my lessons on the importance of generationally effective communication in business.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa or book her to speak at your event please email or call / text 206.465.1637

Copyright © 2020 | Communicate With Influence | All rights reserved. 

Book More Business That Pays: Professional Speaking Sponsorship Guide

magnet-money

As paid professional speakers, we have all heard the statements or questions below uttered by associations, corporations, meeting planners and non-profit groups.

  • *We do not have a budget to pay you but we would love to have you speak to our group.

*We are always looking for great speakers, but we cannot pay you.

*You will get exposure and business opportunities by presenting at our meeting.

Would you like to know how to turn many of these free speaking opportunities into a paid speaking engagement? Below are basic guidelines to obtaining sponsorship so you can get paid for your expertise.

When having an initial discussion with an organizer and any of the above statements come up, change the direction of the conversation to a positive opportunity.  Suggested verbiage that I have had great success with looks like this:

Sponsorship Conversation Scenario

Sally: (AKA the Meeting Planner)

We are always looking for great speakers, but we cannot pay you.  Do you speak for free?

Professional Speaker (PS):  I completely understand your budget constraints.  Many organizations that approach me to speak at their events are in the same situation.  Have you considered reaching out to your community to request sponsorship for a speaker?

  • Inside scoop: Typically, they are not familiar with the idea of sponsorship for a speaker and become engaged and enthusiastic about the possibilities. 

Sally:  No!  I have never thought of doing that.  How do I start?

  • Inside scoop: This is where you, the professional speaker, will need to understand their business and this process. Begin by educating the meeting planner. 

PS:  Who are the companies in your community that may have an interest in creating a business partnership with you or your attendees?  In other words, who would like to earn your business and would recognize the networking / sales opportunities available by sponsoring this event?

  • Inside scoop: Do your homework about the organization and expected attendees so you can make appropriate industry suggestion for sponsorship.  

Sally:  Well, since we are a dental practice, I would think that vendors who sell dental products may want to support this.  What about an office supply company to support the administrative side of the dental business?  This is a fantastic idea and there several companies I can reach out to.  I am going to start making a list of potential sponsors that we may be able to work with.

PS:  Fantastic!  Can I make a few suggestions on how to approach the potential sponsor?

Sally:  Absolutely!

PS:  The sponsors need to know, up front, WIIFT (What’s In It For Them).  Below is a template that you can customize for your introduction letter.

Sponsorship Email Template

Hello,

I am Sally, the practice manager for Dr. Wonderful.  We are planning a networking event in May. Our guests will include five to seven general and specialty dental offices in the area. The purpose of the meeting is to establish and improve our dental and medical community relationships so we can work more collaboratively when treating mutual patients. We are expecting 100 dental / medical professionals to attend.

Lisa Copeland, a communication expert on Generational Friction in Clinical Practice, will be our featured speaker.  She is well-known in the industry and lives locally.  I would like to invite you to be a sponsor for her honorarium.

This partnership will help promote (Sponsoring Company name) key marketing objectives:  List their marketing / customer goals if you know them.

  • Increase brand awareness and exposure for (Company name) products
  • Drive sales
  • Expand product exposure

 The sponsored speaker, (Lisa Copeland), will contribute the following to our partnership’s success:

  • Develop and customize a lead generation raffle contest slip requesting specific information regarding the attendees. The winner(s) will receive a (Sponsoring Company name) branded gift /certificate (specific prize to be discussed and determined)  
  • Customize a (Sponsoring Company Name) video “Thank You” to send to all conference attendees following the event
  • Share the (Sponsoring Company Name) twitter mention (@Company name) from the  podium
  • Introduce (Sponsoring Company Name) products and sales consultant (if attending) from the from the podium
  • Include (Sponsoring Company Name) logo on all course advertising materials indicating sponsorship 
  • Include (Sponsoring Company Name) logo / contact information on the attendee’s resource materials

These are just a few examples of how (Sponsoring Company Name) would benefit from sponsoring our event.  I would be happy to discuss additional opportunities and ideas that you have as well.

Let’s schedule a call this week to discuss the details of our partnership. I am available….

Warmest Regards,

paid
This approach has a positive triangulation effect.

  1. The speaker gets paid…YIPEEEEE!
  2. The meeting planner stays within the proposed budget and hires a reputable, professional speaker.
  3. The sponsoring company sells / displays products and interacts with 100 potential clients at one event! The return on investment for the sponsoring company has huge profit potential. The end result being a very successful event!

As a professional speaker, customize this template based on the client / market you will be working with. The proposal and language will become more comfortable as you use it.

Enjoy getting paid to speak!

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.