Interview with Kevin Henry on your personality style and your superpower

Kevin Henry
Kevin Henry

Kevin speaks to dental audiences around the world on topics that empower dental assistants, helping them recognize the leadership role they hold in the practice.

Dayna Johnson  0:08 

We are super excited you have found Novonee on the Go, the premier Dentrix community’s free podcast. I’m Dayna Johnson, the founder of Novonee, and my goal is to give you about 15 minutes of juicy content to take back to your practice and help your team have a more productive and less stressful day. Enjoy!

Hey, welcome everyone. I’m Dayna Johnson, your Dentrix expert. And my goal is to help dentists and dental teams understand their dental software better, so you can create systems to improve the profitability of your practice, optimize your appointment book and have a more stress free day I started Novonee to be able to give all Dentrix users a platform to attend live one on one events and attend get best practice resources for optimizing your Dentrix software. If you want to become a member of our exclusive membership, go to and sign up today. Hey, welcome, everyone. We have a super special guest on our podcast today. We’re in the studio together because all he had to do was walk up the stairs. Works well that way yeah, my office is upstairs in our in our home here in beautiful Colorado. And Kevin and I are working from home today. So I’d like to introduce everyone to my best friend, the love of my life and also dental industry expert, Kevin Henry, welcome.

Kevin Henry  1:40 

Hey, it’s so good to be upstairs. I know. It’s fantastic.

Dayna Johnson  1:43 

I know. Welcome. So as you know, since you edit all my blogs and all my podcasts, you know that all my content over the last four to six weeks has been all about, you know, job descriptions. And you know, your primary role in the office, your secondary role, how do we build a cross training program? And so what I want to talk with you about is because you help Donald teens, kind of identify the like the personalities in the practice. And you know, I like to kind of think of those as your know your superpower, what’s your superpower in the office, and because if you’re, if you’re happy in your role, and you’re going to be more productive in that in that role. And so tell me a little bit about how you kind of help offices identify those, those personalities, or what I kind of call superpower.

Kevin Henry  2:43 

Well, and I’ve just got to say that sitting through all those Marvel movies is obviously paid off, because you’re using the superpowers like which is fantastic. So, you’ve rubbed off. So I think one of the biggest things that I love to do is work with practices, as you said, kind of developing those personality profiles, because there’s so many times during the day, that you know whether it’s at home, whether it’s at work, whatever, somebody will do something, and you’re kind of caught off guard, or you don’t understand why they think that way when you think it completely different way. And that’s one of the things that’s always fascinated me, fascinated me, I should say about how we’re all hardwired. And so, I was certified in DiSC, which is a personality profile type of thing back in 2018. I’ve helped dental practices since then. And the whole thing that I try to do is go into practices and make sure that they understand what each of their personality types are. Because under that roof, in every dental practice, or in every home, are people who think differently, act differently, maybe vote differently, worship differently, whatever it might be. And it’s a fact that we’ve got to learn that not everybody is going to be like us, and where do we meet in the middle and help that other person understand what it is that we really need? In order to have a better day at the job? Yeah, no. And I think that goes right along with, we need hard data, like job descriptions, you know, black and white stuff, but we also need that kind of gray area to with Why do you feel that way? When I don’t?

Dayna Johnson  4:13 

Yeah, I mean, for sure. I mean, you and I have really learned about our personality styles, and we have really grown our communication better, just by understanding our differences in how we’re hardwired because, you know, it really makes our household a happier place when we understand how to communicate better. So, the same thing happens with your dental practice, you know, if you understand how each other tick, you know, what makes each other tick, how do you push each other’s buttons, and you know, so I’ll use an example like in my own office. You know, there were two people at the front desk, there was me and my coworker Kathy, and we were completely different personality types, and which really helped to form where we were the most productive in our dental practice. So Kathy was a high i and you’ll have to give everybody what the what those definitions are, Kathy was a high eye, and I’m a high D. And so you would think that a high eye and a high D would conflict a little bit at the front desk. And in sometimes we did you know, we got along really well, once I really understood how to communicate with her. But since she was a high eye, she was really good at she was the greeter in the office, she was first she was the first person that everybody saw, she was the person that could really hone in on those relationship building. And she was amazing at that. I mean, that was her superpower, I am a high D, where I am much more organized, structured, I’m more about goal setting, and things like that. And so my role in the office was more about the financial part of the practice, you know, identifying what those roles, those goals are in the practice. And then, and so if you put me at the front, where I had to be the greeter, I wouldn’t, I would have failed miserably, you know, I would have been so unhappy, and I would not have been very productive in that role. Same thing, if you put Kathy in my role where I was, you know, she would have to do financial arrangements and do like goal setting, she would have failed miserably. And so we really identified where we both were happier in the practice. So we were much more productive.

Kevin Henry  6:45 

And I think that’s the key is you’ve got to put people not only where their skills match, but also their personalities match as well. And I know a lot of folks are going well, I don’t know what my personality is, I don’t know what our team’s personality is. And I’ve got a real quick 62nd test that I’d be happy to share with you. I’ll give my contact info here at the end. But you’re right, you know, scientists tell us that we fall, we fall into one of four personality quadrants D for dominant, I for influence S for steadiness, and C for conscientiousness, and you’re exactly right, you and I are on complete opposite ends of that spectrum, you’re a high D, it’s, you know, time money, get things done move on. Whereas on the ask, can’t we all just get along the PR, personality for sure. And so there’s times like you said, you and I have had to work on that here. And I think you’ve got to work on that in your practice as well. Because there’s a lot of times the D wants to get things done is very, you know, black and white about it as well. And sometimes the eye or the S can sit here and go will wow, that was kind of in a mean tone. What does that mean? Exactly? You know, or the D may think why don’t they get off their rears and get something done. Whereas they’re trying to process everything and need a little bit more time to do that. Yeah, just little things like that. I think once you realize that somebody else just needs that extra few seconds to say, okay, you know, it can make a big difference, just giving them that space to process. And I mean, that’s just one example of so many for sure,

Dayna Johnson  8:16 

for sure. And I think that that’s why this topic is so important, because we’re talking about, you know, identifying and creating these job descriptions in the practice, because, like almost every office I go into, they don’t have job descriptions spelled out. You know, it seems like everybody just comes in and does whatever, you know, I have those conversations with doctors all the time. And I’m like, Okay, well, let me know. Like, what is Susie’s primary role in the practice? And the doctor will say, well, everybody just does everything. You know, everybody’s cross trained, everybody does everything. I’m like, well, that’s great. I think cross training is really good. But let me know what is Susie’s primary role in the office? What is she? What does she have ownership towards, you know, and, and so we really start to identify the team members, you know, role in the practice so that we can put them in a place that where they’re the most productive, you know, we want our team members to be happy and productive members of our team. And I think a lot of times we just don’t do that.

Kevin Henry  9:25 

Well, we don’t because we hire somebody, and we think, well, this person could fit into this hole, you know, this is a peg that’s going in this hole. And it’s that simple. And it’s not because that peg has a lot of different shapes to it, and it’s not going to fit perfectly into that hole. And I think one of the biggest things that I hear from dental assistants whenever I’m out there so much, is you know, and you and I talked about this earlier that a lot of times they’re like, Well, you’re a dental assistant, you know what to do, go do it. Yeah. And and that’s not what they love. They love to know, here’s what’s expected of you. Here’s where things are going in the next three to six Matson here’s how you play a role with that. And that really gives them ownership and gets them excited about coming in rather than feeling like, Well, I’m just going to do the same thing yesterday I did today and get through it.

Dayna Johnson  10:11 

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And that’s why I really talk a lot about not only spelling out and writing down what those job descriptions are, you know, what are your outcomes that you want for this job description, this role in the practice, so that the team member who is hired or is being on boarded for this role, really knows what the outcome is that you want for this, this job. And, and then, so you have this job description, all spelled out, you have this team member that you hired for this role, and then the outcomes are not coming, like you’re not getting the results that you want? Well, it could very easily be that her personality or her, her DNA just doesn’t fit with that role. And you can find, you’re gonna find out pretty quickly, because you know, she’s going to be unhappy, she’s not productive, you know, so maybe, then you just might have to move her into a different role in the practice, and then she’s much more happier. But you have to spell out what the tasks are, that are associated with that role. So that everybody knows, this is what I need to get done on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

Kevin Henry  11:30 

And you know, you’ve you, whenever you go into practice, whenever I go into practices we hear so often, this person’s weighing us down, this person’s a cancer, this person, you know, all these different things. And maybe it’s not so much that that person is a bad person. But it could be like you said, they’re just unhappy. They’re not in a role. They don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re just going through the motions. And that’s where I think communication is such a vital part of everything that’s done in the practice. You know, it does take you sitting down with your employees a couple of times a year to say, how are things going, here’s what’s expected, here’s where we’re going together, here’s your role in that, and really working through what’s going on, you know, and I know that dentists were that’s not why they went to dental school, they didn’t go there to be the HR director, exactly. But at the same time, if you’re going to be a leader in the practice, that’s part of being a leader is understanding how to bring everybody along. So you’re all pulling on the same rope together exactly.

Dayna Johnson  12:22 

You know, if you, if you are the leader of the practice, and you don’t want to create the job descriptions, delegate it to someone that is really good at that, you know, maybe you work with a bent Erickson associate, and they’re going to create the job descriptions for you, and really help you identify what your roles are in the practice. So that’s first. So let’s talk quickly, before we wrap up, like okay, what’s first steps, you know, for you, you’re listening to this podcast, you’re like, we don’t have that in our office, I think, you know, first steps are that you want to identify what are the roles in your practice. And if you’re a one, if you’re a small dental practice, you have one doctor, one admin team member, you know, an assistant and two hygienist or something, you know, then the admin team members going to have to do all the roles in the practice. But then you have to look at your clinical team, the some of the admin tasks are going to fall under their secondary role like your dental assistants, if their primary role, of course is to run the back and assist chairside then the secondary role might be that they help fill the doctor schedule. And your hygienists you know, their primary role is to treat patients clinically. And then their secondary role might be to fill their, their continuing care seats. And so, you know, first is identified the roles in the practice that you have to have in order to run this business. So that’s like, number one. If you’re a larger dental practice, you know, you have couple doctors and you have four or five admin team members, then you might have a financial coordinator, a hygiene coordinator, you know, patient care coordinator, so you might have these different job descriptions. So that’s first is identifying what these roles are. And then second is you might bring Kevin in to identify the personalities. Yeah,

Kevin Henry  14:22 

and like I said a minute ago, I think there’s a lot to do with the black and white and the gray of running a business and it is not just a dental practice, but it is a business and every one of those employees has to know how they fit in. And so I think that job descriptions are key I think meeting with them twice a year is a key I think understanding where everybody’s passions are and actually asking them you know why why did you get into dental assisting Why did you become a hygienist you know, asking these questions of your team members and actually letting them if you’re the doc know why you got into dentistry as well. You know, humanize each other a little bit as well instead but just being well, you’re a dental assistant. Well, no, you’re Julie. And here’s why you’re Delos. Yeah. You know, I think that that’s really important for teams.

Dayna Johnson  15:07 

Yeah, I agree with that. And when so when Kevin says, you know, you should be meeting with your team members, you know, a couple times a year, now we’re talking about, you know, you may identify it as a performance evaluation, or a performance review, or a, an annual review or something like that, where, you know, you get to talk about, you know, what makes you happy in the practice, what would you want to do more of, you know, here’s my, here’s my superpowers. And these are what really makes me happy, is, you know, I love to build relationships, or I love to, you know, talk about money with my patients, you know, so, you know, everybody, everybody gets their, their, their joy in a completely different way. So,

Kevin Henry  15:50 

absolutely. You know, and I’m just going to take the superhero thing real quick, because I think it’s really important to think about it. You know, if you’re a Marvel fan, you know, the Avengers, you know, that Hawkeye, who’s the Archer has a different superpower completely than the Incredible Hulk. You’re not going to call him Hawkeye to go smash things and be the super strength guy. Just like you’re not going to bring them the Hulk to be your finesse guy. Yeah. So let each of them do the things that they’re really good at, but then figure out how that they team up together to become even more powerful. Exactly.

Dayna Johnson  16:21 

Yeah. I mean, you could just have this incredible dental practice. If we were able to do that. Absolutely. Every single time. Everybody

Kevin Henry  16:30 

understands their role. Everybody’s happy in their role, and everybody knows that each other’s got their backs. I mean, that’s the perfect day.

Dayna Johnson  16:37 

Exactly. Oh, my gosh. That’s the ideal situation. Absolutely. Well, thank you.

Kevin Henry  16:43 

Yeah, absolutely. This was great. Always good to come upstairs of hanging out with you.

Dayna Johnson  16:47 

Absolutely. Exactly. Well, if this topic resonated with you today, and you might know other doctors or other dental teams that would benefit from our podcast, please share it, rate it, review it wherever you listen to your podcasts, whether it’s Apple podcasts or Google podcasts, wherever you listen to your podcasts. This really helps to get the word out about our Novotny family of resources. And I look forward to watching your journey of becoming a Dentrix super user. Make sure to follow us on Facebook Instagram at mine everyone and we look forward to seeing you on our next podcast.

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