What are Leadership Styles and why is it important as a dentist?

Leadership is sometimes referred to being a leader, it’s a style you often tend to adapt, or it could be something that you are born with. The real reason is leadership is a unique ability that individuals can easily learn. It is a key attribute that allows someone to guide and empowers those around them.

You may be asking why is leadership important for us the dentist? Leadership can be learned, and it is very important because you are a dentist and you are leading a team within a practice. You must ensure that you are able to guide each member and help to operate their functions effectively.

You can be great at what you do but it is important that you find out what type of leader you are and how can that be put to practice?

Do you want to be a boring dentist or someone who is successful and knows how to handle their staff members, to ensure everyone is successful?!

What is your leadership style? Do you know?


management style

The “Coach”

A coaching leader is someone who knows what they are good and bad with each person that they work with.

Football coaches often use this style so that they can do their job role properly. They do this by setting outsmart goals and specific objectives so that others are able to better themselves.

Dentists can also use this leadership style however this style does not work well as the others mentioned at the end. Dentists can give out tasks along with good and bad comments about each staff they work with.

The coaching-style persuades you to teach and guide those around you. this is done so that they can tackle their personal goals along with the team’s goal.

Football coaches usually have this style of leadership because of the work they have to do.

Advantages and Disadvantages using coaching style:

  • Usually, when using the coaching style, it creates a positive environment where everyone is able to improve their own personal goals. Giving positive and negative feedback it gives out the impression that you do not care that you could hurt their feelings, but you want them to focus and improve on the areas as well.
  • Using this style of leadership gives them the impression that you know exactly what your job is.


The “Pacesetter”

time lapse photography of bikers

The Pacesetting is a leader that wants the staff members to perform well. Dentists could use this style on his or her team. This usually involves building a loyal relationship with patients. This isn’t a PERFORMANCE TEST but sometimes you would think it is. Your manager or leader always wants you to do better than before.

The leader is someone who we always want to turn to for help whenever we need it. This style is very good for dentists because the role involves making sure that all dental surgeries are carried out to a specific standard.

This leadership style works well when all staff members are highly motivated and well trained however whenever there is slack in work, the leader often picks up on the missing parts and finishes it off.

Performance is an important tool when carrying out a pacesetting style because you are required to achieve set targets set out for your staff member. This can be done by breaking down all targets so that it makes the workload 10 times easier to do.

Advantages and disadvantages of using pacesetting style:

  • Tasks can be achieved quickly within a short period of time however staff can feel demotivated because of the workload that they are required to achieve.


The “Affiliative”

united as a team dentist

This style is focused on the importance of working as a team and ensuring that everyone is happy. This style is when dentists have to work as a team. Dentists can use this style that will help them to the way they speak to different people not only that but it will also help to make themselves better.

Most importantly it fixes any major issues that are involved the dental practice. This style is beneficial for dentists because it allows them to create a bond and it allows them to motivate people during stressful times.

Dentists may find this style is easier to adapt to because they prefer to know each member of the dental practice by their names personally. Also, it provides a positive environment because this is one of the factors that can contribute to a negative work environment. Dentists and other professionals find this leadership style more comfortable because it makes it easier to work with someone that you are comfortable with and you are aware of how they behave when you are with them.

Also, it is important to work with people that know exactly what to do however it makes it 10 times better to work with someone who you know on a personal basis.

Additionally, when there are conflicts it is easier to deal with these problems and make sure that they are dealt with.

Advantages and disadvantages of using affiliative style:

  • These types of people can resolve conflicts more effective than others perhaps because they know everyone individually.
  • This type of leadership often relies on the person’s upbringing and self-discipline so that they are more productive when it comes to handling tasks.
  • Dentists that use this style of leading sometimes forget about the end goal.
  • Rewards are offered if the individual believes that the staff has gone way and beyond their responsibilities. This can be done as a feedback process which leads to an increase in morale.


The “Democratic”

open book with glasses as a bookmark

This style is all about skills, yeah I know. boring right? This style is mostly focused on knowledge & skill. Dentists are very talented and high skilled so that means this style is easy to adapt.

Dentists can use this style so that it helps them to solve problems when they know exactly what to do. Democratic Leader that usually wants those around them to know that their voice can be heard and their contributions do matter.

Perhaps this is you and you didn’t know that?!

This leadership style usually functions well when there is a problem that can only be resolved when you have smart people that have the specific knowledge and wisdom to tackle it the most appropriate manner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using democratic style:

  • All final decisions are made by the leaders however they include every team member in the decision-making process however this isn’t always the quickest method of decision making. It could take a while to get everyone’s opinions.


The “Transformational Leader”

organisation profit met

This style is similar to the coaching style of leadership however instead of focusing on individual goals, it focuses on the organizational targets and goals.

This could be future goals, where you use your company in a few years and how could that be?

Dentists could use this leadership style if they want to mostly focus on the big picture instead of temporary goals. This leadership style is more effective because it means dental practices can set specific and limited tasks to all staff members can achieve and then tackle other tasks.

Advantages and disadvantages of using transformational style:

  • Having this leadership style allows dentists to focus on the end vision instead of having to worry about temporary targets that do not often benefit nor get you to reach the end goal. By having a specific vision, dentists can communicate more effectively to others and help others to understand what exactly is required to reach and achieve the end goal.
  • The transformational style creates a positive environment because if you are working with individuals that are satisfied and want to be motivated at all times, they will be easily influenced because their mindset will completely change.
  • When a dentist is focused on the end goal, they can often forget about the details that are surrounding the end goal and what is required to achieve that.

The tasks that are required to be completed so that you can get there. Leaders with this style often need additional support with organizing people and detail-oriented.


The “Transactional Leader”



The transactional leader style is focused on incentives as a form of motivating individuals for their hard work and efforts. This leadership style isn’t beneficial due to the fact that there are disciplinary actions for their failure.

Due to the aspect of the job role, which is Dentists, this leadership is more difficult to adapt to due to the fact that all staff members are highly trained and know exactly what to do. Therefore, this leadership is more suitable for a Bank manager, consultant or salesperson; individuals that have target based tasks.

This leadership focuses on achieving goals and rewarding however there are advantages and disadvantages when using this leadership style.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a transactional leadership style:

  • motivation is an advantage because there is a reward for all your hard work and efforts, therefore, this persuades others to work twice as much as they usually do. For example: for every deadline achieved every week. He or she could potentially receive a bonus.
  • Communications and clear structure; When employees know exactly what the company excepts from you when you decide to join the firm.
  • There are clear instructions and communication flowing through the company whereby they are aware that the incentives for following policies.
  • This leadership style does not focus on individuals’ goals instead they are more interested in getting the tasks completed.
  • Additionally, employees know exactly what they can and can’t do therefore if something does not go right. They are accountable for their asks.
  • Leaders with this leadership approach do not put their emotions when carrying themselves this way. They believe that emotion could potentially affect the organization and staff members will not respect them the same way.


Conclusion – Dental Leader

Leadership is very important for dentists and it often does make a difference when you are trying to understand the best way to lead a dental practice  so that things run smoothly, therefore, it is always best for you to understand the pros and cons of having that particular leadership style so that it doesn’t affect your work environment and those who work around you.

If you know what type of leadership style you have and now want to learn more about how to gain more dental patients or just want to find out more about dental marketing strategies to market your dental practice, please do explore our website.

Can you identify yourself with the Leadership styles stated above if not, why not join our Rising Dental Leader Facebook Group now!