It’s exciting to announce that international dental consultant and speaker Cindy Ishimoto’s popular article, “Unlock your Potential with Teamwork”, was recently published online on Dental Magazine’s Russian website. This article discusses the benefits of a well-functioning team and achieving great potential among teammates. It is a topic that applies to people from different towns, cities, and countries of the world, working together in dental practices.

Having her articles published in different languages solidifies Cindy Ishimoto as an international dental speaker and consultant, furthering her reach to professionals around the globe. You can find the link to the Russian article here.

Take a look at the original article in its entirety here:

Unlock your Potential with Teamwork


Teamwork is at the heart of all great achievement. Reading that phrase and really believing it are two different things. If we can acknowledge that fact and become better team players because of that knowledge, great successes will result. Without a well-functioning team, your practice can be held back as time and energy can be wasted. When the team is in a state of disharmony or dysfunction, everyone and everything is crippled from full potential. The word team is defined as a group of people working cohesively toward a common set of goals. When that is an accurate description of your well coordinated, responsible employees, all will thrive.


Achieving your greatest potential for working well with others means moving toward team building. Working more effectively with other people always results in greater productivity. Team building brings further fulfillment because it lets us extend ourselves through true collaboration.


Team building lets us appreciate the contributions of our co-workers, as well as take pride in our own contributions. As a result of our efforts to help others and ourselves achieve success by collaboration, the work environment becomes a place for personal fulfillment. It becomes a place where we can experience a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives through personal and team development.


Teams involve more people, thus affording more resources, ideas, and energy than would an individual. Teams maximize a leader’s potential and minimize his/her weaknesses. Strengths and weaknesses are more exposed in individuals.


Teams provide multiple perspectives on how to meet a need or reach a goal, thus devising several alternatives for each situation. Individual insight is seldom as broad and deep as a group’s wisdom when addressing a problem. Sure, team dynamics and good practice management require an ultimate decision maker, but ideally all team members are encouraged to actively pursue positive solutions.


Teams share the credit for victories and the blame for losses. This fosters genuine humility and authentic community. Individuals take credit and blame alone. This fosters pride and sometimes a sense of failure. Teams keep leaders accountable for goals while individuals are connected to no one and can change goals without accountability. Teams can simply do more than an individual, and what is accomplished will mean more and work better. If you want to reach your potential or strive for the seemingly impossible, you must become a team player. Individuals play the game, but teams win championships.


Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything right but it’s just not getting you to the next level? It’s like you’re at the door to the next realm but you just can’t get through the lock? Only with good communication can a team succeed! Whether that team is a family, a company, a ball club, or a dental practice, teamwork and communication are the crucial keys! Effective teams have teammates who are constantly talking to one another. Communication increases commitment and connections, which in turn work together to fuel action. If you want your team to perform at the highest level, its members need to be able to talk and listen to one another.


Communication refers to the style and extent of interactions both among and between members and those outside the team. It also refers to the way that members handle conflict, decision-making and day-to-day interactions. The success of your team and the ability of your team members to work together depend on good communication.


Every team has to learn how to develop good communication in four areas.


1. From leader to the team.

The single most important instrument of leadership must be communication. If you cannot communicate, you will not lead others effectively. Leaders, consider these challenges for good teamwork. Everyone is a leader sometimes, regardless of your role. So, these are great considerations for all of us.
Be consistent! Nothing frustrates team members more than leaders who can’t make up their mind. Be Clear. Your team cannot execute if they don’t know what you want. Don’t try to dazzle anyone with your intelligence. Instead, simply impress them with your straightforwardness, focus, and clarity.
Be courteous! Everyone deserves to be shown respect, no matter what their position or what kind of history you might have with them. If you are courteous to your people, you set a tone for the entire organization. Teams are a reflection of their leaders. Communication is never one-way. It should not be top-down or dictatorial. Good leaders listen, invite, and then encourage participation.


2. From team to the leader.

Good team leaders never want yes-men or yes-women. They want direct and honest communication from their people. Here are some considerations for you to think through as you communicate more effectively.

Be upfront! Leaders never want to hear: “I could have told you that wouldn’t work.” If you know it beforehand, that’s the time to voice your ideas and concerns so alternate plans can be fully explored. Be humbly direct and inquisitive, not abrasive, negative, or insensitive. Your leader will appreciate your interest.

Be respectful! Leading a team isn’t easy. It takes hard work and demands personal sacrifice. It requires making tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Team members should respect the person who has agreed to take on this role, and show loyalty to him or her. Just as you might feel that they don’t know what things are like on your side of the situation, you certainly don’t know what their side feels like. So, be interested and respectful.


3. Among Teammates.

Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be. For a team to experience success, all team members must communicate for the common good, exhibiting the following qualities.
A. Being Supportive: Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates. When communication is focused on giving rather than getting, it takes the team to a whole new level.
B. Staying Current: Teammates who rehash old problems and continually open old wounds don’t work together for any ideal result.
C. Being Vulnerable: Teams are like little communities and they develop only when the people involved don’t posture with one another.


4. Between the team and the patients.

When approached by patients, team members must be receptive, realistic, and responsive. If they receive communication from patients gracefully, respond in a timely fashion, and manage expectations realistically, then they will do well. The patients will ultimately perceive that their concerns are being received and addressed, that they’re receiving responsible and adequate care.


Successful team communication takes cooperation made from the “we” perspective instead of the “me” perspective. Working together means winning together. No team is truly working together unless members of that team are appropriately and thoroughly communicating. Communication occurs when messages are clearly sent and received. You can send all day, but if they’re not receiving, a new path of communication may need to take place. Communication is an art, a skill. It’s required to fuel teamwork and practice boosting actions.


In summary
The team is the “lifeblood” and the “heartbeat” of the dental practice. When the time, talent, and potential of the individual members of the organization are focused on those goals, success abounds.


Having a great team is not just a dream, you can create your “dream team” with consistent work on decreasing chaos in your practice, having organized systems that are efficient and effective, providing an environment that is conducive to growth and focusing on team building through exquisite communications.


The power of teamwork may be something we all think we’ve fully explored, but when you really dive into the topic, you realize it’s the key to unlock your potential! Listen, communicate, and invest in those around you. Your potential will be completely redefined.

Cindy Ishimoto’s love of people and dentistry enable her to share her enthusiasm to build successful, people-oriented businesses. Take a look at some of her previous articles here (I’ll include a hyperlink to the Articles page here). She can be reached at 808-375-7344 or online at