Dennis Hartlieb

Serving Patients with Heart with Todd Williams

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How do we consider the culture within our practice as a way to deepen our relationships with patients? 

In the second part of Dr. Dennis Hartlieb's discussion with Mr. Todd Williams, Dennis and Todd discuss how by focusing on the "soft" aspects of our dental practice, we can better serve the patients we encounter. Todd shares the way that best practices within our offices and teams can really enrich our interactions with patients, and that can help both us and them to have a more meaningful experience. Todd talks about serving the human first and bringing things down to their level so that they can be more open to treatment options and to your recommendations.

Click the video above to watch all of the interview with Part 2. To listen to the audio, click the player above, or find Dental Online Training Sharecast wherever you like to listen to podcasts!
Do you want to learn more about patient care with Todd Williams but don't have time to listen?

Read the Full Interview Below

Dennis 0:02  
Hello Dental Online Trainers! Dr. Dennis Hartlieb with you. I'm excited to share with you this conversation that I had with Mr. Todd Williams. Todd's just as really fascinating guy. He's got a background in medicine. He also has a background in hospitality. And he blends those two together unlike anyone I've ever experienced. I enjoyed this conversation so much with Todd, in fact, I had actually planned it to be a one episode conversation. And it turned into so long that we're splitting this into two episodes. In the first episode, Todd's going to talk to us about engagement with patients and how that really affects our practice. He's such a great storyteller, and he's going to blend that into our conversation. And in part two, Todd is going to talk about sort of how our career paths can have these twists and turns, but ultimately how over time, it turns us into the professionals that we are. So, hope you enjoyed part one. If you've not had a chance to listen to it, go back and listen to part one of the interview. Otherwise, kick back and enjoy part two of my conversation with Mr. Todd Williams. Thanks for joining us. 

Dennis 1:04  
All right. So this is super fascinating. So I want to now talk about sort of now your path as you've gotten into the Four Seasons. And then I'd like to sort of segue how you got into dentistry. So, would you mind walking me through this?

Todd 1:19  
Yeah! So, well, there's a few jumps! And I used to be embarrassed about my career path, because I thought it looked like a mess. But I look back, and it's very linear when you look at the purpose behind each pivot, if you will. So, when I got out of... when I finished, you know, working with my dad, I thought, well, now what am I going to do? You know, I just... I thought I wanted to go into youth ministry. Now, I don't know. And I had somebody who knew me better than I knew myself and they said, "Why don't you try healthcare?" I said, "Because it has nothing to do with what I studied!" And the person just kind of had that gleam in their eye, like, just try it for a year while you figure out what you want to do with this ministry background. And so I started in healthcare, and almost immediately I was like, "Oh, my gosh, this is where the vulnerable people are, who wants someone to walk with them, not preach at them, help them." Everything I thought I wanted out of youth ministry was right here in healthcare. So I went back to school for a bit so that I could end up in physical therapy, and start there. And I thought, "I'll just see what I do with this." And this was about the time that hospitals were beginning to really talk about the patient experience. Now today, you walk into a hospital: it's the focus! There's committees, there's metrics, there's everything. But back then it was more, hey, we save lives every day. But it might be nice if you can create a nice experience on top of saving a life. So as healthcare workers, we rolled our eyes. You know, our thought was, if a patient has a good experience, it's because they realize how hard we're working. And if they don't have a good experience, they didn't realize how hard we were working. We put it all on the patient.

Dennis 2:58  
Can I ask you a question? What years was this?

Todd 3:01  
This was in... What was this? Probably 88. The late 80s, mid to late 80s. Yeah.

Dennis 3:13  
You know, and interestingly, if I can... Interestingly, in dentistry, we were talking about that, that customer experience, that patient experience. I mean, I came out in 88. And when I came out, there were presentations about... Let's make cookies in the waiting room or get that scent going so that people would make it feel more comfortable, would be more at home. You know, back then, to be offering headphones for a Walkman or whatever... It was about the patient experience in dentistry. But at a very high level, you know, for a small percentage, you know? It wasn't the standard industry, but there was a lot of chatter about that... a lot of presentations on that when I was a young dentist.

Todd 3:56  
I love that. And that's good to hear! You were definitely ahead of where we were in the hospital world. We were... And maybe that has to do with my background, too. Like I said, I came in through the emergency room and then physical therapy. Back then... Today, it's its own department, but back then, wound care used to be a part of physical therapy. And that was where I ended up; that was kind of my specialty. So someone's coming in, and maybe it's a diabetic who's lost, you know, lost their foot to lack of circulation, and I could see the look on their face. And you're unwrapping a wound, and they're doing everything they can not to see. They feel like their body is betraying them. 

Dennis 4:42  
Yeah, I get that! 

Todd 4:43  
And I would watch them cling to the conversation of the therapist I was working with, and then cling to the things I said,. So I began to realize, okay, they're talking about patient experience. I can see that people need an experience and it's deeper than thank them for coming. As a matter of fact, no one wants to be thanked after this. So I had an opportunity to take a year, and before it was the trendy thing to do, I thought I would go study a different industry and bring it back to mind. And so for one year, I thought I would -- because I was moving to Hawaii for a year -- and so I thought, if I'm going to be in Hawaii for one year, I'm going to do something different. And I'm going to go study hospitality. And the reason I picked hospitality...
I can see that people need an experience, and it's deeper than thank them for coming.
Dennis 5:28  
Can I interrupt? So why were you moving to Hawaii?

Todd 5:31  
Honeymoon. I had gone there, fell in love with it, and decided to go back and say, let's live there for a year while we can. Before we have kids, before we own a home, if we're ever going to do something as crazy as live in Hawaii. Let's do it. So a year after our honeymoon, we decided to move to Hawaii for one year. And since we were going to do that, my wife was a nurse, and so she was going to work at the hospital. And she assumed I was going to do physical therapy. But I said if we're only here for a year, I want to study a different industry. I said I'm fascinated... the ministry background, coming into healthcare with that background, always wanting to serve people -- what I learned from my dad. I just wanted to be better at this experience. I didn't want to see it as something cheesy; I wanted to see it as understanding the emotional needs, as much as I saw the clinical need of a patient. And so I was fascinated by hotels, because they were charging as much as a hospital for something they couldn't prove your received. And I say that I'm talking about the fancy hotels. And I thought how are these hospitals getting away with charging so much money. So when I started with Four Seasons, by now, I'd been in hospitals for a long time. So this was probably 1998. So about 10 years after I'd been working my way through healthcare. The cheapest room back then, in 1998, was $700. And the most expensive room was $18,900 a night. And I just... I mean I, to this day I slept when I say that. And that's cheap compared to where some of the hotels have gone today. 

Dennis 7:09  
That's crazy. 

Todd 7:11  
It's crazy. And so they started me at the front desk. And I remember checking people out, and I was printing up these bills with numbers I'd never seen! We ended up going to Motel Six. So I'm looking at this bill, that I'm literally shaking as I push it across the counter. I remember thinking, "Oh, the emergency room was so much safer than the front desk!" 

Dennis 7:30  
Yeah, no kidding!

Todd 7:31  
My fear was they were going to look at these bills and say, "What's this for?" And I had no idea! I was going to say, "Your experience?" Because they weren't... I hadn't fixed them. I hadn't taken care of a wound. I hadn't saved their life. I had just created an experience. And so I was shocked to see how many of these guests checked out and said, "You know, hey, thanks, wonderful stay!" They'd sign a bill and say, "I can't wait to come back!" And I remember going to the trainer, and I said, "Okay, what in the world do we do between check in and check out?" Because the check in when I pass that rate card over? And I say hi, I have you staying with us for this many nights at this rate. 

Dennis 8:10  

Todd 8:11  
You can kind of see the color go out of someone's face. They know how much it costs! But that's a rude check in if you will. At check out the bill was a lot more than that because of added, you know, treats.

Dennis 8:21  
All the incidentals! 

Todd 8:22  
Spa and all the incidentals! And they're happy. So what happened in between? And I'll never forget this; the trainer said, "It's not what we do. It's how we do what we do!" And I would drill down more, I'm like, Okay, still, I need specifics. And he just kept saying it's how we do what we do, how we do what we do. Well, long story short, just to be respectful of your audience's time... that one year turned into 16 with Four Seasons; I ended up working my way up to their corporate trainer. And then to this day, I still open up their hotels, and I can tell you this: it's not what we do. It's how we do what we do. And it's getting people to really infuse each and every interaction with your personal calling, with your why. So close. And so up front that the patient, that the guest (I work in higher education, too) that the student can feel the purpose behind your work. And so I brought it back to healthcare, but I began juggling two careers. So, to circle all the way back to your original question. I started out in healthcare. I thought I was going to go off for a year to study hospitality and bring hospitality back to hospitals because that's where the word came from. Hospitality was rooted in healthcare, but I was so fascinated I couldn't leave. 

Dennis 9:40  
I have two questions. The first. So people who are working at the Four Seasons hotel. They were not previous clients at the four season Hotel. 

Todd 9:51  
Exactly. Our guests aren't asking for jobs. 
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Dennis 9:54  
Right, exactly! So one of the challenges that I had as a young dentist and, you know, still I struggle with this today, but way, way more when I was young... So, I came from a very blue collar family, as I described earlier. And, you know, we would go on vacation -- if we went on vacation, which was, you know, quite rare, but if we did that we would be at a Holiday Inn back in the day or something similar -- and not in a million years, would we stay at a at a fancy hotel? So, when I started doing dentistry that was beyond single tooth dentistry, started doing comprehensive dentistry, Complete Dentistry, as Paul Homily refers to it, there's a whole different level of financial commitment from the patient. And as my education, as I started spending, you know, as my audience often does, 10s of 1000s of dollars on my education, I was challenged with the notion that I was going to be charging a premium for my services, for doing the dentistry. And fortunately, I had a colleague, Brian Vence, who said to me, and he also very blue collar, he said, "Look, Dennis. If you have the money, if you have the availability, the affordability to be able to stay at, say, a Ritz Carlton, a Four Seasons hotel, you have that money... Wouldn't it be wrong if people said, "No, you can only stay at a Motel Six. It doesn't matter how much money have; you can only stay at a Motel Six. That's all you can have." And in dentistry, we give the people the opportunity; they can choose. They can say, "Look, I don't want to spend that much money, I don't see that value in the dentistry." And others can say, "I do see that value. I'm willing to spend a premium for that." That was super helpful for me in my in my younger days that I could then say, okay, you know what, I can get to serve an audience that's okay with spending that money. How do you guys communicate that with your staff that comes from a position where, you know, quite honestly, it's beyond their affordability to be able to stay in in a Four Seasons and do that?

Todd 11:58  
Yeah, that's a great question. And there's a lot of different ways you can go with that. I tell people all the time. I think this is a core principle to understand between Four Seasons, and... Our biggest competitor, I would say, one of our biggest competitors is Ritz Carlton; phenomenal brands, I appreciate both. But I think even with our guests, you'll see they choose one brand or the other for a specific reason. And, of course, I've tried to figure that out over the years. And I think this is it. Ritz Carlton says, you know, we are a top tier brand. And it doesn't matter who you are, what background you come from, we will train you into becoming Ritz Carlton. You can come in with a hospital... excuse me, hospitality background, or without, years of experience or brand new; we will convert you into Ritz Carlton. So we have your back. Four Seasons says we will hire you as individuals and help you become the best version of you and then call that Four Seasons. 

Dennis 12:54  

And so getting people to understand that no matter the package this person is picking, what they're paying for is time with you. As a matter of fact, when you think about the guest... This is probably not answering your question directly. But I think... 

Dennis 13:12  
No, I think you are! This is good. 

Todd 13:15  
They're paying for time with you. Now some want to do it with the backdrop of an incredible room, some want to do it with a backdrop of a standard room, some want to do it with a package that has a tour built in every day of their vacation, some are just going to sit by the pool every day and, you know, order cups of water because they spend all of their money on the room. But both want time with you. They're here for you. They're here for your gifts. They're here for your purpose. They're here for your passion. And sometimes that's when you see the person who came... And we hear this a lot. You get the Four Seasons guests that say, "Oh, you know, the first time we came here, we spent all our money for two nights! That was all we could afford! Today, we come back, and we actually can stay in the suite with our family." 

Dennis 13:57  

Todd 13:58  
But what led them to connect with us was the emotional connection. I heard this quote years ago, somebody said cerebral interactions lead to temporary satisfaction. Emotional connections lead to loyalty. Satisfaction is good. Temporary is not good. Right? If I want you to stay forever, I have to connect on an emotional level. And so I think that's what...
They're paying for time with you... They're here for you. They're here for your gifts. They're here for your purpose. They're here for your passion. 
Dennis 14:24  
When you're interviewing employees, potential employees, then is this script different? Are you guys just? So is Four Seasons more about the person, and just figuring out if...? Is it a cultural fit? What are you guys looking for?

Todd 14:41  
A cultural fit, which... And this is one of the things I like to clarify here, because sometimes whether it's in dentistry or healthcare, you know, people say we're not trying to become a hotel. We're not a hotel. I'm not a hotel guy. I'm the healthcare guy that went off to learn from hotels. That was my... that's the lab where I did all my study. I'm bringing it back to healthcare. So that whole, you know, first rejection I get sometimes where somebody says, "Look, we're a professional office that has no interest in serving Mai Tais." That's nothing to do with Four Seasons. Four Seasons is... I heard this described by one of our guests one time. We had some of our wealthiest guests brought together for this dinner that we were hosting to learn what we're doing well and what we could do better. One of the simple icebreaker questions I came up with for the dinner was this. How do you define luxury? Now all of us on the hotel side had our answers. You know, it's the locations we have. It's our spas. It's the menu that at 2 AM, you can get a five star meal. And these guests talked back and forth. And I'll never forget this. She said, "You (referring to us hotel people) think luxury is fancy." She said, "We come from fancy." And she wasn't being... she wasn't bragging; she was calling our bluff. She said, "Ultimately, what the world has is a lot of worry." And she goes, "We come here, and we feel an absence of worry. And that's what we put our credit down for, our credit card down for." She said, "To us, luxury is the absence of worry." Now you take the word luxury away; I think we're all called to create an absence of worry, to help minimize worry. I don't care how many plaques I hang on my wall. They don't take away worry. And that's almost what I say to that argument when people say we're not trying to be a hotel, sometimes I think I wish you would listen a little bit more because the plaques are hanging to show your expertise only resonate with your field. Right. You know, we knew we wanted to care for people in life. We went off and became the professional we are today. Then we elevate this person to patient and we serve up here. But the reality is, this was a false elevation. Nobody strives to be a patient. And so what happened was... 

Dennis 15:01  
So true. Yeah. 

Todd 17:03  
So I'm serving someone who's not there and therefore my language, sometimes my attitude, my verbiage, whatever it is, falls to where they're at. And I always say certain things get lost in the translation. So when people tell me the patient experience score is at, you know, 72% satisfaction. I said, "Maybe it's 72% comprehension, because..." And so the trick, then we try patient education. Again, people don't want to be a patient. 

Dennis 17:30  
Right, yep.

Todd 17:31  
What they're hoping is you'll come home. There was a day you were enough, you asked about our background. 

Dennis 17:37  

Todd 17:37  
I knew as a young person, before I had any sort of title, that I wanted to serve others. I went off and became a professional at serving others. Now I come home and I meet people at their level. So yes, we hire at that cultural fit. Because this is where my brand passes your brand. This is where my brand hits all the metrics you've been trying to hit up here. And so it's not diminishing this at all. That's why people say, you know, "Well, Todd, it's different in our world. It's very clinical." I completely understand. But bring that home. 

Dennis 18:12  

Todd 18:13  
Put it back in your backpack. And now I meet you -- heart first, clinical skills second, and watch the relationship you build with your team, with your patients, with your community. People that come in and say we're going to do dentistry faster, better, cheaper and put you out of business. No, youre not! Not when I'm meeting you heart first, clinical expertise second. That's a combination speed will never surpass. 

Dennis 18:39  
Yeah, so I think this is so, so relevant to what's going on in dentistry and everything in today's world. One of the books that you've recommended is The Experience Economy, which... I think it's a... I've only read portions of it. I haven't gotten through the whole book. But the very first sentence in that book, I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget, because I think it just applies so much to dentistry, among many other, you know, every business! But it says, "Commoditize: no company wants that word applied to its goods or services." And I've said that a million times, not having read this before, to my team! It's like we have to differentiate the rolls of toilet paper! And I can't remember which... who I read. It might have been From Good to Great. I can't remember which book I had initially read that about how we have to distinguish ourselves. So when they see our dentistry, we're not comparing our crowns... We're talking about... We don't have to talk about why our crown is better. We're talking about what it does for them. Right, that experience, right? That is... It's a challenge to be able to communicate that, right? I mean, in any industry, and then in dentistry, I think it's really challenging to communicate that to patients and to team members.
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Todd 19:57  
Yeah. I think the challenge is actually getting people to understand the need to communicate it and then teaching them it's already within them. So it's not hard to communicate that, because that's what got you into dentistry. Nobody who does it... you know, a coin flip -- oh, I'll go into dentistry. You chose to pursue that path because you're a caring, giving, serving person. So you have everything you need to communicate exactly what you just referred to. I can differentiate by being me. I have to believe that that actually matters. And so what I tell people is care is a noun and a verb. The noun side of cares the quality that we deliver; we deliver quality care -- look at our crowns, I'll tell you why they're better, look at our equipment, look at our skills, look at our studies... And then the verb side of care is saying I'm caring about that care! But this side is very ambiguous. It's soft, and so we get uncomfortable with it. Well, what a patient is telling us is every time we serve them with our version of health care, they're observing the health of our care. And so we focus on delivering the now, and they expect that: this is why I chose you. You know, it'd be like an airline, right when I get there, and just as I'm about to get on the plane, the airline says, "We don't crash very often!" Phenomenal. 

Dennis 21:17  
That's why I'm here. 

Todd 21:17  
That's why I'm here. But I really didn't need you to even say that. I would just... I was trusting that anyways. Right? What I do need to hear is that you're really glad I showed up today. Because that's what allows you to do what you do. The reason you're an airline is because you have customers. The reason you're a professor is because you have students. The reason, whatever... And it's flipping the balance of power. I couldn't do... Instead of coming into society with this, you know, look at my 75 plaques! Aren't you lucky to be with that? These plaques mean nothing if you hadn't come in. So aren't I lucky you walked in the door. And when a patient feels that? Now they become, "Okay, tell me about that crown again! I want to learn! Tell me what I need to do. Tell me about my at home care. How do I follow through?" They become a fanatical partner with you. Once they know you're there for them as a human.

Dennis 22:13  
Todd, but that's so non doctor, right? That's that is so... And working with young dentists getting them to get beyond the fact that yes, you'll get this dental degree, you'll be a doctor. But you've got to get past that, right? And I've seen it in colleagues... I've seen it in colleagues, and it's just like they don't have the ability to communicate with patients because they have to sort of, you know, "I'm the Doctor, this is... I've earned this degree. I'm the expert. This is what I say." And like you say, patients aren't... They can go find another expert. 

Todd 22:46  
Yeah, they will, too. 

Dennis 22:47  
Yeah, and they will. And that's the reality.

Todd 22:50  
What you think impresses me and cements your, you know, need? Doesn't, not to a patient. But here's the thing. Again, just to make sure I go back, and I always stand up for the verbiage: when you say it's so non doctor, maybe. But it's not non you. Because, again, what pushed you through all the years of education is the very thing that gets trained out of you. 

Dennis 23:14  
Yeah, interesting.
These plaques mean nothing if you hadn't come in. So aren't I lucky you walked in the door!
Todd 23:15  
And so I'm only asking people... That's why I'm very deliberate about that phrase when I say, "Come home." I didn't say, you know, you've learned to be a professional now learned to be a caring person. You were a caring person; you are a caring person. We just live in a society that, to your point, that's very non doctor. But remember what I said earlier: How does Four Seasons do what they do? They find out what everybody else is doing, especially in the areas where everybody else is failing, and they do the opposite. So when you come back down, and you meet people... You know, in some of the hospitals I work with, changing the attitude towards oncology... A lot of hospitals, there's just this approach, where... And this comes from what a patient said, I think I can just bring it home with what she said in a minute. But there's this, you know... And all of us have been touched by cancer, whether it's us or personally or family members, right. And we all know it, all too well. And I think when hospitals have this tone of, we talk about hope, and there's a softer voice we get and our team is committed to providing you the best. And we've been trying this, and especially with some of our hospitals where we work with pediatric oncology, where somebody comes in with a completely different tone that in the past we would have almost felt was disrespectful. When we come in and you sit down with a child and their family, and you say: "My name is Todd. And I hate cancer. I hate it. I eat, live, breathe, sleep ways to fight cancer, and so does my team! Now they happen to call me an oncologist. This is the title I have..." But I came in passion first. And as one parent said to us later when we were kind of doing this study and trial to see if this actually works she said, "We know the chances are low." 20% chance of survival, whatever we've been told. She goes, "What we're looking for is a team that's willing to give 100% to the 20%." And I'll never forget that. I still get goosebumps when I... It chokes me up. She goes, "I want 100% in the 20%." I was like... That. I will continue to do this work. And so when you come home, you'll find that 100 percent is there. It's what drove you through all the years of school! It's what has you paying off student loans till you're 95! 

Dennis 25:37  
Right, right. That's... I used to volunteer at Children's Hospital, I volunteered a children's cancer camp for a bunch of years and stuff. Yeah. And I think you're right. I think what in what we made the... It was a Ronald McDonald Cancer Camp. And I would go up there and spend a week just playing with the kids. I didn't do dentistry; I just played with kids for a week. And what they want to know is that you were there for the battle. And I think that's what they really appreciate about the medical team that was there is that they... They knew they were in it, you know? And I think that you're right! Even if their chance is 5%, they want to know you're 100% trying to get to that... 

Todd 26:16  
Into that 5%! Yeah. 

Dennis 26:17  
Yeah, that's great stuff. I really loved hearing that. That's really cool.

Todd 26:21  
That's why purpose and why is everything!
And so when you come home, you'll find that 100 percent is there. It's what drove you through all the years of school!
Dennis 26:24  
Yeah! You've been incredibly generous with your time, but I can't let you go without understanding how you got into dentistry. Because it's... We're for... I feel blessed because, quite honestly, the time I've gotten to spend with you has really influenced me, and how I'm thinking, and what I'm doing both with my team and with my patients. And even outside of that, you know, in my real world... Not that separate, you know, it's all it's all combined. But it's... it's manifested itself in so many parts of my life, and all. So how you did end up in dentistry?

Todd 26:57  
And I love these stories of pure luck and just those fortuitous moments. But we -- Four Seasons Orlando where I had been based, that was a last property where I was fully employed by Four Seasons before I left to go work for Cintura health and became a consultant for Four Seasons -- and a continuing education club from Dentistry was setting up to host an event. Seattle Study Club was going to do one of their symposiums there. And while doing the site inspection, one of the girls from the sales team was walking around with the Seattle Study Club employee, and just in conversation said, "So, you have a lot of speakers throughout this symposium." She says, "We do! We have everything from clinical practice management and everything in between." And the person just off the cuff said, you know, "Too bad you weren't here a year ago! Our trainer would have been someone great to speak to your group." And in this pivotal moment, that person said, "Is he still available?" And she said, "I'll see if I can get his number." And I've been working and speaking to dentists for... And I've learned so much. And I asked, as much as you can ask me questions on this, you know, I'm not afraid to ask questions back. And it's just the learning over the last four years where now I feel like the background in dentistry is strong, too, because I've learned so much. I just came back from Maine from working with an office for two days, just to deep dive with their office, and how they can improve their office culture. And two solid days of just working with the team, and working on the patient flow and what we say to the patients, and how we greet them, and what we say when they leave, and what we say in the chair, and how we communicate with each other, and all the depths of culture. That's why my in work always I end up with a title something of Director of Culture, and it sounds so ambiguous, but it is: culture is what brings us back, culture is what says I'm in the right place.

Dennis 28:52  
So what's your biggest surprise coming into the dental workspace? You know, as a patient, you had one perspective. And now you've gotten to... Now you've gotten to see how the sausage is made, as they say, so what's what's what's some of your biggest surprises. Both negative and... You know, negative and positive. I'm curious from both ends.

Todd 29:12  
The positive has been seeing at every level, people are there with purpose. It's [that] no matter which office member I'm talking to, which team member I'm talking to, whether it's front office, billing, or it's a hygienist, whoever it is... Everybody... I want to care; this isn't a job. I could have... There's a lot of places I could have worked to have a job. But I'm here because I care. Now some of these people might have been doing it so long it's starting to seem like a job and part of the work becomes helping them reconnect with their why, but when you get down to the purpose, everybody is driven to make a difference, and it's such a beautiful thing to behold. So it's... I wouldn't say it's a surprise, but it's a delight to come across. Almost staying on the same topic, I think a disappointment sometimes is how -- and it's almost like you said it a minute ago and you said, "That's so not doctor" -- how hard it is sometimes to get people to realize how much they're... What do I say? How much their heart matters, in their practice's reputation. They're just, you know... They almost can't believe it, because it's been so trained out of them. It's because of those plaques and this equipment that we are the best. I'm like, that's a big part of it. But it's also because of this. And it's, sometimes it's really hard to get people to realize the impact they have, and how much a patient is looking for that. And expecting that. You know, I tell people, if this is the beginning of a stay, whether it's a guest stay -- check in, check out -- whether it's a long term patient who you see once, I mean, see for the first time and see for 20 years, or it's a one time visit where a patient comes to see once and one only -- this is when they get in the chair, and this is when they get out. This is the soft stuff I'm talking about. This is the clinical expertise that actually serves me and gets me well. So it's obvious we focus on this, right, it's the majority, but what I try to get people to understand is this big part is expected. It's why I chose you. This is what's unexpected, but to the patient that sliders over here. You treat me so wonderful. Oh, and by the way, you did that treatment to my mouth.
Write your awesome label here.
Dennis 31:44  
You know, for our for our listeners who can't see this visually... 

Todd 31:46  
Oh, sorry! 

Dennis 31:47  
No, that's, it's okay. And it's really about understanding the connection. In our office, we don't have any plaques, we don't have any certificates. We don't have a single thing that demonstrates, you know, any awards, any memberships, all that type of stuff... Because we're only as good as the next patient that we're treating. You know, we're only we're only as good as the next patient that we're caring for. And I never wanted to be in a situation where it was a bunch of plaques that would be selling the dentistry I'm doing instead of my team and the work that we're doing and the relationships that we're developing with people. That's what really matters. And so that's how we sort of designed the office. 

Todd 32:29  
Which is why you have this platform as well; you're always helping to educate and show people how much they matter and how much they can learn about themselves.

Dennis 32:40  
Yep! You know, I'm super lucky because I get to see you twice in January. So, Todd is going to be doing a webinar for us in January, mid / early January, with D O T. And that's going to be a great opportunity, because people can bring their questions, and you'll hear some more with us because your stuff is so awesome. And he's coming to our study club at the end of January. So you'll get to meet my team, which my team is awesome! So you're going to get to meet my awesome team, and they're going to get to experience you and just really get to hear... And for those who haven't gotten to see Todd and the stories that he tells in there. They're... It's just it's such an incredible experience. And you just can't believe this stuff relates to dentistry, but it does. Every single day, every single patient... And it's a gift that you've... that dentistry found you. And I'm super grateful that you've that you've shared your time with us today. Because this is really just... I love... 

Todd 33:37  
An absolute honor! 

Dennis 33:38  
I love hanging out with you, man. It's just...

Todd 33:40  
Yeah, me, too! Like you said, it's become a friendship. A true friendship. So, this was time with a friend.

Dennis 33:46  
I could do this for hours. Next time, we're going to we're going to do it over some wine in January with our wine and unwind in January, and then you and I will see each other in person, which will be great. 

Todd 33:57  
Can't wait! 

Dennis 33:58  
At the end of the year. We're gonna bring you into Chicago like...

Todd 34:01  
Right in the middle of January! I heard somebody once say there's no such thing as too cold, only inappropriate clothing. So yeah, I'll make sure I have my Chicago wardrobe ready to go.

Dennis 34:12  
Great. Bring your heated mittens. That's all I can say. 

Todd  34:14  
Deal, deal!

Dennis 34:16  
Well, Todd, thanks. It's really been great for Dental Online Training. We're blessed to have you with us and the information that you shared. It's really been awesome. 

Todd 34:25  
Thank you! What a joy!

Dennis 34:25  
So to our viewers and our listeners, thank you for spending the time with us today. And as always, I'm Dr. Dennis Hartlieb. Yours for better dentistry. Till next time, we'll see you! Well, Dental Online Trainers. I hope you enjoyed this conversation that I had with Todd as much as I enjoyed talking to him. It was two parts but quite honestly, I could just go on and on and on forever. I just enjoy speaking with him so much. He's got such great information. He's such a great storyteller. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. For those of you have enjoyed the content from dental online training, enjoy Sharecast, and you want to get more information. Well, perfect time! We are now launching our Black Friday promotion. So, this is the perfect time to become a Dental Online Training member. So check us out at That's one word! to see the great promotional deal that we have; we are also including a couple of courses and some fun little giveaways. So check us out at to get more information on becoming an official D O T member. Alright. Look forward to seeing you soon, and thanks for joining us on our sharecast. I'm Dr. Dennis Hartlieb, yours for better dentistry.

Dennis Hartlieb, DDS, AAACD

DOT Founder

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