10 ways to earn respect in the dental practice


When I interview team members and ask what they want most in the work environment, without a doubt, the number one thing that people say is “respect.” Webster defines respect in the following manner: “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” With this definition, can we agree that one earns respect and it is not given freely?

Once employees show that they have the capabilities and the desire to perform - and do so - then they want to be respected, honored, and acknowledged for that. This goes back to the truism that appreciation for talent and for work well done is a powerful motivator of people in the workplace.

People want and need to be appreciated. Yes, appreciation is a more powerful motivator than money. In fact, it is the strongest of all motivators in the workplace today.

One can’t buy respect. It is earned. How does this happen?

Here are 10 ways to earn respect in the workplace.

  •  Find out what is expected of you in your position.

  • Do all that is expected of you and a little bit more - every day. Exceed expectation of performance.

  • Show your boss that you want to continually learn and grow and bring more to the table.

  • Be a leader of yourself and others by thinking ahead, by thinking outside of the box, and by being an innovator.

  •  Be positive about changes that will improve the practice or organization. Think of the possibilities of why something can be done rather than wallow in thoughts of why something can’t be done or won’t work.

  • Avoid the rut of doing things one way (because it has always been that way). Take responsibility for innovation.

  •  Work diligently to bring projects to a productive conclusion. Follow up and follow through. Make sure that people can count on you to do the things you say you will do.

  • Recognize the things that others are doing well and acknowledge them for their accomplishments.

  • Bring a positive attitude to each and every day. Leave your problems at the door and face your work with a sense of professionalism and grace

  • Be grateful. Say “thank you.”

Follow those 10 principles and you will always be employed and you will earn the respect of your employer and of your teammates.

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