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Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" style of presentations and writing will make you smile or just shock you into taking some action. Either way, she is very effective at empowering others to reach their goals and feel better about themselves. Her entertaining workshops are available for national and international audiences. Writing for the dental industry since 2010, she uses an alterego (Diana Directive) to illustrate her points in a sarcastic but effective way. Presentations can be scheduled by contacting Lisa at www.discussdirectives.com/dental.html.
What things do your employees want you to work on for the new year?
It’s that time of year again when we all make promises to change or work on certain aspects of our life in the coming year. While many people have good intentions, most resolutions are broken before January is even over.
Rather than making the same resolutions for yourself this New Year, let’s try something different. Here are six New Year’s resolutions your dental staff wishes it could make for you.
1. I will not yell at my staff. Tensions can run high in a dental practice, but yelling or raising your voice won’t make your employees listen to you.
2. I will not schmooze with my patients, resulting in the schedule getting backed up. This is often a real challenge with scheduling. If a patient’s appointment runs late, the next patient on the schedule who’s hanging out in the waiting room can get annoyed and may snap at your front office staff. Your staff then gets upset and starts to snap at the hygienists. It becomes a domino effect that can change the entire atmosphere in your practice.
3. I will take responsibility for what happens in the office. Mistakes happen. But as a business owner, you need to figure out how to resolve issues. Don’t try to scapegoat an employee. Remember that you are the boss and how you handle issues impacts not just your employees but your patients, too. It’s better to have teachable moments with your staff so that the same mistake isn’t repeated.
4. I will not gossip with my staff. The line between gossip and information is a moving target. Do you need to know if your employee just learned that her spouse wants a divorce? If this news is impacting her work, then the information might be useful. But would you want your boss to know your personal business? If the information isn’t impacting your job or practice, then you don’t need to know.
5. I will listen to my employee’s solutions. The mark of a good leader is having the ability to listen. Without strong communication between you and your subordinates, nothing will change. You need to value your employees and ask them for their ideas to solve problems. I once had a boss who told me not to come to him with a problem unless I had some suggestions as to how to fix it. It empowered me to realize that I can solve problems on my own.
6. I will try to talk to my employee in person before sending an email. Technology is a wonderful thing, yet it can also be a big problem. People hide behind their computers instead of communicating directly with their colleagues. If there is an issue in the office, talk to your employee in person. It can be damaging to staff morale if you give instructions via email instead of just addressing the situation in person. Do the right thing and have a face-to-face conversation.
Your dental practice is a service-oriented business. Your office is about people – both your staff and your patients. Start your year off right by listening to your employees and encouraging them to share their ideas and solutions to problems. There’s no better time than the present to start the conversation.