Criticize the Behavior – Not the Person

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Dental Practice Communication Tips
As THE DENTAL COACH©, I visit my client’s dental practices around the country throughout the year. As one of my services, I coach team members privately at this time. I sure do hear a lot of complaints. One that I hear frequently is that the doctor regularly “corrects” behaviors in front of patients, in an attacking-tone.

I want to shout: This behavior really screws up the team morale! When you do this to your team members, kiss production and profitability good-bye!

When there is a problem in your office, follow these three action steps:

  1. Set up a time to speak to the staff member privately. Not only does this prevent any embarrassment to the staff member, but it gives you time to “cool down.”
  2. Start off with a compliment about something – anything – that they’ve handled well recently.
  3. Criticize the behavior, rather than the staff member. Employees are more receptive to learning when you focus on what they did, rather than who they are.

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