How to Deliver Feedback to Your Dental Team

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Dental office receptionist new patients
Read on for my four special tips on how to deliver feedback to your dental team so that positive, immediate behavioral change happens!

  1. Give frequent and informal feedback. A once-a-year performance review just won’t cut it. Team members need to hear feedback weekly, perhaps even daily. Good feedback motivates and problems get fixed sooner rather than later. Fix problems as they happen.
  2. Ask team members for self-feedback. Give team members an opportunity to comment on their own behavior or productivity. This works well as people are usually tougher on themselves than you are on them. They will also work harder to improve areas they target. Give your opinion after they have had an opportunity to express themselves.
  3. Write, crumble, write. As THE DENTAL COACH©, I work with many dentists who are frustrated at their teams. This coaching tip has been particularly popular with the dentist who is angry at a behavior and wants to critique NOW. Take the time to write out your critique….let your anger flow through your pen. Then crumple up your paper now that the anger is gone and rewrite your critique more calmly. Better results are guaranteed when emotions are removed.
  4. Critique the behavior, not the person. Rather than direct comments at the individual who becomes defensive and argumentative, direct it at what they did. Example: “I am unhappy with your behavior in the presence of our last patient. I sensed she was irritated when you raised your voice to her.” The ego remains intact and the team member will be able to “hear” your observations.

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

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