Kindergarten for Dentists – Be Nice to Others

by Dr. Ron Arndt

I remember being in kindergarten and my teacher reminding me to be nice to my other classmates. I didn’t always want to be nice; neither did my classmates. There was a lot of childish behavior like throwing tantrums, talking behind others backs and recess confrontations. As adults, it’s a fact of life and of work that we will experience conflict. Worse, some of these behaviors translate to the office, and a dental office is no exception. How the Dental CEO handles these situations is more than half the battle.

1. Be non-confrontational: Do not make the situation worse by taking sides or getting visibly upset. Remain calm and professional. This brings a sense of fairness into defusing the bad situation. It will also help bring about a harmonious and swift solution.

2.      Speak in private: This is also the precursor to gaining trust with your employees. Have a private discussion in your office with each involved employee. Let each person have their time to explain the situation as clearly as possible, for however long it takes. Do not rush them. Do not let the negative talk get out of hand.

3.      Acknowledge your position: Acknowledge up front that your purpose is to diffuse the situation. Remember that when conflict is confronted in the proper way, it can result in a much more comfortable and efficient dental office. You are the facilitator in this situation; don’t make judgmental comments. Do, however, try to articulate one party’s point in another way, to make sure the meaning is coming out correctly.

As a leader and a Dental CEO, a reality is that you must deal with those who don’t always play nice. Dealing with this requires flexibility, time, energy and openness on the part of the Dental CEO. However, dealing with it properly in the ways mentioned above will result in high-quality decisions and solutions that contribute to an overall more successful office.

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