Kindergarten for Dentists: Be Gentle

by Dr. Ron Arndt

In Kindergarten, we are taught to be gentle with others. While teachers may be talking about avoiding grabbing toys from our classmates; maybe they are also talking about being gentle with their feelings. We all have troubles that we keep hidden, or that we don’t talk to others about. Wouldn’t it make a difference if someone in our lives sends a little message – verbal or nonverbal – that they care about us?

Now, certainly, you aren’t your patients’ therapist; you are their dentist. You are there to maintain their oral health.  However, I advise my private Full Contact Coaching© clients all of the time to hug their patients! Really, I say, “Give them a big hug!” Hopefully no one would fall over in shock, but they may sit up and take notice. Maybe it would be just a subtle difference, but it would surely be a welcome one.

Think about being gentle when it comes to staff, too. It’s wise to take a moment before speaking or reacting to a bad situation. Staff will not follow and respect a leader who is harsh, mean or blunt. They will just hang on with that job until they can find something better and leave. Staff love to follow a leader who is inspiring, dedicated, gentle and thoughtful.

In my book, I talk about Core Values – why they are important to your practice success, team retention and work/life balance. What about turning this into one of your Core Values?

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