Dr. Stephanie Edwards– Case Study #221
How many times have you heard your peers remark, “I just want to go to work, do dentistry and go home!” Many times, right? I would venture to say that even you have said, thought, or felt it - just as they have. Dr. Edwards was upset and disappointed. A key employee had stomped out of the office, exclaiming “I quit!” What should she do? Let’s go back down memory lane for a few moments before discussing what she should do. Remember these times:
Now let’s come back to today and Dr. Edwards’ call. What happened? She had the “perfect” team and now someone is quitting. What happened to her “perfect” practice?
The Practice Dynamics Change
As the practice grew, another assistant was employed, two hygienists and another business person. The practice was flourishing and the friendly relationship that Dr. Edwards and Suzie had is not being “nourished” since Dr. Edwards has no time for chit-chat now. She has started her own family and now shares her dreams and goals with her spouse instead of Suzie.
Suzie becomes a “drama queen” in an attempt to draw the doctor’s attention as she has become accustomed to in the past. Her performance is not getting the result that she is hoping for. Instead, her co-workers are disappointed in her behavior. She appears to be ungrateful for the niceties that the doctor does for the entire team because she is now “sharing” the attention with others in the office. Suzie is not a happy camper.
The Doctor Changes
Dr. Edwards wasn’t in need of a confidante anymore. She needed a skilled, friendly team player that was a good assistant as well. Suzie was not this person now. Did Suzie change or did the doctor’s needs change? Was she a different person now compared to the young and naïve dentist 10 years ago? Yes!
The Needs of a Relationship Change
Suzie didn’t change. She was always an assistant that enjoyed being the center of attention and her strengths were “running the back office” as though it was hers. As the practice grew and more team members were added, she suddenly realized one day that she was not “running the back” anymore, because she couldn’t control everyone. Each employee brought their own set of skills to the table, enabling the place settings to be complete. Suzie liked it better when she was the only place setting. She still had a need to “run the show.”
Dr. Edwards’s needs changed. She now needed employees who were team players. She was not happy with Suzie’s behavior and was concerned that it was effecting her professional relationship with her other employees.
Unfortunately, as Dr. Edwards grew as a professional in her field, Suzie did not grow with her. Suzie stayed back, fighting for her monogamous relationship and attention that no longer existed. There is no surprise here. Suzie did the right thing – maybe not in the most professional manner. Something upset her on this day that pushed her over the edge. Yes, she made the decision in haste, but it was eventually coming and maybe should have happened even sooner.
To assume that your employees are going to be with you forever and ever until you retire is unrealistic unless you both continue to grow professionally. Otherwise, when the relationship has served its purpose, it is time to move on. Feel fortunate that you both touched one another’s hearts in a special way.
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