Don’t Let Your Office Become A Battleground
Ignoring employee conflicts puts you and your practice at risk. A “war” might be a lawsuit against you for a hostile work environment, but more likely “combat” starts when feuding staff fail to communicate vital information about scheduling or billing.
Bottom line: Ignoring conflict costs you money!
Do yourself—and your wallet—a favor. Address disagreements and problems as soon as they occur. Here are some recommended steps:
1. Adjust your belief about conflict.
2. Know your “hot buttons” and response to conflict.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
4. Listen, listen, listen.
5. Be curious, not furious.
6. Work the issue, not the person.
7. Develop a feedback-based culture in your office. Make frequent, two-way communication a natural part of your daily practice. Just as it’s important to praise and reward people when things are right, it’s essential to give feedback when you want something to change. Feedback is nothing more than data or information. Get individual ego out of this exchange; learn to de-personalize and help your staff to do the same. Ask them to give you feedback by answering three simple questions: What should I continue doing? What should I stop doing? What should I start doing? Keep the attitude that holding different views is both normal and healthy to a group. Use patience and persistence, and practice good people skills. Model open communication and feedback. Make your office a peace zone.
Dr. Haller offers basic training for interpersonal communication, conflict management and team building. If you would like information about any of her practice-building seminars, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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