3.7.14 Issue #626 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Master Your Hot Buttons and Master Your Practice
By Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

During a recent coaching call a frustrated doctor said to me, “It’s not my job to police employees!!” And you can guess my reply.

The reality of a one-man-band dentist just doesn’t exist. Were you an accountant, an attorney, or a psychologist you would be able to work alone with no employees to manage. But in dentistry it just isn’t as easy. If you have people on your payroll, it is your job…hopefully to “lead” rather than to “police”. The key is to recognize what pushes your ‘hot button’ and to stay one step ahead to avoid losing your cool.

Hot buttons are things that annoy, irritate, and/or anger you. If another person is pushing those hot buttons, there is a greater chance that conflict will occur. The ability to manage conflict effectively represents a strategic business advantage. Conflict costs you time and money, and it impedes quality patient care. The ability to handle difficult situations constructively and competently is critical to practice success.

The first step to handling conflict is to understand your hot buttons. Here is a list of the kinds of people and situations that commonly upset us and potentially cause conflict to occur…in short, your hot buttons.

Unreliable - those who are unreliable, miss deadlines and cannot be counted on
Overly-Analytical - those who are perfectionists, over-analyze things and focus too much on minor issues
Unappreciative - those who fail to give credit to others or seldom praise good performance
Aloof - those who isolate themselves, do not seek input from others or are hard to approach
Micro-Managing - those who constantly monitor and check up on the work of others
Self-Centered - those who are self-centered or believe they are always correct
Abrasive - those who are arrogant, sarcastic and abrasive
Untrustworthy - those who exploit others, take undeserved credit or cannot be trusted
Hostile - those who lose their tempers, become angry, or yell at others

People or situations that irritate you potentially provoke conflict and produce destructive responses. The hotter the hot button, the more likely you are to respond with strong negative emotions. The point is, as the leader of your practice, you have a choice. Even when it feels like you want to ‘strangle’ (metaphorically speaking) him or her, you have a choice. You can choose constructive responses to conflict that decrease tension and increase group functioning, or you can choose destructive responses that increase tension and decrease group functioning.

Choosing the constructive response sometimes seems impossible, especially when we feel angry. But if we are aware and understand our responses and take responsibility for our hot buttons, we move through conflict more effectively. 

McKenzie Management is now offering an assessment instrument dealing with conflict behaviors in the workplace. The Conflict Dynamics Profile® (CDP) provides a powerful way to improve self-awareness of what triggers conflict in individuals as well as how they respond to conflict. Psychometrically sound, the electronically administered questionnaire is backed by solid evidence of reliability and validity. Furthermore it provides practical solutions and recommended behaviors that promote effective workplace conflict resolution.

The CDP® is easy to use and can be completed online in 20-25 minutes. It is appropriate for practice leaders and for employees alike. It includes an eight-page report that incorporates data on 15 conflict behaviors and nine workplace “hot buttons.” A 40-page development guide delivers helpful suggestions for improving the responses to conflict. The report is reviewed with a coach by telephone making it a seamless process.

Workplace tension is unavoidable. Even with a positive attitude, conflict is complex and challenging. You will always face situations where members of your team have ideas that are incompatible. It’s inevitable. The good news is that there are well-researched strategies to help you.

I am very excited to share this new service with you. The first step in any journey is to know where you are right now, and the Conflict Dynamics Profile® provides you with that knowledge. Leaders and teams who become conflict competent are much better positioned for successful outcomes and satisfying workplace relationships. Prepare to move forward with confidence. Give me a call or send me an email. I’m here to help you and your team to master your hot buttons.

The Conflict Dynamics Profile® is a registered trademark owned by Eckerd College.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at nhaller@mckenziemgmt.com or call (877) 777-6151

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here

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