Dental Team

How (and Why) to Strengthen Your Dental Team’s Relationships

With all of the everyday hustle, bustle, and demands of your practice, you’ve got a lot to manage. Patients, procedures, insurance, schedules, and more run through your head. But, whether you realize it or not, you need to strengthen your dental team’s relationships as well.

Here’s why.

Efficiency and quality are two of the most important aspects in running a successful business. In order to remain efficient and ensure your office conducts good work, you need good employees.

But, that’s not all it takes. 

The staff you bring into your office play huge roles in determining your reputation and work. In order to produce good work, you hire hardworking employees. But, even once you have a group of driven, successful workers, there’s still one more goal to achieve.

You need to turn individual workers into a smooth-running machine. 

Without the right chemistry, your office workflow slows, and risks developing underlying problems.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways to prevent this from happening.

Let’s explore a few ways to strengthen your dental team’s relationships to create the most effective office possible.

Building relationships and resolving conflicts.

One of the most important aspects of being a successful dentist is knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your staff. As the coach of your team, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone gets to know each other – at least on a professional level.

For example, if your staff members are working together for the first time, assign them smaller tasks where stress and conflict are less likely to occur.

Give them a chance to get to know each other while forming professional relationships.

As they start getting to know each other, you’ll probably have them work on more challenging tasks together. This is where you’ll need to focus on your managerial styles.

In cases of high stress, it’s more likely your team may begin facing conflict. When this happens, handling the situation quickly is important to prevent cracks forming in your team.

There are three things to remember when conflicts do arise, all of which help strengthen your dental team despite adversity.

Let’s take a look at conflict resolution before diving into some team-building ideas.

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Determine the root of the conflict

It’s going to happen in any business, especially one in which staff works so closely together, like your dental practice: conflicts between employees. What’s important then, is how you handle the situation.

Before jumping to conclusions, ask about the facts. And, make sure you ask all parties involved. You might even need to ask others who aren’t involved, but may have witnessed the problem arise.

Remember, there are always two sides to every story. Properly analyze the situation before deciding how to handle it. 

Focus on the facts

Focusing on facts allows you to differentiate between what might have happened and what really happened.

You’ll need to let all parties voice their side.

Often, this is the most difficult part to decipher – who was in the right or wrong. Just bear in mind that it’s rarely a black-and-white issue, and that both sides can have valid points.

Make sure you know the person talking to you knows you care about their perspective. Let them know you understand what they’re saying.

Often, all people desire is a chance to be heard. It’s a surprisingly effective way to cool tempers and strengthen your dental team’s relationships.

Resolve the conflict

Once you understand the perspectives of both parties, you can begin to work on resolving the actual conflict.

Though sometimes it’s hard, you need to stay neutral. You’re working to create an outcome to benefit your entire dental staff, not just individuals.

Usually, it’s best to create some sort of compromise. Find a solution with some sort of fulfillment for both parties.

Then, introduce the idea to the team members, while gathering their feedback as well. Once you’ve established the goal, set a time frame within you expect it to take place.

This keeps motivation up and creates a goal everyone can work together on, allowing them to focus on the future – not the past.

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Strengthen Your Dental team's relationships Through Recreation

Recreation remains an easy way to strengthen your dental team’s relationships.

Now obviously, you can’t usually spend a whole day on fun. After all, you have work that needs done!

But, you can sprinkle in some simple surprises to keep things fresh. 

If you’re not sure where to start, try something as simple as celebrating birthdays or work anniversaries. Taking even 15 minutes to share cake or treats gives your employees a light-hearted way to spend time together and interact.

When everyone remains hyper-focused on work, it’s hard to foster strong relationships.

Outside of mini-celebrations you can also strengthen your dental team’s relationships by creating light games.

You can even hold them in the break room during time not designated for work (just don’t get too upset if they spend a little extra time there). Puzzles or trivia questions left in the break room, for example, remain fun & easy ways to foster communication and enjoyment, without disrupting anyone’s workday.

If possible, you can also look into various volunteer opportunities outside of work to strengthen your dental team’s relationships in a more relaxed environment.

It truly takes a team

There’s no doubt that your workers are individuals.

But, the goals of your office require more than individuals – it requires a team. And, at the end of the day, your team’s goal should be satisfying your patients and creating beautiful smiles.

Sure, there’s plenty of physical work & technical skills that go into it all, but working together as a single unit makes the entire experience easier, for you, your staff, and your patients.

Always keep the unity of your team in mind. If you work hard to keep it strong, you’re already on the path to success.


About First Choice Dental Lab

First Choice Dental Lab is a full-service dental lab with locations in Downers Grove, Il. & Wauwatosa, Wi.

We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget.

We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!

Request your fee schedule today by completing the form on this page.

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