Never before has it been so necessary to be ‘tuned-in’ to each other’s mindset.
The reaction to COVID-19 has been wide and varied. While some appear relaxed and confident that this situation will be managed well and pass to return us to happier times, others are at the other end of the spectrum. They are anxious, waking at night and fretting for their future.
In accordance with natural human behaviour, team-mates have the potential to become divided as they judge where each person is on the spectrum of relaxed to anxious, as one being ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’.
Now that our dental practices are returning to busier days and most, if not all, staff working on-site, some teams are seeing evidence of this divide and worry for the impact it could have over the long-term.
My advice for these teams is inspired by the words of JPPS co-founder and Australasia’s Passion Provocateur, Charles Kovess. In his podcast episode that was just released this past week (see below to view podcast episode), Charles delivered an insight that I believe provides helpful direction when managing your dental team during your comeback.
Charles’s insight was ‘what drives your decisions: love or fear?
The community and government response to COVID-19 has triggered fears in many people. There has been a substantial negative impact on finances, job security, the viability of businesses, home supplies, freedom and confidence in our health. It is understandable that these threats to our existence back us into a corner and we, and our decisions, become driven by fear.
Fear results in judgements cast as to whether each team member is managing themselves ‘appropriately’ during this time. Are they sticking to the lock-down rules? Are they boosting their health? Are they taking this seriously enough? Are they ill-informed?
Managing people in this way only further isolates you from each other. It breaks connections and sets you on different paths.
Taking Charles’s advice, I believe that now is a powerful time to be driven by love.
Approaching one another with love would have you be understanding of one another’s fears and apprehensions. Intrigued as to how each other think. Asking how you can help and support each other.
I have spoken before about the need humans have to be heard, listened to, acknowledged and understood. When we don’t experience this, we act out or become withdrawn. I believe it is important to allow people the opportunity to get what is spinning relentlessly in their minds out of their mouths. There is a calming effect to this action. It also provides a chance for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings, to ‘walk in each other’s shoes’.
Being driven by love will connect your team and align everyone to a common path. Your team will feel comforted by one another and know they have each other’s back.
You may ask what is the first step to shift from being driven by fear to love. Might I suggest you talk to your fellow team members about how they feeling and then asking my favourite question?
“Given what you have shared with me, what can I do for you?”