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“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”

This quote by Alexander Den Heijer is one that can shift your perspective immediately. It clearly identifies where you should direct your focus when a team member is struggling to thrive in your dental practice.

In the context of your practice, the quote can be rewritten as: “When a team member doesn’t bloom, you fix the practice in which she isn’t growing, not the team member.”

The following are a few methods I suggest to improve the environment in which your team members are expected to bloom. 

PROVIDE ADDITIONAL TRAINING

There are several ways to train team members. 

  • Provide a detailed instruction manual,
  • Have trainee team members shadow an experienced team member and see for themselves how tasks are to be performed,
  • Role-play,
  • Implement off-site and online team training events (such as the online JPPS On-Demand Webinar Series).

GAIN TEAM MEMBER FEEDBACK

Identify any barriers to learning by having a discussion with team members. There may be a conflict with another member of the team, lack of confidence or simply lack of understanding what is expected of them.

MODIFY YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Impatience and frustration will result if you have unrealistic expectations of team members’ progress. We would love it if all we had to do was provide instruction once and then a new skill is learned. However, this is simply not the case. Depending upon the complexity of the skill, most people need the chance to practice the skill many times to become competent. Are you patient enough? How often are you expressing, or demonstrating, your frustrations? 

ASSIGN A BUDDY TO TRAINEES

Pair your trainee with another team member who can act as their ‘buddy’. A buddy will help the trainee make adjustments to the way they manage each task so they consistently improve. A buddy acts as a coach, cheerleader and mentor. 

I encourage all dental practice owners and managers to display in their office the quote by Alexander Den Heijer. It will serve as a useful reminder to create the ideal environment for your team to bloom, grow and flourish, as it surely will if team members are blooming, growing and flourishing. 

JulieParkerPracticeSuccess

Julie Parker was a dental nurse and receptionist for many years before becoming the first non-dentist to own a practice in Australia in 2003. After 10 very successful years, Julie now shares her wisdom and knowledge to other practice owners to facilitate their path to success. Charles Kovess practiced law successfully for 20 years before becoming a motivational speaker and transformation coach, bringing out the unique and extraordinary capacities of individuals, by accessing and harnessing their passion.
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