You mean you are NOT a mind reader?

February 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dental Support Specialties @ 5:45 pm

Communication Breakdown  = Frustration.

Frustration always rears it’s ugly head when there is a lack of communication, or a misunderstanding. Some one heard something wrong – someone said something wrong – in some people’s lives, someone LOOKED at someone wrong.

Frustration can lead to all kinds of ugly. Ugly words. Ugly feelings. Ugly actions. I personally like to avoid it at all costs.

Come on. Admit it. How many times have you thought “well I can’t read your mind” to a team member,  spouse or even a patient?

Communication – effective communication is one of the most valuable skills a person can have. Being able to assess how another human being needs to communicate and delivering the goods in their speak is an amazing talent that some have been God-given, while others  must work diligently at embracing the challenge of building communication bases.

Communication can make or break patient relationships including treatment case acceptance and scheduling.

Communication can make or break team member relationships, what you get “out” of them and employee loyalty and longevity.

Whether the communication barrier is between a dds and patient, a dds and a staff member, a staff member and patient, or amongst team members themselves, the majority of the time it’s because there was a lack of communication, misunderstanding or an expectation was not stated (or heard) clearly.

Complaining about your FD  because of something they do that annoys you? Have you CLEARLY communicated and discussed this challenge with them? Or do you think they can read your mind? I know. I know. There are some things that we feel should NOT have to be verbally communicated because WE think the other person should just inherently know it… “get” it…. Or maybe you are saying that you’ve already TOLD them 12,000 times! You go slamming up to the FD because you’re afternoon fell apart 3 hours ago and no one has attempted to fill it – yes, they should know but this is a chance to not only communicate your expectations, but now set the bar to be held accountable!

Front desk people, although we are DARN great at what we do, for the most part, can’t read your mind. Hard to admit, but true. I’d like to think that sometimes I can though……….

How about presenting, calmly, what your frustration is, and asking what ideas they may have to help better the situation? I was always taught to never present a problem without also providing 3 possible solutions. This may seem elementary to some, but the idea of it is NOT necessarily the solutions, but the communication it will engage! Discuss what needs done, by whom, by when and who is going ensure accountability. (the next step of course is follow-through but that’s in another blog) Clearly outlined expectations, systems and action plans.

Decrease your stress and increase your work satisfaction – all by communication.

(Sometimes the communication will bring you to the point of making a decision – one you may not want to make but communication is going to drive you to let go of dead weight, support and encourage team growth and forge ahead to live your vision!)

Banging your head against  your desk because you’ve seen Mrs. Smith 8 times in the past 1 1/2 years for the pain she is having in tooth #12 and she is not only refusing to move forward with the rct and crown, but refuses to even engage you in that conversation and just wants some more antibiotics to get her through? Communication break down. It’s time to have a heart to heart with ole Mrs. Smith – sit down beside her and just ASK. “Mrs. Smith – we need to talk. What’s going on?” (then be quiet). You’ll be so surprised at what people SPILL when you ask that simple question then just sit back and zip your lip. If she asks “going on? what do you mean” you just say “about this tooth and what I’ve recommended”………….. It’s the beginning of a beautiful new relationship.

Team members angry at each other? So & So isn’t pulling her weight – everyone has to clean up after her. Nitpicking, gossip and negativity ABOUND. Communicate your expectations on how team members need to communicate challenges and how you are going to work together as a team to overcome. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and address the white elephant that is suffocating your practice.

Team members boo-hoo’ing about how horrible their boss is? The doc doesn’t listen, is pissed all the time, throws things and basically has every team member scared to death of them?

Is the boss sending mixed signals of “my door is open” but “don’t you dare knock”? Please don’t be “this” person.

Lack of communication. Misunderstandings. No clearly outlined expectations.

All three are relationship KILLERS.

If you are finding yourself frustrated time and time again, ask yourself what can YOU do to improve not only your situation, but effectively communicate your expectations to ensure that you are not only getting your point across and needs met, but possibly supporting the person on the other end in enhancing their abilities and gaining a communication understanding themselves. Ask your team what YOU can do better. Ask them what THEY can do better.

Here’s to fabulous communication which will result in less frustration which will produce less stress and more happy people.


PS – I know what you are thinking right now. Hee-hee!

Isn’t it time you replaced that boring, non-productive, unfriendly “answering” service with a result producing, production scheduling, friendly, AWESOME service?


Complete admin support including phone coverage/scheduling/insurance services.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment