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Dealing with employee pushback

Have you ever come back from a course all excited about everything that you've learned, only to find out that your staff really isn’t all that much excited about it? I want to give you a quick tip today so that you could avoid having this problem after the next course that you come to.

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Explain why you are going before you attend

The first thing I would say to you is before you go to a course, let your staff know that you're going to be attending a continuing education course, and explain to them the reasons why you'll be taking this course, particularly if you're gong to be learning a new technique or maybe if you're going to be learning a new philosophy.

It's really important that the staff understand how this new technique is going to help you take better care of patients or how this new philosophy that you're bringing into the practice is going to be able to better serve your patients, as well. So the first thing is let staff know that you're going to this meeting, so you're actually preparing them for the fact that you're coming back with some new information.

Speak to assistants and hygienists individually

I would say the next thing that you would want to do when you return is make sure that your hygienist understands exactly what you have learned. And make sure that they fully understand and are on board with what it was that you wanted to implement.

Then I would schedule some time to speak directly with your assistants. So you've got to schedule some time to do this. Don’t think that you can just do it on the fly, or do it on your morning huddle, that, "Hey, I learned this new stuff, and we're going to try it today."

It's not that your staff can’t change, it's just that the pace of change can overwhelm them.

  • You prepared them for the fact that we're bringing this change into the office.
  • When you came back, perhaps at the morning huddle, you would explain to them that, "Hey, I wanted to go over the things that we've learned. I'm going to set up some special time just to talk to the hygienist, and then I'm going to set up some special time to talk to the assistants."
  • After you've talked to the assistants, particularly if you're bringing in new technology or a new technique, then you want to be able to explain to them, "This is what I've learned, and this is how we're going to implement it."

Have them explain back to you and try it

So you have to remember, some people can just hear something, and they can go ahead and do it. Other people can read instructions, and then they can do it. Then there's a whole other group of people, and it's probably a lot like the team that you've got in your office, they have to read it. They have to hear you explain it. And then they have to try it. And that's part of the reason why I wanted you to set some time aside so that you could explain what you wanted to do.

Let them ask questions

You can give them the opportunity to ask you questions so they can gain clarification, but what else you can do at these meetings is you can work on it together because if you're going to implement something, you want to make it safe for them to learn what it is that you want to implement.

And so you make it safe for them by not cramming it down their throats or not giving them adequate time to train and demonstrate that they know how to make it work when they're in front of patients. That's my quick tip.

Learn more about getting your staff on-board at Implementing Complete Care Dentistry

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Picture of Larry Guzzardo

Larry Guzzardo conducts in-office practice management consultations exclusively for dentists to enhance trust, create organization, increase profits, and to develop patient relationships that last. Larry has presented workshops including, “Winning Patient Acceptance,” and “The Leadership Challenge.”