Read Before Your Next Dental Office Meeting….Team Meetings Require Empathy

Written by Corey Jameson-Kuehl

Empathy: Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. 

When was the last time you actually listened deeply and with empathy in an office meeting?  Oftentimes, our office meetings consist of our owner/manager listing areas that require improvement and employees sitting with crossed arms defensively shifting blame…maybe not verbally, but in our heads.

“But you don’t know my office!?” “We get nowhere in these meetings!”

What if you decided to change your perspective and listen deeply and participate with empathy? What if your owner/managers are working hard at running a business and creating a culture that best serves you as their employee?  Perhaps the meeting may not be going smoothly; however, how can you contribute to its success?  

Your owners/managers truly want to see you succeed in your environment.  The policies shared were created for consistency and organization for the entire practice’s best. Putting yourself in your owner’s shoes (empathy) will help you understand why you need to follow policies and honor the growth of the business as you continue to succeed as well.

The Power of Listening– listening with the intent to understand, not respond.

We can’t underestimate the power of listening. There are many different ideas, information that can be gained with this skill.  Wisdom and insight are the biggest lessons from listening more than we speak. By listening, we can really hear what people are saying and ask intent and meaning for clarification.

Make notes of inspiration for new ideas. Being a good listener and an empathetic person is the only way to serve the team with whom we care for patients. We can’t solve a problem unless we really understand it. 

Solving problems through the team requires creativity.  With each person created uniquely and with a special skill set, personality and set of values, lean on each for optimal perspective and creativity.

Giving people the permission to dream big, bring radical ideas to the table, and draw outside of the lines is so important. It makes the environment a lot more exciting too!

Need a resource for bettering the team’s understanding?  Ask Custom Dental Solutions for team assessments to build upon Strengths, Talents and Emotional Intelligence techniques for best working environments.