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How to Achieve Effective Communication with Your Dental Team

Team of doctors working together on patients file.

As a dentist and the owner of your practice, you want to know all the ways you can be more effective with your communication both with your staff and your patients. Remember that patient care relies largely on communication. If your patients do not fully understand the information you are trying to tell them, there can be some bumps along the way and it may even result in failure to accept treatment. But sometimes the lack of proper and clear communication roots from within your dental team.
A clear line of communication between you and your dental staff is among the key components to ensuring that your dental practice is a harmonious and prosperous one. When poor communication exists, there’s a  possibility of higher turnover rates, as well as a higher risk of things falling through the cracks and errors being committed.
How can you make the necessary changes then? The first step you should take is to ask your people for input. You can ask your team to write anonymously and then you can set a meeting where their concerns can be discussed.
Here are other ways you can improve communication within your practice:

Practice Openness. Your employees should be able to feel that they can approach you and build a professional yet easy relationship with you so they can bring any issues to attention without a worry.

Empathize. Empathy is different from sympathy. It is important that you show that you are not merely sympathetic when you are dealing with issues of your staff. Put yourself in their shoes so you can understand them better.

Be positive. Nothing can block communication lines more than a negative attitude. No one wants to approach a boss who’s hot-headed. Even if there are some minor concerns, learn to appreciate the things that do go right. Let your people know that you see them and that you appreciate what they do for you.

Promote equality in the office. This is essential if you want to achieve teamwork. Having mutual respect is important. While you are the dentist and the owner with more experience, you need to learn to value input from all of your employees and treat them as peers.
Always listen. Listening can be harder than speaking. It requires focus. When you or anyone in the team become passive listeners, critical details may be misheard and this can lead to misunderstandings.
When you are able to improve your communication lines within your practice, you can also reduce turnover. You can also enjoy an organized and overall harmonious office where every member of the team works hard to achieve your goals as a practice.

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