Dos and don'ts for teamwork: Fostering cooperation

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As a dentist, performing your job tasks well is one thing. Leading others is an equally important part of your duties as practice owner. Your team will occasionally experience challenges and conflicts, as happens in any group. When the inevitable occurs, set an example and help your team members stay positive.


Delegate problem solvers. When an issue arises in the office, delegate a staff member to resolve it. Doing so will allow you to keep your attention on patient care while empowering your team. One exception is a dispute between coworkers. When two or more people have a disagreement, your position as practice leader includes mediating the conflict.


Don't tolerate office gossip. Office gossip can create tension and disruption in a workplace, undermine productivity and cause irreparable damage to morale. It takes the focus away from important responsibilities and can hurt people's feelings. Let the team know that the practice has an antigossip policy. Make it a point to share complimentary stories instead, and encourage team members to do the same.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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