10 practical ways to make your patients, team, and you happier

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Sometimes I notice that my dental clients seem to be caught up in the day-to-day business of dentistry, with the emphasis on business. Sometimes they forget what motivated them to go into patient care in the first place. One of those reasons, no doubt, is because helping people makes you, and them, happy.

Jen Butler, MEd.Jen Butler, MEd.

We all want to be happier. We lament over how we can find more happiness, and as we do, we get more and more depressed because we can't find those things that make us happy. It's a hamster wheel that drains our passion for work, breaks up relationships, pushes us toward binge watching hours of TV to avoid reality.

It doesn't have to be this way -- in your practice or in your life. Happiness is intentional, which means you need to plan for happy moments. How can you help the process along? One idea is a happiness calendar.

Happiness calendar

You already have many calendars and schedules for the practice and your life, so I'm not suggesting you add another calendar app to your phone or desktop. No, a happiness calendar is your own personal calendar where you actually schedule something that makes you happy.

It can be an event, task, moment, or time frame that you will experience happiness. I'm talking about literally adding something to your work and personal calendars every single day that when you experience the moment you feel happy.

Before you dismiss the idea out of hand, I know you and everyone in the practice is busy. But you'd be surprised how practical and how little time these ideas take or how many of them you might already be doing.

10 ideas

Here are 10 simple ideas to get your calendar started:

  1. Complete this sentence to every patient you see today: "We love patients like you because ..." and give each one a flower to let your patients know you appreciate them.
  2. Share with your staff members why you love working with each of them and how they are an asset to the team.
  3. Every night before you get into bed, write down at least three things you were grateful for that day. Make sure to change them up each night.
  4. Give permission to yourself and others to make mistakes, fail, misunderstand, and miscommunicate.
  5. Avoid complainers, negative thinkers, people who validate your complaints, and all around naysayers.
  6. Give something away for free to a person in need.
  7. Read for pleasure.
  8. Tell someone you're sorry.
  9. Say "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" as much as possible.
  10. Get outdoors even if it's just for a few minutes

Happiness is a choice. Choose wisely.

Jen Butler, MEd, is the CEO and founder of JB Partners. For business coaching and consulting, leadership, and stress management services, contact her at [email protected].

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

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