Creative cooperation in the wake of a pandemic

By Dr. James Anderson, DrBicuspid contributing writer

July 7, 2020 -- Keeping people safe is the challenge we all face in today's climate of COVID-19 and the confusion surrounding our society. Collectively, we need to solve our problems by applying proper guidelines, along with love and compassion. The stress of keeping a balance of bringing in revenue and building a positive team amidst the chaos can seem overwhelming.

James Anderson, DMD
James Anderson, DMD.

Keeping my patients and staff safe and directed to positive dental health is challenging in the fragile world we live in now, but that is what keeps me showing up every day.

For many people, the need for structure, certainty, and predictability is necessary for safety. People won't venture out to the dentist without that confidence. To be able to provide that security is essential for the survival of the dental practice in the current climate. Remember, anxiety and fear toward dental care existed before the pandemic.

What we see, hear, and experience can undoubtedly affect our moods and ability to focus on what is in front of us. Currently, there is a need to bring in new perspectives and new worlds of insights to make sense of our daily purpose. At this pinnacle in time, we must remain visible and proactive in our practices. Where we used to disappear into our private offices between patients, we must stay with the team to ensure everyone is secure, safe, and confident.

Here are some suggestions to increase team confidence and security.

Create a new mission statement

Even though we want to return to a normalcy that we experienced before the pandemic first struck, things have changed. Your new mission statement must reflect how your life's work is projected going forward. Encourage each member of the team to write a personal mission statement. Get together and write the practice mission statement by including each member's values.

Writing your vision, mission, and new goals with the team can build a sense of "synergy" of purpose and give the gift of positivity we are all craving now. Value the differences in people that will open as you seek to share your mission. Incorporate these ideas into the practice mission to feel a sense of unity of purpose and ownership. Communicate back and forth until there is an agreement. Listen to the concerns and fears of the team and make a plan that works for all.

Polish communication skills

Consider working with a communication/speaking coach to hone your listening skills and polish up on verbal communication skills. You may not feel comfortable being the leader, especially in stressful situations. Improving abilities builds confidence, and confidence calms anxiety.

Stay connected to the community

Your patients and your team are members of the city. They influence the broader community and can positively or negatively impact the experience they have in your business/practice. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, whether directly or indirectly, and what each of us can do to improve other lives is so important now.

Hold a free virtual dental health screening, collect and donate to a local food bank, or sponsor a blood drive. These are just a few suggestions to help the community. Let everyone know that you care because we are all in this together, and together, we will prosper and thrive.

James Anderson, DMD, is a practicing dentist in Syracuse, UT, and is the CEO and founder of eAssist Dental Solutions. He can be reached via email.

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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